Richest Celebrities
Net Worth:
$400 Thousand
Jan 13, 1983 (41 years old)
Sha Tin
5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Singer, Civil engineer, Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare William Hung's Net Worth

What is William Hung's Net Worth?

William Hung is an American singer who has a net worth of $400 thousand. William Hung gained fame in 2004 when he auditioned for American Idol performing a cover of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs". After his appearance he signed a record contract with Koch Entertainment and released three albums. His first album Inspiration sold 200,000 copies in the U.S. and was #1 on the U.S. Indie charts. Hung's second album only charted 7,000 copies. He has many fans and critics alike. Hung has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Entertainment Tonight, the Late Show with David Letterman, The Howard Stern radio Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and many more. He has appeared in commercials for the Game Show Network, Cingular Wireless, and He appeared in the 2004 film "Where is Mama's Boy." Hung retired from music in 2011 and became a technical crime analyst.

Early Life

Hung was born on January 13, 1983 in Sha Tin, British Hong Kong. He is a 73rd generation descendant of Confucius. His family moved to the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles when Hung was 11 years old. After completing high school, he studying civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

American Idol

While a student at Berkeley, Hung decided to audition for the third season of the popular American singing reality show, "American Idol," on Fox. He auditioned in San Francisco in September of 2003. The resulting episode aired in January of 2004. In his audition, Hung stated that he wished to make a living in music. He then began to sing and dance to the Ricky Martin song "She Bangs." The audition has since become iconic. Judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul tried to withhold laughter while judge Simon Cowell frankly told Hung that he lacked talent. However, Hung remained positive throughout the audition, even while receiving negative feedback. The judges appreciated his positive attitude. Hung's audition and responses to the judged earned him a cult following. Remixes of his performance were made and topped song request lists at a number of radio stations.

Other Media Appearances

After his appearance on the show, Hung remained a popular figure in pop culture and the media for some time. He made subsequent appearances on television shows like "Jimmy Kimmel!" "On Air with Ryan Seacrest," "Entertainment Tonight," " George Lopez," "Late Show with David Letterman," "Countdown with Keith Olbermann, "The Howard Stern Radio Show," " The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dateline NBC, Arrested Development, and "The Early Show." He was also parodied in "Saturday Night," "Mad TV, and "Celebrity Deathmatch." He was also repeatedly invited to perform at MTV's Asia Awards.

Hung's popularity from "American Idol" remained so great that an online petition began circulating to bring him back on the show. It garnered over 100,000 signatures and Hung was brought back mid-season for the special "Uncut, Uncensored and Untalented" which documented the audition process and focused on how Hung had emerged as an inadvertent celebrity.

William Hung net worth

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In 2004, Hung was offered a $25,000 advance on a record deal from Koch Entertainment. He released three albums on that label in 2004 and 2005, the first of which being "Inspiration." The album was produced by Giuseppe D and was recorded over a weekend during which Hung sung vocals over karaoke music. To promote the album, Hung performed to nearly 20,000 fans during the half-time show at a Golden State Warriors basketball game. The album received highly negative reviews but managed to sell over 100,000 copies and made it to the top spot on the "Billboard" Top Independent Album Chart. His two follow-up albums were not nearly as successful. "Hung for the Holidays" was a Christmas album that only sold about 35,000 copies despite the fact that Hung promoted it on "The Howard Stern Show." His third album, "Miracle: Happy Summer from William Hung," only sold 7,000 copies. In February of 2006, Hung said he was working on a fourth album which was ultimately never released.

Throughout this time, Hung also appeared in a number of commercials for companies like, Game Show Network, and Cingular Wireless. He appeared in his first film, a low-budget Hong Kong period comedy called "Where is Mama's Boy," which was released in January of 2005. In the film, he plays a kid who sells Chinese pancakes to pay his mother's medical bills. His character later gets discovered as a singer and in one scene, he parodies his own "American Idol" audition. Hung also made appearances in "Airline," "Arrested Development," and "George Lopez."

In 2011, Hung retired officially from music when he became a technical crime analyst for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He later joined the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health around 2014. In 2017, he became a motivational speaker and has been booked as a keynote speaker for such organizations as the Asian Realtors Association of America.

Hung's popularity and audition on "American Idol" remain memorable. He made a surprise performance of "She Bangs" on the finale of the 15th season of the show. He also made another surprise appearance on season 20. Hung's popularity has been analyzed by a number of commentators, some who claim that he may have become popular due to the perpetuation of Asian stereotypes. Others argue that he represented the antithesis of "American Idol," in that he lacked musical talent and didn't possess mainstream good looks but rather was charismatic and made audiences fall in love with him due to his charm and positive attitude.

Personal Life

On June 18, 2014, Hung married Jian Teng. He had previously been married before, though the marriage ended in divorce. His second marriage also ended in divorce.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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