Following the lead of Howard Dean and his infamous "scream," William Hung is the latest unlikely icon to get mashed up by burgeoning remixers.
The "American Idol" reject has become a cult figure for his laughably bad — but extremely earnest — version of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs," the song he performed on the show before getting dissed by judge Simon Cowell. Now, Hung's vocals from that song have been chopped and mixed with a number of different beats and circulated online.
One track gets crunk with it, slowing Hung's vocals to fit the Southern bounce vibe of the Lil Jon-produced Usher single, "Yeah." Another quickens the tempo and turns "She Bangs" into an upbeat pop ditty, courtesy of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" instrumental. There are techno versions, rock remixes and a bhangra reworking. One even weds Hung's voice with the rhythms of Michael Jackson's classic "Billie Jean."
Most of these mash-ups are circulating as MP3s on the Web, with some getting actual radio play on stations such as San Francisco's Live 105 or Philadelphia's Q102. Some can be found on the official William Hung Web site.
Whether fans are laughing with him or at him, Hung is chuckling all the way to the bank. The UC Berkeley engineering student has signed a deal with Koch Records to release his debut album, True Idol. It bangs its way into stores on April 6.