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. JRR

    Wow! What a great story. From homeless to superstar......

    January 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CBruss

    2years Clean! Way to go!!! I wish you the best of luck!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BOB

    what a boring story

    January 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjphoto

      What a boring and cynical reply. So why did you bother reading the story?

      January 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob's evil twin

      So what is exactly...... ya doin here Bob?

      January 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Don't be a hater BOB. You are just jealous

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

      What a boring name, Bob.

      January 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • u suck bob

      get a life

      January 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      Why is Bob taking time out of his day to reply to such a "boring story?"

      January 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't Worry

      BOB = Boring Old Bob

      January 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Well Bob, it appears some on the street and are homeless have more talent than some of us! huh?

      January 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • cherry

      bob how can u sit there and say borein lets turn this situation around for a sec what if this man was u wouldnt u want people talkin good about your situation remember this we all can be up today and down tomorrow.

      January 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet T

      %#* Bob, why are u stil alive? People like u Bob need to be in unopened hole. Because ur the coz of all shortcoming people experience. I believe if u r a manager, u cant even promote others, u want everything for ur self. Thats why poverty still exist becoz of people like u. Damn!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      To Janet T .....kant u spel?????
      It's "YOU" not U.....You must have gotten a D- in spelling!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      To all you BOB haters......stuff it!

      January 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      To Janet T ...... Tell the truth....your'e really Sarah Palin, aren't you...You sure write like her!!!!

      January 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    One of the greatest stories i've seen in some time. Good for him!

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

    I believe he should follow in the foot steps of James Earl Jones and do a voice over for the Book of Psalms. I know it would definitely sale in the church giving God the glory, it would also bring inspiration to others, and give this man hope and restore light for his future well being..

    January 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JiminNM

      Very good idea. Maybe Focus on the Family could sponsor him. Celebrate the positive and the good.

      January 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • dje2671

      Enough with your religious crap!

      January 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • WOO

      Dje, tolerance and diversity are obviously terms you haven't heard of.

      January 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      He shouldn't cheapen himself by getting associated with religion stuff. Maybe after he has established himself firmly enough that it won't hurt his credibility but there are so many hacks out there doing 'religion' videos, crappy 'religion' rock and singing, that it's really a terrible niche to get stuck into. He needs a lot of valid and solid background. Then something like a religion thing wouldn't ruin his future.

      January 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brigitta Manetta

    I was 1 of "The Splendid Splinter"'s biggest fans- and now I have another Ted Williams to cheer for! Best 2 you...Play Ball!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cleareye

    This is a little too perfect. Nevertheless, if this guy cooked up this as publicity for himself, then cool. He has a geat look to go with the voice. Hollywood here he comes!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tjphoto

    Inspiring. We don't know how it will all turn out over time, but at least he has his second chance, and that in itself is heartening.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Debbie

    I am glad to see that we do have some good stories to tell and not just the ugly news that it is made up of most of the time. I hope he will be a famous radio voice and will help to encourage others who are homeless that all is not lost. Have faith and God Bless

    January 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chi-Town

    hahhaha all u people who hate God are all like, oh no this wasnt God, it was just some real good luck....??hahaha yea OK lol, home less person talking about God and saying that God gave him a voice, I'm not suprised God helped him out, thats what it's all about, everybody deserves second chances.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thisisnothingnew

    No one don't understand that this guy is LUCIFIER'S VOICE!! Yes that same fallen angel who can sing and capture the hearts of lose souls...WHY ARE WE SO DENSE?!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaJSUDiva95

      WOW..really.. it's too much negatvity for such a positive story, which will have a positive outcome.. your comment is indeed unwrranted..

      January 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • to Thisisnothingnew

      YOu need Jesus in your life....

      January 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarge

      Wow, you need meds.

      January 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KAT

    Ted is fantastic, I hope goes on with the Caviliers or whatever he wants. He is good and I love listening to him. Plus he catches the audiences attention when he speaks. Mr. Williams God Bless you with this great voice. You hit the lottery.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob's Nagger twin

    Only in America

    January 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Trista

    What an amazing voice!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    The guy chose drugs and alcohol over his career. I don't feel sorry for him one bit.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • One day you will regret what you said

      because one day you will wish for a second chance and because of your ignorant self, no one will help you

      January 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeOKC

      Hey, Victim, why should you feel sorry for a fella who's living the life right now?

      January 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sgrho1922

      There are people like you that make it so difficult for people to be a testimony to others. He made a few mistakes in his life, so is it that hard for you to be happy for him? Your blessed and don't even realize it. Have a blessed day.

      January 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      to ...sgrho1922
      You tell 'em ...ho!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
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