DEATH THREATS FOR UNLIKELY 'IDOL'

Published on: May 24, 2004

SHE BANGS? He hopes not! "American Idol" reject William Hung has been hit with death threats, sources have told The ENQUIRER. The 21-year-old Asian-American singer -- who mangles hits by Ricky Martin, Elton John and others -- is so scared, he refuses to croon at nightclubs, say sources.

But Hung is not so hung up that he refuses to play arenas or stadiums where he is far from the crowd.

SCARED

"William says he's frightened to death of playing small venues, like nightclubs," divulged a music industry insider.

"After his private telephone number somehow got out on the Internet, threats started pouring in from crackpots. "He recently turned down more than $250,000 for 30 personal appearances at different nightclubs around the country.

"Hung told the promoter who offered him the deal that he's taking the threats very seriously and said, 'I guess some people out there don't like me.' "

Fortunately, the University of California Berkeley engineering student feels comfortable regaling large audiences with his rendition of "She Bangs" and other unique stylings.

Just recently, several hundred musically challenged fans showed up to see him sing three numbers at Detroit's Oakland Mall.

The off-key wonder also warbled for about 17,000 at an NBA playoff basketball game.

CAREER SOARING

Hung has even landed gigs on the same bill as Lenny Kravitz, OutKast, Janet Jackson and Jessica Simpson.

His debut CD cracked Billboard's Top 40, selling nearly 38,000 copies.

The self-proclaimed Real American Idol has appeared on "Today" "The Tonight Show" and other coveted spots.

NOVELTY?

However, most people believe his career as a novelty act won't last long.

But Hung has high hopes.

He told the club promoter: "Maybe I'll do a club tour next year or the year after, when the death threats stop." -- MICHAEL GYLNN