He bangs — according to the “Mrs. Hung” T-shirts selling on eBay, at least — but can he shake his bon-bon?
“American Idol’s” most infamous reject, William Hung, will test his singing … ahem … talents with another Ricky Martin song, among others, on his debut album, due April 6.
Now titled Inspiration (instead of the previously announced True Idol), the CD will also include a cover of another Latin rock anthem, Enrique Iglesias’s “Bailamos,” to go along with “Shake Your Bon-Bon” and Hung’s classic take on “She Bangs,” which he performed for his “American Idol” audition (see “William Hung Idol-ized With Record Deal, Remixes” ).
While Hung is sticking to what works with another Martin tune, his album shows even more love to Elton John, with covers of “Rocket Man,” “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” according to a spokesperson at Koch Records. Hung was originally planning to sing the latter for his “American Idol” audition, but producers suggested “She Bangs” instead.
Other covers on Inspiration include R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” Phil Collins’ “Two Worlds” and the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.,” featuring a new girl group called the GonnaBees.
The album also includes one Hung original — a tune titled “Free” co-written by the album’s producer, Giuseppe D. (Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys) — and four motivational messages from the UC Berkeley engineering student: “Words of Gratitude,” “Inspirational Thoughts: Passion,” “Inspirational Thoughts: Perseverance” and “Inspirational Thoughts: Be Yourself.”
Along with the 14 tracks, Inspiration will feature a bonus DVD including the documentary “A Day in the Life of William Hung” with never-before seen footage and interviews.
“She Bangs” will be the album’s first single and video. Hung shot the clip, an ode to Ricky Martin videos, last weekend in Los Angeles with director Jeff Richter (Marc Anthony, Jurassic 5). Amanda Swisten (“American Wedding”) plays his girlfriend in the clip, while E!’s Jason Feinberg and Steven and Trishelle from MTV’s “The Real World: Las Vegas” make cameos.
While Hung will promote the album with various TV and live appearances, “American Idol” co-executive producer Ken Warwick said there are no plans to bring the singer back to the show where it all began. “But never say never,” he added.
Hung has already encored “She Bangs” on one “Idol” episode, and if he were to re-return, it would garner mixed responses from some of the names behind the show.
“Not everyone in this life can be winners and to celebrate a loser is fantastic,” co-executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” judge Randy Jackson countered. “But, you know, the public loves the car crash as well as the winner. It’s just one of those crazy things. People want to laugh at him and laugh with him laughing at himself.”
Regardless of his future on “American Idol,” Hung’s fame is growing worldwide, as other countries are now airing America’s competition.
“I know just from talking to the producers in Australia last week that the show [with Hung's audition] was a huge hit in Australia and William Hung is now a star there,” Warwick said. “So bless him. He’s a lovely guy.”