Samuel Tsui (Born May 2, 1989) is an American musician and Internet celebrity who rose to fame on YouTube. He is best known for covering and performing songs by popular artists such as Adele, Britney Spears, Jay Sean, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, as well as original medleys and mashups. Tsui graduated from Yale University in 2011.
According to his profile on The Duke's Men of Yale's official website, Tsui is from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Tsui grew up a street away from Kurt Schneider, his producer and accompanist, with whom he attended Wissahickon High School. He was active in high school musicals, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Urinetown, and Miss Saigon. Tsui attended Yale University, where he was a member of Davenport College and The Duke's Men of Yale, an all-male a cappella group. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a major in classical Greek in 2011. Sam is proficient in the C++ programming language, as stated in an interview on March 5.
Collaborations between Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider began in high school with an electronic keyboard, primitive recording equipment, and GarageBand. Both attended Yale University, and there a musical partnership developed. As of February 2012, the YouTube channel "KurtHugoSchneider" has garnered over 525 million total views and over two million subscribers. The most viewed video is Just a Dream, with more than sixty million views. His videos have been described by Time as a combination of Glee and Attack of the Clones.
In December 2010, Tsui made a collaboration with fellow YouTube singer Christina Grimmie, singing Just A Dream. On February 3, 2011, Tsui was featured on Britney Spears' official website, along with his cover of Hold It Against Me. In March 2011, Tsui, and like from his song "Start Again", were also mentioned in the book "Seeker" by Andy Frankham-Allen published in print format by Hirst Publishing, and in all digital formats by Untreed Reads Publishing. In November 2011, he made a mashup based on two songs, "It Will Rain" by Bruno Mars, and "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele, which have more than 1,800,000 views.
Sam Tsui was mentioned three times by Tom Hanks when he addressed the class of Yale 2011. Tsui is also featured in the 2010 Yale Admissions video, which has a musical twist. The video, entitled, "That's why I chose Yale", reveals information about the college with students and admission officers breaking out into song across the campus.
Starting in 2009, Tsui and Schneider have produced a series of episodes of College Musical, a comedy web series parodying the High School Musical film series, with original songs composed by Schneider. Four episodes have been released, with Tsui playing the lead role of Cooper. Following the popularity of the series, it was announced that a film, currently in production, would be made based on the series.
In November 2009, Tsui appeared on The Bonnie Hunt Show where he was interviewed and performed Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)". He also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on February 22, 2010 along with his producer, Kurt Schneider. The pair was interviewed, and Tsui performed a medley of Michael Jackson's songs. Tsui also appeared on ABC World News on October 28, 2009, singing The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There". In November 2009, Tsui appeared on It's On with Alexa Chung, singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" for the cast of American television series Glee. On December 2, 2010, Tsui gave an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed a mashup of Katy Perry's "Firework" and Bruno Mars' "Grenade" with Schneider.
Tsui was a Behind-The-Scenes host on NBC's a cappella competition show, The Sing-Off Season 3. He has since gone on to record a "Judges Medley" consisting of Sara Bareilles' "Love Song", Ben Folds' "Gone" and Shawn Stockman's (Boyz II Men) "On Bended Knee" which is free to view on both NBC's website and Tsui's independent YouTube channel, TheSamTsui.
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