It was only about a year and a half ago that a homeless man with a beautiful deep voice became a pop culture sensation. That was Ted Williams, a former drug user who held up a cardboard sign that read, “I have a God given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be gratefully appreciated. Thank you and God bless you!”
William’s thrust to fame was the result of a photographer capturing William’s golden voice demonstration. The video went viral, being viewed over 30,000 times the first day it was posted; an unprecedented explosion of popularity.
Almost instantly, Ted was seen in every newspaper, TV station and internet service known to the free world. Williams made the rounds on national morning shows in the US, including one where he reunited with his mother.
In addition, the newspaper that posted the video was inundated with calls and emails offering Williams a wealth of job opportunities, with one company even proposing a position as a voice over artist with a fully-paid mortgage to buy a house or apartment.
But there was a steep price to pay for all the newly found fame. The man nicknamed ‘Golden Voice’, due to his silky delivery, admitted that coming into money for the first time in 17 years allowed him to binge on alcohol – and led to two stints in rehab.
Williams, 54, now claims to be clean and sober for more than a year and surrounded by good people. After emerging from his second stint in rehab, Williams celebrated his one-year anniversary of sobriety by walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding earlier this month.
Being sober isn’t his only feat as Williams has also written a new book. “A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation” is a tribute to how God has changed this man’s life.
The book chronicles his life on the street before becoming a YouTube sensation, detailing how his addictions to drugs and alcohol cost him his job as a No. 1 drive-time DJ as well as his family, leading to him being homeless and begging for money on the street.
In a recent interview, Williams said that after 17 long years on the streets, he began hearing the voice of God in 2010, urging him to change his life and be a better person.
“I would literally throw stuff on the ground as litter and that voice would say, ‘I didn’t create this world to look nasty,” and I would actually walk back as far as quarter-mile to go pick that up and throw it in the trash can,” he said.
He went on: “I never lost hope. I would ask God, ‘Please, let my mother and myself stay alive one more year. Lord, please, let a life-changing turnaround happen in my life so that my mother would not close her eyes saying, ‘I did a bad job raising this child.’’’