03:58 PM CST on Monday, March 8, 2004
NEW YORK – Who needs American Idol? William Hung doesn't – he already has a recording contract.
The singer, who became a fan favorite – but not a judges' favorite – during open auditions for the Fox series with his spirited version of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs," has signed a deal with Fuse Music Network and Koch Records.
His debut album, tentatively titled The True Idol, is scheduled for release April 6, it was announced Monday. It will contain "She Bangs," along with another Martin hit, "Shake Your Bon Bon," and a cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man," which Hung sang recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
And for those of you hankering for more Hung, the disc will include a 40-minute DVD with behind-the-scenes footage from his studio recording sessions and fan questions and answers.
"He may not be the next American Idol, but he is definitely a star and inspiration to everyone who sings in the shower," said Marc Juris, president of Fuse, which will exclusively air his "She Bangs" video.
Koch Records general manager Alan Grunblatt was even more effusive: "He is the new Elvis!"
Hung, a 21-year-old Hong Kong native and civil engineering student at the University of California, Berkeley, has inspired fan clubs and Web sites that sing his praises.
Meanwhile, back at American Idol, eight of the 12 finalists have been chosen. The remaining four will be announced this week when "wild card" singers – those who didn't get enough votes the first time – come back for a second chance.