By Todd Peterson
Updated March 31, 2004 01:00 PM

“American Idol’s” acerbic judge Simon Cowell called William Hung the worst singer he had ever seen.

Apparently not everyone agrees.

Shortly after Hung was bounced from the early rounds of the show for his off-key version of the Ricky Martin hit “She Bangs” in February, he — amazingly — won the hearts and ears of some listeners, and now the 21-year-old engineering student is prepping to release his first album on Koch Records, “Inspiration,” the Associated Press reports.

The album, which features Hung’s now-famous rendition of “She Bangs,” also includes Martin’s “Shake Your Bon Bon,” as well as covers of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” a spokesperson at the label tells VH1.

The Eagles, Phil Collins and the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” also get the treatment from the would-be pop star.

The album, due in stores April 6, comes packaged with four inspirational messages from the Hong Kong native, as well as a bonus DVD replete with a documentary, “A Day in the Life of William Hung.”

Since his ouster from the highly rated TV show, Hung has gone on to perform before crowds of more than 25,000 people, AP reports, and even though his popularity has grown exponentially, he acknowledges he has room for improvement. “I want to get better,” he told AP, adding that he plans to take vocal and dancing lessons.

But he takes exception to Cowell’s characterization of him. “I am not the worst singer,” Hung said.

Regardless, Simon is hardly alone in his assessment. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” “Idol” judge Randy Jackson tells VH1. “But, you know, the public loves the car crash as well as the winner. … People want to laugh at him and laugh with him laughing at himself.”