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CathyMay15 is the YouTube handle used by Norwegian teenager Catherine Marjorie Solumsmo who is best known for uploading a series of videos in which she sings along to a variety of English-language pop songs. Some of the more notable examples include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and “Boom Boom Boom” by Outhere Brothers among others.
Solumsmo’s YouTube channel first came under spotlight in early March 2011, when one of her “karaoke-style” singing videos was posted onto 4chan on March 16th, 2011. The thread generated hundreds of replies on the imageboard, many criticizing her off-key singing voice and some praising her unique style. Out of her 28 videos, Solumsmo’s rendition of Outhere Brothers’ 1995 hip house single “Boom Boom Boom” quickly became the most viewed instance for her unique delivery of “Let Me Hear You Say Wayo,” inspiring a catchphrase as well as a chain of tribute videos by the viewers.
Following the mass exposure of her YouTube uploads, CathyMay15’s YouTube channel was promptly taken down on March 17th, 2011. Soon after the removal of CathyMay15’s YouTube channel and original videos, many YouTubers uploaded their archived duplicates via mirror channels like CathymayReupload and CathyMaay15.
Her tribute to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” also gained much notoriety after a viewer left a crude remark comparing her appearance to a llama in the video comments.
Some of the notable comments from the viewers include:
If there was such a thing as Mormon HipHop, this is what it might sound like.
bq. I was feeling socially inept and awkward today, but this video changed that.
bq. this makes me happy. makes me laugh. made my day.
bq. Some people are just too white to function.
bq. This might be a good reason NOT to home school your children.
In responding to her newfound fame on the Internet, Catherine Marjorie Solumsmo posted a Facebook video message sometime after shutting down her YouTube channel on March 17th. In the video, she thanked the fans for the support while dismissing the harsh critics of her singing skills as “haters.” She also announced that she will not be returning to her YouTube account but will remain open for contact on Facebook.
“I don’t care if I’m off-key, I have my own voice. You have your own voice for a reason.”
On June 12th, 2011, Norwegian news site Adressa interviewed Solumsmo at her home in Berg, Norway about her YouTube videos and international fame. When asked why she posted the videos, Solumsmo explained that she likes to sing and wanted to get feedback on her voice from the YouTube community.