For a brief moment in 2011, Ted Williams, known to everyone as “The Man With the Golden Voice,” captivated America with his rags-to-riches story. But the once-homeless and drug-addicted Ohio resident with an instantly iconic radio voice had trouble managing his newfound fame and success. What exactly happened since Williams’ story first went viral?
The Man With the Golden Voice goes viral
Williams’ overnight fame dates back to a video posted by The Columbus Dispatch in 2011, which uncovered his remarkable radio voice. At the time, Williams was homeless and asking for help on the streets of Ohio, aided by a sign that read “I have a God-given gift of voice.” The video went viral; a $375,000 book deal and offers from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, MSNBC, the Cleveland Cavaliers and many others followed soon thereafter. Suddenly, Williams, whose radio career was sidelined by years of addiction to crack and alcohol, had been given a second chance at life. And yet, it didn’t last very long.
Williams goes to rehab (twice)
About a week after he became famous, Williams entered a treatment facility after admitting to Dr. Phil McGraw that he was still drinking. A spokesperson for The Dr. Phil Show also claimed that Williams’s decision to enter rehab was fueled in part by his “strange behavior” and a physical altercation with one of his daughters. Williams lasted just 12 days in the facility before leaving voluntarily.
About four months later, Williams returned to rehab, committing to a 90-day program due to emotional reasons. After entering treatment, the Cleveland Cavaliers opted not to pursue a working relationship with Williams. His book deal and other gigs were also put on hold. Upon completion of rehab, Williams apologized to Dr. Phil for lying about numerous things, including his sobriety.
Williams finally releases his book
Williams appeared on the Today show in May 2012 to discuss the release of his book, A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation, as well as his battle with sobriety, especially after his newfound fame and fortune. He told Matt Lauer about what he did when he went to California:
“I figured, since it wasn’t my drug of choice, so to speak, alcohol could be my new drug. I could go and start drinking and nobody would know. Everybody would know Ted was on crack, but they wouldn’t know that Ted was drinking.”
Despite his struggles, Williams maintained that he was a little over a year sober. He also said he had surrounded himself with better people this time around, including a new lawyer. Still, Williams admitted his battle to stay sober was still ongoing. He said, “[I take it] one day at a time.”
Williams opens up about struggles, finances
In October 2014, nearly four years after they first discovered him, The Columbus Dispatch sat down with Williams for a lengthy interview, during which Williams revealed he had been struggling financially, despite maintaining his deal with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, landing a six-figure book deal, and securing other radio and voiceover gigs along the way.
He admitted: “Financially, I’m a little under the weather. A lot of things that I signed early on, in 2011, [I] probably shouldn’t have signed. A lot of people that were involved in my life then shouldn’t have been.”
Williams, who in 2013 narrated the documentary Houseless, went on to admit he didn’t even own a single piece of furniture.
“I own nothing. I don’t even have a car right now.” He added that his current manager has to drive him to his gig in Marion. Among his dreams for the future included buying an automobile, obtaining his drivers license, and getting a place of his own. On the bright side: Williams confirmed he was still in fact sober.
Williams for President?
Of all the wild stories to come out of Williams’ rise to fame, none was as surprising as the time he announced he would be running for President of the United States. According to USA Today, Williams made the announcement in June 2015 while appearing on Scott Spears’ “Now” radio program on WWGH-FM in Marion.
He said, “I was created to create change. I want to do it big. Looking at all the other people running, I said why not change things on the highest level.”
Far-fetched? Maybe. However, Williams, who in recent years has done a lot of motivational speaking, cited Republican candidate Donald Trump as one of his reasons for entering the ring. According to USA Today, Williams put it simply: “If he can do it, I can do it.”
But his bid for the White House was ultimately short-lived, ending in summer 2015 before it ever truly launched. He told NBC News, “I wanted to focus on other things. I wanted to inspire and encourage.”
The Joy of Pepsi
In October 2015, AdAge confirmed that Williams had lent his voice to Pepsi’s relaunched “Joy of Pepsi” campaign. Williams’ voice is featured at the beginning of the ad, in which Tori Kelly sings a new version of the company’s jingle that was originally sung by Britney Spears.
Williams brings it all home
Five years after their video made him famous, The Columbus Dispatch profiled Williams again to see how he had been doing. As it turns out, he had good news to report: he had begun starring in his own weekday radio program, “The Golden Voice Show,” in Columbus. The best part: it was on WVKO-AM, which The Columbus Dispatch says is the same radio station on which Williams began his career in the ’80s. Williams said with a laugh: “I’m almost like a poster child for redemption.”
Credits (article source): nickiswift.com