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. R. Turner

    Sounds a lot like John Tesh!!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RealistView

    Wow! He does have a great voice.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Harry Ball

    Am I the only one who thinks his hair is awesome? I hope he doesn't cut it. And good for him. I was shocked when I heard that voice come from him.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myia Thoams

      YES.....Me tooooooo....But they did cut it...I saw him this morn, and they already gave him a new look:(..."Hollywood"

      January 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • lollo

      yep ur the only one

      January 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      Hey Harry Ball(s)....who's your friend...Mike Hunt????

      January 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Wisdom4u2

    I love this story!!!
    I got chill bumps just listening to him!!
    I wish him nothing but God's best!!
    Totally AWESOME voice!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Myia Thoams

    This is the "BEST" thing I have herd in a very long time...I live here in Columbus Ohio, and I am so proud of my city right now...This goes to show not only the power of prayer; but it also shows how to manifest your dreams to life...I am sooooo happy for this man, and I wish him the best. But most of all, I'm going to take a leason he left. And that is how to persevere and keep your head on the prise...Thank you MR. Williams:)

    January 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OLRTL

    THIS GUY SINGS BAD!!! BAAAAAWWWW, YOU PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE IF HE DOES HAVE A VOICE, WHY ISN'T HE IN THE AMERICAN IDOL!?! HUH!?!? FAIL FAIL FAIL!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • dj23

      that literally makes no sense. if you have anything relevant to this man's awesome voice, please try to redeem yourself by not sounding retarded

      January 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeOKC

      Amen dj23!

      January 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't Worry

      epic dj!! this fool is obviously tone deaf.

      January 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisdom4u2

      Thank you for letting us see how you wasted your human life, with stupidity!!

      Mr. Williams, on the other hand, has proven that his life was NOT in vain!!

      January 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RadioDJ

    Anyone that does not think this is a great story is really living a miserable life no matter how much money they are making. I don't know the man but I am happy for him. If you want to be a grouch and hate on him then grab your NRA approved shotgun and take care of yourselves. The rest of us humans care.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      Couldnt agree more. Great story.

      January 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      Hey.... I'm very happy for him....I'm just embarassed for all the stupid people who are saying it's God's gift when all the other homeless are still starving!!!!!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisdom4u2

      EXACTAMUNDO!!

      Ain't that the TRUTH??

      January 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisdom4u2

      @ Death Panel Sarah

      You are simply overlooking the obvious!!!

      This 'homeless' man knew his gift was from God and he gave God the Glory, thereby releasing God's ability to work in his life, you know....sort of like what JESUS did, give God all the Glory!!!

      Anytime you give God the Glory, He likes to show up and show off His ability; But of course I’m sure you don’t know anything about ‘God’s Abilities’, because you‘ve never given Him His rightful share of the Glory, seeing you need it all for yourself!!

      January 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      To .. (non)Wisdom4u2.....
      take your pill and go get brainwashed some more.....

      your religion is falling apart around you....(flat earth indeed!)

      January 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisdom4u2

      @ Death Panel Sarah

      Why are you trying to shoot the messenger? I’m just telling you what it’s about!!

      Mr. Williams said this in an interview:

      "I'm just so thankful. God has blessed me so deeply. I'm getting a second chance. Amazing."

      His words exactly!!!!

      Not everyone is a dumb as you are, most know that God is Good, however this earthly life is mixed with good and bad!! It’s not that hard to understand!!

      I think your name says it all!! DUH!

      January 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      To (non)Wisdom4u2..... Yes, your words sound like a 'good christian'!!!
      My friend, do not TRY to question my intelligence, as I can beat you at any I.Q. test!!!(plus, I am not brainwashed!)

      January 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mommamisti

    This is a beautiful story!! God bless him an his fortune an keep him strong.. As for all you haters~ get a life

    January 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Penny

    Mr Ted Williams you truly have the gift of voice. Really glad for the guy that did video on you too. The Cavs have a winner here. Good luck on UR new begining& on being clean& sober. Please keep us posted on how U are doing. I see a book deal coming too. I am unemployed too. I wish upon a star I could have this good of an outcome. Ted you are the best. At last some good news. Thanks Ted. Only the best to you. Good luck.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Maxine Francis

    Nothing to do with God? God forgive you peopke that believe that! God Bless you Ted Williams!

    Speechless

    January 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      That is correct. Humans don't need the great spaghetti monster in the sky in order to be compassionate and caring.

      January 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DisgruntledGrrl

    Wasn't this guy a star in the mid fifties? He looks darn familiar.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Actually, you might be thinking of Sammy Davis Jr. They both have very similar facial features.

      January 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisdom4u2

      @ Mary

      You are one stupid Hoe!!! They don't look a thing alike!!

      January 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      To (non)Wisdom4u2..... what a 'Christian' thing to say!!!!!!
      You must be a republican false-worshipper!!!!

      January 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JangLee

    China just heard about Ted Williams through Tweet, we wish we had opportunities like him. China roots for Ted Williams!

    January 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darren

    I applaude this man for wanting to recover. He's already proven that by being sober 2 years. He's trying, he should be given a second chance. Great story CNN.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cyan

    this story is the best..i hope he really does well..im gonna keep him in my prayers and if he keeps his nose clean, he'll go far..i ilke to hear stories like this..it proves that having faith will make things work out in the long run..God Bless him! Good for you, Ted!

    January 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. blahh

    a second chance for a guy who did drugs and was an alcoholic is way better than the second chance story of a football player we all know about.

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