Police Nab Social Media Star For Being "Too Ugly to Sing" and Make Him Apologize for Destroying Classics

"King of cringe pop" hauled in by the law.

Mangling classic songs is a tradition—just look at any karaoke night. But one Bangladeshi singer claims it got him treated like a criminal. Hero Alom, whose off-key versions of traditional tunes have scored him millions of social-media followers, said he was recently detained by local police, who told him to stop singing. Read on to find out what happened next.

1
Who Is Hero Alom?

Hero Alom
YouTube/HeroAlomOfficial

Alom has attracted nearly two million Facebook followers and 1.5 million YouTube subscribers with his "unique crooning style and arresting, raunchy videos," as Agence France-Press says. His video for Arabian Song has racked up 17 million views on YouTube. "But he has also drawn critics' scorn, particularly for versions of classic songs of two beloved national treasures, including Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladesh's national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam," reports AFP.

Critics and casual listeners say Alom's singing is not what has traditionally been described as good. News 18 called Alom a "king of cringe pop," comparing him to the ubiquitous (and much maligned) American Friday singer Rebecca Black.

2
"King of Cringe Pop" Hauled in By Police

Hero Alom
YouTube/HeroAlomOfficial

Last week, Alom told AFP that he was picked up at dawn by Bangladeshi police and "mentally tortured," told to stop performing classical songs and that he was too ugly to be a singer. "The police picked me up at 6 a.m. and kept me there for eight hours," said Alom, who claimed the authorities told him to stop using the name Hero and made him sign an official document of apology.

3
Police Say "We Received Many Complaints"

Hero Alom
YouTube/HeroAlomOfficial

Dhaka's chief detective Harun ur Rashid said Alom had apologized for his singing style and for wearing police uniforms without permission in his videos. "We received many complaints against him," he told the AFP. "(He) totally changed the (traditional) style (of singing) … He assured us that he won't repeat this."

"Presumably by getting voice lessons?" wondered Daily Star columnist Nadine Shaanta Murshid.

4
Alom Earns Support on Social Media

Hero Alom
YouTube/HeroAlomOfficial

Alom has already released a new video depicting himself behind bars in a prison outfit, singing a song about being under threat of hanging. His ordeal has attracted support on social media, where the police action has been lambasted as a threat to individual rights. "I am not a fan of your songs or your acting. But if there is an attempt to muzzle your voice, I stand up against it," said journalist Aditya Arafat on Facebook. 

5
"I Felt Like I Am a Hero"

Hero Alom
YouTube/HeroAlomOfficial

Alom, an occasional actor, participated in Bangladesh's parliamentary election in 2018 as an independent candidate, earning 638 votes, AFP reported. He said he started Hero after becoming popular in his hometown of Bogra. "I felt like I am a hero. So I took the name Hero Alom. I won't drop this name no matter what," he said. "At present, it seems you can't even sing with freedom in Bangladesh."

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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