Homeless man with 'golden voice' lights up Web, gets job offers
Ted Williams is seen in this still from a Columbus Dispatch video posted on YouTube.
January 5th, 2011
12:08 PM ET

Homeless man with 'golden voice' lights up Web, gets job offers

He's now known on the Web as the man with the golden voice. But before that, he was known as a guy standing on the side of the road with a sign - just like many other homeless people.

The man with the golden voice, Ted Williams, is an internet sensation. And apparently, his fame may have landed him a pretty good gig: CNN affiliate WEWS reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered Williams a job and a house.

Williams' story is the epitome of how dreams can come true in the internet age. And practically overnight.

His story was first reported in the Columbus Dispatch; a photographer drove up to Williams on the side of the road and videotaped him as he held a sign that said in part, "I have a God given gift of voice." The photographer wanted him to prove it to earn some cash, and boy, did Williams deliver. He rattled off, in a James Earl Jones-esque voice, what seemed like a perfect radio station tease.

YouTube: Watch full video

The story exploded from there. From all over the internet, including on the message board Reddit, people began tracking his whereabouts and trying to offer him jobs. That led to radio interviews and even an interview with CBS's "Early Show" today.

Oh, and did we mention that the video of him speaking for the Dispatch reporter has gotten (as we write this) more than 4.5 million hits in just two days? It's also the top viral video, according to ViralVideoChart.com, which tracks the rate of shares and clicks on videos.

Call him the radio-voice version of Susan Boyle.

Frumpy British singer Boyle "dreamed a dream" on a TV talent show and sold millions of records, proving that sometimes the most sensational voices come from the places you least expect. And then again, perhaps we jump to conclusions when we form impressions about people.

"Hand on heart, we didn't know what was coming at all," CNN's Piers Morgan, who was a judge on "Britain's Got Talent," recently said of Boyle."We were like 'Oh, my God, this is going to be a total train wreck.' We were all laughing and mocking.

"The moment she sang, you see our faces frozen into two kinds of horror," he added. "One, that we didn't recognize her talent, and two, that we now know there's going to be a YouTube clip for the rest of our lives of us mocking this amazing woman. ... So whenever I have someone coming on who is not your standard-looking pop star, I sit there resolutely, just in case."

Indeed, Morgan is applying that lesson with Williams, tweeting earlier, "Greatest unheard radio voice ever: http://bit.ly/hkeanN If you know this guy pls tell him to enter 'America's Got Talent'."

Now, Williams is experiencing a similar whirlwind tour.

Although he didn't have Boyle's TV platform, or a similar show that shot a Taiwanese boy to fame for singing like Whitney Houston, he did have the same power of the Web. Who knows how many people drove past Williams as he stood on the street, waiting for someone to recognize his talents, before he was taped and put on YouTube.

"Hopefully somebody from one of these television or radio stations will say, 'hey, I need a voice-over' or ' I need something,' " Williams said on "The Early Show."

And because of his internet rise to fame, now the dream that Williams has dreamed for so long for himself may also be coming true.

WEWS said that although they are still tightening up a deal, the Cavaliers offered him full-time voiceover work with the team and with Quicken Loans, the mortgage giant founded by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, along with the mortgage for a house.

They may have lost the power of LeBron James in their building, but perhaps the Cavs have gained the power of a voice that may become a legend.

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Filed under: Ohio • Showbiz • Ted Williams
soundoff (421 Responses)
  1. THThite

    Haha oh wow @ the trollface during this video!

    January 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Katina

    Ted this is a true blessing let GOD Guide u through this journey you always been blessed because you always had a good heart I'm so ver happy for you just believe in yourself and the rest will follow...Kitty Kat, Columbus, OH or Flint MI

    January 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pauljack

    Awe man this is such a great story! Congrats golden voice!

    January 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sue ZQ

    Good for you for getting sober! Best wishes with your new life. God bless you. 🙂

    January 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kerry

    Hes got a radio name as well.

    January 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin Kunkel

    Big pat on the back to the Cleveland Cavs for being in a position and willing to give this guy a new chance in life.

    January 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    Are you people kidding me? That voice is horrible! Your lives must be very poor to be impressed with this loser.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shellyb

      Hey don't be such a loser. People like u bring the world down.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Almetya

      Almetya, of Las Vegas Nevada
      wishing you all the best Ted. This is your chance to shine and be that light in your familys life. Go ahead Ted, show the fathers of this world how to be there for family. Like Nike just do it. Wishing you and yours all the best.

      January 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Brand-Levitan

      Dude...I'd love to have pipes like that. I'm a former radio guy. Had to get out of the biz because the poor job markets and my debt load made it impossible. If I had pipes like that, I'd be in big with the money.

      So please don't go on about this "his voice sucks" bit. His voice is great. It's golden. And it's awesome.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Seems everyone finds this mans voice wonderful, everyone here, and everyone else in the world... what exactly, does that make YOU?

      January 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Havok

      huh?

      January 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Torianna

      Nobody likes you and you have no friends.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rasheed

      Why only in America? I personally know several ppl in other countries, who would have no hope in America, rise to great heights there and some of them who moved to the US did better than the Americans that competed with them. They include a couple of professors, a vice president of a bank, etc. Let's not be too nationalistic, or I hate to say, but it borders on xenophobia to always keep saying only in America or the American dream. God bless America and God bless other countries as well. And last, but not least, God bless Mr. Ted Williams for warming our hearts this cold morning!

      January 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • cgalle58

      Rasheed, could it be because we live in United States of America? I'm sure there are great people all over the world. But HANDS DOWN, the US is the best of all them and if you have foreign friends who excelled only AFTER moving here, well that should tell you something..

      January 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Oh my god are you an idiot.... please, do not open your mouth on the internet unless you've cleared your remarks with at least a 5-yr-old first...

      January 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohsnap

      America is called the 'land of opportunity'. That's why people are trying to get here even with the economic downturn. It's not perfect and although most countries have something good about them, I have to say, this one is the best.

      January 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fenwick

      Matt - You are an obvious piece of crap.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • nashville says

      mat we all hate you.thanks for looking like the turd compared to a homeless man.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Veritas

    God bless you william. homeless does not mean hopeless. many wonderful talented intelligent people are homeless due to the state of the economy. once someone is homeless even for a short time opportunities dissipate for jobs. no phone, no address, no transportation, no shower, no soap it goes on. we should all thank God for the little things we often take for granted, and show our appreciation by helping those less fortunate. no matter how little we have its is without a doubt more than someone else. Believe me it will come back to you ten fold.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. christopher

    He'll be doing better than most of us before long. Congrats!

    January 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. its me

    saw the video this is a really cool story best wishes to him

    January 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. deanne

    what an inspiring story and to think the man was not asking for handouts but an honest days work and the intelligence to know the blessing God had given him. Where can America get more people like this.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jean glover chesapeake virginia

    God will use the least of us to AAAAAAAAWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEE the rest of us.

    BLESSINGS

    January 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      very true! God is good!!

      January 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Realistic

    In America anything is possible and dreams can come true.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hot Blonde in Columbus, Ohio

    I'm so proud that Ted has been discovered. I'm even happier to know that he has been clean and sober for over 2 years. I wish him all the best and am so glad he found Jesus in his life because it sure is turning things around for him. God bless and I expect to hear more from him in 2011 and beyond.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. moose

    Now cleveland can once again, "all be witnesses" to a new potential legend. Only seven more years until he too may take his talents to south beach.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
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