Week after week, year after year, since 2007, Karen Eng has been entertaining the "troops" - the hundreds or thousands that have been her loyal YouTube fans. Many of them truly count her as a friend, and one thing is certain - Eng is loyal!
The fans matter
She enriches their life. She sings and mimics voices extraordinarily well, dances completely in rhythm, and is sweet and sexy - all rolled into one. She takes song suggestions from her fans, and will return comments that are polite but not from rippers or trolls. Eng is a big fan too, and watches others videos.
This multi talented woman has created colorful dynamic song videos that emulate Heart, Olivia Newton-John, Julie Andrews, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, Barbra Streisand - and so many others. Often she'll use wigs, costumes and make-up to create that special excitement and the matching look. Many song renditions are nearly identical to the originals, where it's quite hard to discern the differences.
Charisma and magnetic appeal
To view Karen Eng, is to watch someone that is never distant, but very warm and approachable, smiling her way thru - looking straight at you as she perpetually moves in accordance with each song's unique rhythm. Everything is natural. No expensive recording equipment is used to artificially enhance the voice. She never lip syncs, though for some reason gets accused of it.
The video "You Only Live twice" shows the credits and introduction into the well-known James Bond movie of long ago. The music is performed beautifully - with those touches of ever present eerieness - by The John Barry Orchestra. Swellmusik has also adroitly superimposed Karen Eng into this production.
Nancy Sinatra sang the original version without a visual of herself. Here you have the hourglass figure of Karen Eng swaying with verses that ooze dreamily, seeping into our senses - as palatable as the taste of your imported maple syrup.
The early years
Eng grew up in "Somewhere", Texas. (She likes to stay a little anonymous and keep some mystery.) This youngster was an active kid, climbing trees, being a good natural dancer and athlete - one of the boys, actually. She was a speedy swimmer and sprinter, and did some work in gymnastics too. Later, softball was embraced - and very successfully too.
As a teenager, this would be star liked to cloister herself off for hours at a time, and just sing everything by world class singers you see her cover now. As a native Texan, she surprisingly never had any type of accent. Karen spent some time in beauty school and eventually had singing lessons, in her 30's. A bit of classical was added to the mix too. (She now resides in "Somewhere Else", Texas.)
Eng displays a temper
For one moment in time, the pretty head is not smiling - it's filled with disgust. She is resigned to what this song is, but repulsed. There are no trademark kisses being blown to the viewer, by puckered lips.
She's living the song, becoming the song, lashing out in anger, while singing "do it in the name of heaven". Karen crinkles her nose, like never seen before, fists a-flying and green eyes flaming, as her verse says: "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend". Those eyes flash at that show of total betrayal.
This isn't the world of Karen Eng, this one with too many aliens; one that unwaveringly and steadfastly murders for greed and fame. She fully grasps that it's not just a song.
The world that she decides to inhabit
This is Eng's stomping grounds - "What The World Needs Now", (Jackie DeShannon) the direct counterpoint to "One Tin Soldier"; Karen exhibiting those broad beaming smiles. She's up close, right in your face - but you fully gravitate to this radiating warmth, in another of her most popular videos. Eng sways her shoulders in perfect unison to end the song in pure happiness.
That show case song
If any doubts remain concerning Karen Eng's ability to sing, they should be dispelled after seeing and hearing this number. Karen claims to have been shy till about the age of 40. This tenure of timidity means that thoughts, feelings and imprints have all accumulated as she merely watched from the sideline...biding her time...wondering. It adds up to reservoirs of sensitivity just having to get out; enabling this rare individual to sing with such a resounding result.
Watch those big green eyes. Watch this face. Watch the head movement. Listen to this voice, yearning, craving and rummaging so deeply for something. But what is Karen seeking? What is really being sought, at what level of self awareness, as she serves us this bone chilling, soul searing masterpiece?
What her fans have to say
"Bravo! Better than any Susan Boyle version Karen. You have sung this superbly. It should have been YOU on that stage in front of Simon Cowell...Why could it not have been you?".
Kind regards, Gary Millar Xx
"Karen, your talent is the best "best kept secret" ever." - isuckaman
"Karen, Why haven't you gone professional! Your singing could make you a lot of money, think about it. I think u can do better than U tube! Just a thought." - Johntbear 1947
"OMG! YOU SHOULD BE MAKING MILLIONS!!! PLEASE SING THE WAY WE WERE!!! TERRIFFFFFICCC!!" - Romeo Saltoff
"Hi Karen, just watching a bunch of your videos....I'm just in awe of your talent, Karen...Someone mentioned musical theater, and I have to agree wholeheartedly you'd be awesome on stage. You can perform such a wide variety of styles it's amazing. You're amazing :) You're incredible." - ClearSkyDay
In 2011, and again in 2012, Karen Eng was missing from YouTube, for extended periods of time. The longer it went, the more that admirers were very concerned about their missing sweetheart. Was she sick, busy with school, having personal problems?
Eventually, both times, she reappeared, with the full warmth of the sun - and their world was once again completely on its axis.
The core of this woman
Karen Eng is now 50! (As of February, 2013) You read that right. She once had a goal of making CD'S and going where that would lead her. It's unclear what happened with that. Certainly, without doubt, you could have pictured her as the singing, dancing front woman for an exciting band in an exciting night club. Who wouldn't have enjoyed seeing that?
The Karen Eng blog, of April 2013, entitled: "Be Yourself", is compelling in its simplicity and wholesomeness. She has been studying to be a nurse. She'd previously taken care of two aging parents and saw how rewarding that was. Eng says: "I will be a good nurse, maybe a singing nurse", she reveals, laughingly. Yes, no doubt you can picture her being something like Julie Andrews, as the singing nanny, in "The Sound of Music". She has always said: "I want to make people feel good".Credit: ebaumsworld.com
In full expressiveness, Karen is imploring us. She's never used cue cards or read from a script - it's straight from the heart. As incredible (or crazy?) as it sounds, watching her is reminiscent of viewing "The Great Communicator" - Ronald Reagan himself, in one of his speeches; so simple, yet so very deep and impactful.
This wildly talented, amazing looking 50 year old (with a photographic memory) offers: "I'll lift you up. You lift me up! Think good thoughts about me. I'll think good thoughts about you". In print, it almost seems like comedy when Eng says: "I don't put down atheists...Satanists...witches...Buddhists...Catholics...Protestants..."
But it's not comedic. It's serious. The video shows total sincerety. Engs says: "I would never step on your toes. Please don't step on mine". It's spoken sweetly, with some wonderment. She just can't understand why anybody would ever subscribe to such behavior.
When Karen talked about positivity vs negativity and how we should be individuals, the atmospherics of that projection and connection were equal to professional speakers, that many of us have paid to see, at some moment in our lives. The difference is that none of this was rehearsed.
There were many bless her heart moments in this blog.
We never know as much as we think we know about politicians, actors, athletes, neighbors - and even friends. The painting is maddeningly incomplete. So we play the cards we're dealt.
Nonetheless, it's really not difficult to be proud of Karen Eng, like we would be with a mother, daughter, sister or wife - that we didn't know had all this in her.