William Hung
Birth Date:
January 13, 1983
Birth Place:
Hong Kong, China
Famous for:
Butchered Ricky Martin's 'She Bangs' at his audition for Fox's talent search show American Idol
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Idol Contestant


“I really appreciate all of the support I have received from my fans around the world. I couldn't succeed without you. I also want to encourage you to pursue your dreams, persevere and to work hard at what you are passionate about. Then you'll be living a life without regrets!” William Hung

Hong Kong born William Hung gained attention and a cult following after the broadcast of his audition during the third season of “American Idol” in early 2004. Although he did not make “American Idol,” Hung received a record deal from Koch Entertainment and released three albums with the label in 2004 and 2005. His first effort, “Inspiration” (2004), peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard Independent Album chart. After his performance in “Indonesian Idol,” Hung appeared in several television programs, commercials and feature films. He also performed at charity events, halftime at sporting events and shopping malls.

“My singing wasn't horrible, but my dancing really made it look silly. It's not like I'm a horrible singer that can't sing, but I don't have the consistency or the presentation skills that a good performer has.” William Hung

Hong Kong

Childhood and Family:

William Tanakiri Hung was born on January 13, 1983, in Hong Kong, China. His family moved to the United States when he was ten years old. After graduating from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles, he majored in civil engineering at the University of California, in Berkeley, but quit to pursue a career in music. Will began singing as a child in Hong Kong on his parents' karaoke machine.



“I don't think I should have made it to Hollywood. I wasn't ready for the next level yet, but I wouldn't have known that until I did it.” William Hung

While at the University of California, William Hung won over his classmates at a university talent show. He decided to audition for the third season of “American Idol” in San Francisco in September 2003.

Hung began his audition by saying, “I want to make music my living,” before singing and dancing to Ricky Martin's “She Bangs.” His performance was met with harsh criticism from judge Simon Cowell, while Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson attempted to suppress their laughter.

Hung soon collected a fan following and in addition to appearances in many national publications, he received invitations to appear on television shows like “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “Howard Stern,” “George Lopez,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “2004 Radio Music Awards,” “The Teen Choice Awards 2005” and “MADtv.” He also appeared in two episodes of “Arrested Development” and in the TV documentary series “E! True Hollywood Story.”

Hung scored a recording contract with Koch Entertainment for a $25,000 advance. His debut album, “Inspiration,” was launched on April 6, 2004, and was primarily comprised of covers of pop and rock songs, including “She Bangs,” Enrique Iglesias' “Bailamos,” R. Kelly's “I Believe I Can Fly,” Elton John's “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Rocket Man” and Phil Collins' “Two Worlds.” Produced by Dee Sonaram, the album debuted at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard Independent Album chart. “Inspiration,” however, was panned by critics. In support of his album, Hung performed “Rocket Man” before nearly 20,000 fans during a halftime show in Houston, Texas, on April 6, 2004. He went on to perform his signature song, “She Bangs,” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Today Show” later that week.

Hung released a Christmas album called “Hung for Holiday” on October 19, 2004. It consisted of nine tracks, including “Deck the Halls,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silver Bells,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Winter Wonderland.” On July 12, 2005, he released the album “Miracle: Happy Summer from William Hung.” In 2010, Hung returned to “American Idol” as a performer on “Finale: Winner Revealed,” which was broadcasted on May 26, 2010.

Hung's popularity also extended to the big screen. He starred alongside Nancy Sit and Wai-Man Chan in the Hong Kong movie “My Crazy Mother,” which was directed by Wai-Man Cheng. It was released in Hong Kong and Singapore on January 6, 2005. He went on to play the role of Ting in “I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell,” which starred Reggie Lee, Timothy Bottoms and Jason Connery. It was shown at the Monaco Film Festival on May 14, 2008.


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