CNN on Tuesday published a headline article about a South Korean amateur singer whose baritone string vocals have apparently captivated not only the local viewers but an international audience as well, likening him to “Britain's Got Talent” sensation Susan Boyle.
On June 4, Sung Bong Choi made it onto the Korean equivalent of the British show, "Korea's Got Talent." After carrying out a touching opera performance of "Nella Fantasia," the 22-year-old Choi quickly became an instant sensation in South Korea.
CNN's Manisha Tank also reported that his videos received about 10 million views at the time and all this activity lead to the sprouting of Choi's fan page on Facebook.
Unlike his voice, Choi's childhood was not so splendid.
At the age of three, Choi was abandoned by his family and was taken into custody by an orphanage from which he ran away at the age of five, according to the Korea Times.
As a street boy who grew up selling gum and sleeping on the staircases of buildings, Choi confessed that he gained interest in singing while listening to performers sing at a local club while selling gum.
Although Reuters called Choi "a street boy who pulled at the heart strings of millions," Choi as well as the show that aired his performance are subject to a growing controversy as news broke about Choi having originally studied singing during his high school years, a detail the show edited out.
Choi confirmed the fact that he was attending high school during the show, but quickly continued to the singing.
The following is Choi's June 4th, performance: