Sony Signs ‘Little Fatty’

Sony Music Entertainment has signed Taiwanese singing sensation Lin Yu Chun, known for a recent Whitney Houston rendition that’s become a hit on YouTube, to a recording contract.

Lin shot to fame earlier this year after singing a spot-on version of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” on a local reality show called “Avenue to Stardom.”

A video of the performance was uploaded to YouTube, where it received more than 10 million hits. Lin was actually voted off the show by the judges. The contract signing took place May 13 in Shanghai to take advantage of the media interest in the Shanghai World Expo.

Lin is 24 years old and male, though other details of his public image are that he’s shy, slightly overweight (affectionately nicknamed “little fatty” in the Chinese press), and sports a very unflattering bowl-shaped hairstyle. Comparisons to Scottish singer Susan Boyle were inevitable and voluminous.

Unlike Boyle, Lin immediately cashed in on his viral fame by going to the U.S. and appearing on TV, namely “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” where he sang “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

“In order to get success, one does not have to be good-looking or smart. What is required is being yourself and try your best,” he told the press.

He also sang at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles May 22 in a tribute to Taiwan.

Sony is wasting no time, either. The record company says it will release Lin’s debut album in July.

It will be a compilation of Chinese and English-language songs.