Meet Mike Yung: a soulful singer with an incredible baritone who spent most of his life busking in New York City subway stations.
Yung has always loved singing more than anything in the world. Back in 1980, Yung almost got his big break. He signed with Jim Tyrell, a record producer who worked at CBS. Yung recorded an album, but unfortunately, Tyrell went bankrupt before Yung’s album was released.
“Something went wrong, and Tyrell didn’t get to do my album before he went bankrupt,” Yung told Pitchfork. “Nothing came of that. But you continue to do what you can do to pay your bills and keep your head from going insane.”
After that, Yung briefly worked at NYC’s Parks and Recreation department, but his heart wasn’t in it. The only thing he wanted to do was sing.
And so, Yung quit his job and began busking at different subway stations. He continued doing this for 37 years.
Yung also sings with a few different bands, including Deja Blue and Majestic K-Funk. Yung was able to support himself with the money he made busking and singing with these bands.
Since Yung was so talented, people naturally stopped to watch him while they were in the subway. People also started recording videos of him on their phones. These videos began going viral.
The first video that went viral was one of Yung singing “Unchained Melody.” Everyone was amazed by his deep, crooning voice. The video received over 10 million views on Twitter and more than three million views on YouTube.
A video of Yung singing “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” to a baby also went viral. The adorable little boy was entranced by Yung’s voice!
After finding success online, Yung decided to take his talents to a bigger stage. In 2017, he auditioned for America’s Got Talent.
Before Yung began singing, Simon Cowell asked him why he auditioned for America’s Got Talent. Yung had a great answer for him.
“Well, success is what you make it, right?” Yung said. “But there’s no better stage, no better place to be, than right here.”
Yung sang the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” for his audition, and the judges loved it. He sailed into the next round.
Yung also did well in the quarterfinals—for that round, he sang “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Unfortunately, Yung was eliminated in the semi-finals after singing Solomon Burke’s “Don’t Give Up on Me.”
Today, Yung still spends most of his time singing.
Yung has released a few singles, and he also regularly posts videos on his YouTube page. He also went on tour in 2018. Yung is still reaching for his dreams!
Yung is a talented singer who loves performing more than anything else. If you’d like to see Yung’s incredible America’s Got Talent audition, check it out below.
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Source: Talent Recap