Have you heard of Sung-bong Choi from Korea? He has been dubbed the Susan Boyle of Korea. His story is humbling, to say the least, and his amazing voice gave me chills.
When Sung-bong Choi decided to sing on the Talent Show Korea’s Got Talent he had no idea that he would win the hearts of millions all over the world.
The depth of feeling in this "throw away kid" really touches our hearts. Growing up alone, his soul found a way to stay alive and do much more than survive. Against all odds, he has been able to keep in touch with his feelings and express himself so powerfully with his incredible voice.
Choi Sung-bong has overcome tremendous challenges in his life, but he has never given up and he keeps moving forward no matter what is thrown at him. At the age of three, Choi was abandoned in an orphanage in Korea. He claims that he ran away from the orphanage at the age of five after enduring several beatings by the people there. During his younger years, he survived by selling energy drinks and gum on the streets. The only places he could find to sleep were in stairwells and public restrooms. By the age of eight, he was working as a manual laborer and a delivery boy.
While doing these jobs, he met a women who ran a food cart outside a night club and she encouraged him to take the general education equivalency exam in Korea so that he could finish his basic schooling and enter high school. Ultimately, he graduated from Daejeon Arts High School, but he never received any vocal training because he did not have the funds to pay for the master classes.
Undeterred, Choi would listen to music and practice singing songs. During one his stays at Kun Yang University Hospital where he was being treated for medical issues involving a car accident, Choi volunteered to perform a recital for four students who needed financial aid for schools during his in-patient stay. He continued to sing because he said that this was the one thing he loved to do after living such a hard life in early childhood.
Choi ultimately ended up on the show Korea's Got Talent and the video below shows his initial appearance. He became immensely popular in Korea during the 2012 season and he finished second in the competition. Because of his TV exposure, his background was checked intensely and has been verified by the South Korean media. Choi truly exhibits strength and courage to keep fighting in life no matter what obstacles are in your way.
Sung-bong told the judges that even though he didn’t think he could sing very well, he sang because it made him happy. The story of his childhood is so moving that even the judges had a hard time keeping their composure.
They couldn't have been more surprised.