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New York singing janitor video goes viral

Janitor With Amazing Singing Voice Goes Viral

HARLEM (PIX11) – A thunderous voice regularly fills the stairwell inside a Harlem apartment building. They're powerhouse singing chops that can't be denied and they belong to janitor John Maldonado.

The Brooklyn man, who has cleaned floors and taken out trash for nearly a decade at the Lenox Avenue residential building, recently surfaced on YouTube and sheds light on a story all too familiar of undiscovered talent in New York City.

"When I was younger I used to sing for my family for get-togethers," Maldonado told PIX11 News. "I sing for my friends, but I never really pursued it. Secretly I always wanted to be a singer but I've always been nervous."

From pop stars like Mariah Carey to John Legend, Maldonado has covered all the greats, putting his own smooth falsetto style to their hits.

Despite failed auditions on singing competition shows like 'American Idol' and 'The Voice,' he hasn't let go of the dream, using the hallways and stairwells as his personal studio to record music.

"Unfortunately, I can't afford studio time at the moment," he said. "In the meantime, I use the hallways for the echo and I've put some videos up on YouTube and some people have taken notice."

Some of those people are the tenants at the Lenox Avenue dwelling. "He has such an amazing voice. It's a blessing to hear that type of music -- to hear that voice in the morning when you wake up," tenant Cora Heckstall said.

Other tenants like Billie Jean Edge relish at the opportunity to hear Maldonado belt out a tune. "Whenever I hear him sing, I run out of my apartment and swing that door open and tell him, 'Sing it, baby!'" she said. "Thank the Lord! The world needs to hear his voice. That's what God put in you to do."

When it comes to the goal, Maldonado doesn't beat around the bush. "The dream is to be a singer," he said. "I want the people whose songs I sing to start singing my songs." He adds, "I enjoy my gift and give all thanks to God and I'm going to keep singing no matter what happens."

To watch John Maldonado on YouTube, visit his channel.

Join the discussion

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jgesselberty June 07 2014 at 8:39 AM

And Hollywood is filled with millionaires who can't come close to this man's voice. Because he actually sings, but doesn't recite filthy limericks set to a rap beat. The world is upside down.

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2 replies
*Antje D & OMax* jgesselberty June 07 2014 at 12:05 PM

Is there someone "OUT-AND-ABOUT" TO HELP & SUPPORT this Gentleman TO GET ADMITTED FOR HIS MUSIC / SINGING DEGREE at the right-placed UNIVERSITY USA! --- omaxh@aol.com/

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cgssnavickas jgesselberty June 07 2014 at 12:28 PM

Not to mention that if you don't look like Justin Bieber or Brittany Spears, they don't want to hear you. (And neither of those two can sing.)

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2 replies
muffin cgssnavickas June 07 2014 at 3:03 PM

But BS and JB are the nit wit twits

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george9448 cgssnavickas June 07 2014 at 4:32 PM

Totally agree-that's why they need 20 costume changes and all those stupid dancers-to hide the very fact they cannot , in fact, sing.

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Beckey Neal June 07 2014 at 7:53 AM

Awesome voice and it comes from his heart. Someone needs to help this guy get in the business.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
1 reply
mjones6302 Beckey Neal June 07 2014 at 10:09 AM


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Madeleine June 07 2014 at 7:30 AM

Don't give up John. You have a gift.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
rwitchwoman63 June 07 2014 at 8:30 AM

Amazing!....What a great voice!!!!

Flag Reply +15 rate up
garcialibby June 07 2014 at 10:15 AM

SOMEONE PLEASE ASSIST THIS MAN TO GET TO WHERE HE NEEDS TO BE. His singing comes from his soul and not from greed of the discovery or money. Now this is a good feeling news worthy article.

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rmvp914 June 07 2014 at 11:21 AM

John . . . your voice is a gift from God and I am certain we will be seeing you and hearing you on the air waves soon. Keep on singing . . . the right person will hear you.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
chuck June 07 2014 at 1:09 PM

damn, i've heard better out of a cat late at night looking for a lady to play with.

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3 replies
cgssnavickas June 07 2014 at 12:27 PM

I think I know why he failed at auditions for American Idol and The Voice. He's too old to be on either one of them and he doesn't have the "pop idol look" that goes with the voice. It's all on appearances, not on how well you actually sing. It's a shame that he was rejected for those two shows, maybe he should try to go on "America's Got Talent." At least they don't care if you have looks or not.

I hope he gets to realize his dreams one day. He sounds better than these so-called winners of said above talent shows.

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1 reply
cinismax cgssnavickas June 07 2014 at 8:00 PM

The way some looked on idol should be hidden behind a door :(

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ht4cycle June 07 2014 at 9:45 AM

There is undiscovered talent all over the world. Everyone can't be a superstar. Just the way it is. I have known people with great voices, amazing guitar players, dancers and actors but all were Firefighters because there just isn't enough space in the entertainment world for everyone to make a living. That is life. You just have to enjoy the opportunities to listen to them or watch them when the chance comes up. Talent is all around us. We don't have to seek it out in venues that charge an arm and a leg. Enjoy.

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1 reply
lkemer ht4cycle June 07 2014 at 4:34 PM

True, there isn't enough room in the entertainment world for everyone to make a living. But if we would stop throwing our money at "Good Looks, Yet NO Talent", there would be more room for people "With Real Talent". There are so many singers and actors today with absolutely no talent, yet they are making enormous amounts of money because of their looks and their connections to Hollywood. I blame the public for this fiasco because we are more interested in appearances rather than TRUE TALENT. The brainwashing of people is at an all time high in this country.

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1 reply
ycastel718 lkemer June 08 2014 at 12:45 AM


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mike June 07 2014 at 11:11 AM

not sure if his singing would make my day.....erastos

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1 reply
myfriendindover mike June 07 2014 at 4:27 PM

It made my dog's day. She won't stop howling.

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1 reply
cinismax myfriendindover June 07 2014 at 8:00 PM


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