Homeless Columbus, Ohio man with 'god-given gift of voice' becomes YouTube sensation
Friday, January 7, 2011
In the YouTube video, he can be seen standing on the exit ramp ofat Hudson Street, holding a sign claiming that he has "the god-given gift of a great voice" and that he had "fallen on hard times", as well as speaking to Doral Chenoweth III from daily newspaper . Upon being asked to "[s]ay something with that great radio voice", he replied: "When you're listening to nothing but the best of oldies, you're listening to Magic 98.9. Thank you so much. God bless you. Thank you. And we'll be back with more right after these words."
In the video, Williams also mentions how "alcohol and drugs and a few other things became a part of my life and I got two years clean and I'm trying hard to get it back." This video achieved in excess of eleven and a half million YouTube views since the video was uploaded on January 3, 2011. However, the original video has now been removed because of a copyright violation claim made by The Dispatch. Copies of the clip are currently still available to view online.
|I'm just so, so happy. I had no idea that something like this would have ever happened to me. It's phenomenal.|
Subsequently, Williams received interest from companies wishing to offer occupations, including Ohio basketball team Associated Press. Stating that "It's that voice," Kevin McLoughlin described: "When I heard him tell his story, I said, 'That's what we do. This guy can tell a story.' Somehow, some way, I need to get a demo with him." McLoughlin also believed that "[t]he man deserves a second chance". have also made an announcing job offer to him.— who offered a house to him — and , according to the
When asked about the effect of this YouTube sensation in an interview with, he exclaimed: "It's just sensational for one, it's numbing for another, overwhelming ... It's just amazing. ... Well, I've already been characterized as Susan Boyle. ... I'm just so, so happy. ... I had no idea that something like this would have ever happened to me. It was like, almost, winning the Mega Ball lottery. ... It's phenomenal."
Having attempted to make contact with his mother, aged 92, in New York, Williams met with her for the first time in approximately twenty years in a hotel in New York, New York on Thursday, according to . He greeted his mother by repeatedly saying the words: "Hi, mommy."
This story has been likened to the occasion when Susan Boyle became a YouTube sensation in 2009 after a video of her audition on ' ' was uploaded there. The video was viewed over nine million times within the space of five days.
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- "Roller skating babies become YouTube sensation" — Wikinews, July 11, 2009
- "Scottish woman on 'Britain's Got Talent' becomes YouTube sensation" — Wikinews, April 15, 2009
- Melissa Castellanos. "Ted Williams, Homeless Ex-Radio Announcer, the Next Susan Boyle?" — , January 5, 2011
- Washington Post Staff. "Ted Williams, from homeless to highly-sought for 'made for radio' voice (VIDEO)" — , January 5, 2011
- Original YouTube video of Ted Williams in Columbus, Ohio (Removed due to copyright protection violation)
- AP: Raw Video: Homeless Man's Voice Gets National Buzz
- Ted Williams interview on The CBS Early Show
- msnbc.com: Man with the golden voice reunites with his mother