Inspiration (William Hung album)

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Studio album by William Hung
ReleasedApril 6, 2004
RecordedMarch 6–7, 2004
StudioThe Facility III, Fantasy Studios and Ashe Music Studios[1]
GenrePop, rock
ProducerDee Sonaram
William Hung chronology
Hung for the Holidays

Inspiration, originally planned to be True Idol,[2] is the debut album of William Hung, originally recorded at Fantasy Studios and released by Koch Entertainment, now Entertainment One, in 2004. Although the album was commercially successful, it received a highly negative critical reception due to Hung's poor vocals and the sound of the karaoke tracks used in the album.


The album was recorded following the early 2004 broadcast of his failed American Idol audition where Hung received notoriety and a cult following, and released on April 6, 2004 by Koch Entertainment, now Entertainment One. The album was recorded the weekend of March 6, 2004, with Hung singing vocals over karaoke music, and was put together in 5 weeks.[3] The album includes a 40-minute DVD documentary entitled A Day in the Life of a Small William Hung.

Release and commercial performance[edit]

Two weeks before the release of Inspiration, iTunes did a "Pre-Release Teaser" where they sold four tracks from the album. The tracks received a total of 25,000 downloads.[4] To promote the album, Hung performed before nearly 20,000 fans during half-time at a Golden State Warriors game on April 6. Later that week, he performed his signature song, "She Bangs", on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and appeared on The Today Show.

The album peaked on the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 34, selling 37,676 units during its first week[4][5] and peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Independent Album chart. The album was the fifth best seller at Trans World stores, and at Tower Records was No. 14, behind Modest Mouse.[3] The album has sold a total of 200,000 copies.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic1/5 stars[7]
IGN0.5/10 stars[8]
Entertainment WeeklyF[9]
Stylus MagazineD-[10]
Shakingthrough.net0/5 stars[11]
People1/4 stars[12]
The Florida Times-UnionNegative[13]
Milwaukee Journal SentinelNegative[14]
Pittsburgh Post-GazetteNegative[15]
The Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewNegative[17]
The Morning CallNegative[18]
Houston PressNegative[19]
San Francisco WeeklyNegative[20]

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave Inspiration one star out of five, but adding it was still worth a chuckle or two for those wanting a laugh, "since it has some of the worst singing ever captured on record". He also said that the album should've been a four-track single or Extended play, because "there are really only four tracks of note and that's about all that anybody could take of this anyway."[7] The album was scored by IGN's Chris Cale a 0.5 out of ten, remarking that Hung smattered other musicians' hits, took the time to "carefully destroy each and every one" and that Hung's "music is a cacophony of wrong-notes, stoic delivery and shoddy rhythm", warning readers not to buy the album.[8] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly, who graded the album an F, said that it "adds a particularly ugly race card" to the tradition of "William Shatner to schizophrenic indie-rock icon Wesley Willis."[9]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Words of Gratitude"
  2. "She Bangs" (originally by Ricky Martin)
  3. "Bailamos" (originally by Enrique Iglesias)
  4. "Inspirational Thoughts: Passion"
  5. "I Believe I Can Fly" (originally by R. Kelly)
  6. "Hotel California" (originally by Eagles)
  7. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (originally by Elton John)
  8. "Two Worlds" (originally by Phil Collins)
  9. "Inspirational Thoughts: Perseverance"
  10. "Rocket Man" (originally by Elton John)
  11. "Free" (original song by Saul Alvarez)
  12. "Circle of Life" (originally by Elton John)
  13. "Inspirational Thoughts: Be Yourself"
  14. "Y.M.C.A." (featuring The Gonnabees) (originally by The Village People)
  15. "Shake Your Bon-Bon" (originally by Ricky Martin)


  • William Hung – vocals
  • Joshua Gilfand – guitar
  • Oba Frank Lords, Saul Alvarez – percussion, background vocals
  • Giuseppe D. – producer
  • Pepe, Mauro DeSantis, Christopher Young – programming
  • The Gonnabees, Jesika Pate, N'Gai – background vocals


Chart (2004) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[21] 89
US Billboard 200[22] 34
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[23] 1


  1. ^ William Hung - Inspiration (CD). Accessed from June 7, 2013.
  2. ^ Patel, Joseph (March 9, 2004). William Hung Idol-ized With Record Deal, Remixes. MTV. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Moss, Corey (April 12, 2004). William Hung's Sales Figures Are Nothing To Laugh At. MTV. Accessed from June 6, 2013.
  4. ^ a b William Hung's Debut Album 'Inspiration' Debuts at #1 on the Billboard Independent Album Chart and at #34 on the Billboard Top 200.. PR Newswire. April 14, 2004. Accessed from June 6, 2013.
  5. ^ Paulsen, Wade (April 14, 2004). 'Idol' reject William Hung's CD 'Inspiration' debuts at #34 in U.S. sales charts.
  6. ^ Navarro, Mireya (March 4, 2007). Missing: Asian-American pop stars. The New York Times. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. Inspiration - William Hung. Allmusic.
  8. ^ a b Cale, Chris (April 13, 2004). William Hung: Inspiration. IGN.
  9. ^ a b Browne, David (April 23, 2004). Inspiration Review. Entertainment Weekly.
  10. ^ Bastow, Clem (April 26, 2004). William Hung - Inspiration. Stylus Magazine. Accessed from June 6, 2013.
  11. ^ Roberts, Christopher (April 20, 2004). William Hung: Inspiration (2004). Accessed from June 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Picks and Pans Review: Inspiration. People. May 10, 2004. Accessed from June 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Peralta, Eyder (April 14, 2004). REVIEW: 'American Idol' castoff just enjoys singing. The Florida Times-Union. Accessed from June 6, 2013.
  14. ^ Ortiz, Vikki (April 7, 2004). Unusual 'Inspiration'. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  15. ^ Pitts, Jonathan (April 10, 2004). Hung's 'Inspiration' Cruel or Honest fun?. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  16. ^ McGuirk, Mike. Inspiration: William Hung. Rhapsody. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  17. ^ Review at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was removed. Published April 2004. A quote from review was re-posted by Original review by Regis Behe. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  18. ^ Doolittle, James (April 10, 2004). WILLIAM HUNG "INSPIRATION" (Koch). The Morning Call. Accessed from June 8, 2013.
  19. ^ McManus, Brian (May 13, 2004). William Hung - Inspiration (Koch). Houston Press. Accessed from June 9, 2013.
  20. ^ Lamb, Todd (May 5, 2004). William Hung - Inspiration. San Francisco Weekly. Accessed from July 1, 2013.
  21. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 3 May 2004" (PDF) (740). Pandora Archive. June 7, 2004. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  22. ^ "William Hung Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  23. ^ "William Hung Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2013.