Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” creates two new YouTube sensations

Singer Katy Perry has made a couple of people quite famous in the last few months with Teenage Dream, a song that hit number two on the charts in Canada earlier this year and hit number one in the U.S., Brazil, Poland, New Zealand, Scotland, Slovakia, Ireland and Israel.

On August 28, a 15-year-old boy named Keenan Cahill uploaded a video to his YouTube channel of him singing along (or “lip-synching”) to the song. The video became an instant YouTube smash, but for all the wrong reasons – at least at first.

Cahill has Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome, a disease that causes a person to stop growing after the age of eight.

It also causes a variety of other symptoms, including short stature, progressively dysmorphic facial features, corneal clouding, cardiac valvular disease, joint stiffness and skeletal abnormalities. Intelligence is not affected.

So, with all that said and done, Keenan is a “normal” 15-year-old kid who just doesn’t look like other 15-year-olds. He’s short and his face is a bit different looking. YouTube, with all the good it has done, is infamously ripe with haters who regularly troll the website leaving nasty comments on videos.

Because of Keenan’s different look, he became the brunt of online bullying like we’ve never seen before. His Teenage Dream lip-synched video was posted to Facebook, e-mailed to friends – and roundly mocked. People were laughing at him, not with him. That was until Katy Perry herself saw the video – obviously Keenan was a huge fan of hers – and she took to Twitter to defend him. “THIS… is my Teenage Dream,” she wrote, along with a link to his video. Later, she added, “I heart you @KeenanCahill.”

Instantly, Keenan then went from being made fun of to cool. Since then, his Teenage Dream video has been seen an incredible 17 million times and his YouTube channel (youtube.com/beenerkeekee19952) has more than 25,000 subscribers.

He’s become so famous that he’s even started to be invited as a guest on talk shows. Last week, he appeared on Chelsea Handler’s show, where he received a new Flip cam for making videos. Keenan also debuted a new video (Down on Me) with a cameo appearance by rapper 50 Cent, elevating his coolness factor that much more.

Despite the haters around the Internet, it’s pretty clear that Keenan has struck a positive chord with many people who aren’t happy with the online bullying he’d been subjected to.

On the other end of the spectrum was a video posted to the official YouTube channel of Glee, the massively popular Fox network show about a high school glee club (youtube.com/gleeonfox). The show’s spawned a multitude of hits for its cast, the most famous of which is their cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.

Two weeks ago on the Never Been Kissed Glee episode, a cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream sung by guest star Darren Criss became an overnight sensation, becoming the show’s fastest-selling single to date – and likely its bestselling single when all is said and done. The song also hit #1 on Billboard’s digital downloads chart.

Since the show aired and the song became a major hit, Criss has been signed as a regular on the show.

Criss appears as a gay student at a rival high school who becomes a mentor and possible love interest for Glee regular Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt, the only gay kid who’s out of the closet at McKinley High.

While visiting the rival high school, Kurt meets up with Blaine (played by Criss) who tells him that the members of the glee club at his high school are treated like rock stars.

This is quite a shock to Kurt, who has suffered at the hands of bullies at McKinley for not only being gay, but for being in glee club.

Criss’ catchy rendition of Teenage Dream caused an online storm of praise and positive comments immediately, sending iTunes into a frenzy, as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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