YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill who drew in millions of viewers by revisiting and lip-syncing the greatest pop hits of recent years, died on Thursday. At age one, he was diagnosed with Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that caused his organs and tissues to enlarge.
Because of that, the Chicago-based creator underwent frequent treatments and multiple surgeries, including a bone marrow transplant. According to his social media posts, Cahill was preparing to undergo open heart surgery earlier in December 2022.
Cahill, whose lip-syncing videos featuring the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and 50 Cent went viral, died on Thursday due to complications arising from the surgery. The news was mentioned on his GoFundMe, arranged by Cahill’s aunt, Katie Owens, and his mother’s sister, Erin Cahill.
“We are devastated to announce that our nephew, Keenan Cahill, passed away on December 29th at the age of 27,” Owens wrote on the platform. “Twelve days earlier, he had open heart surgery and was starting to recover, but complications arose that he couldn’t overcome.”
The fundraiser was organized to help cover his medical fees and the expenses incurred over his funeral. According to his manager David Graham, the 27-year-old spent his final moments in a Chicago hospital.
What was Keenan Cahill known for?
Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, Keenan Cahill exploded on the internet during the 2010s when he posted his lip-syncing videos taken in his bedroom. He would jam to commercial hits like Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” and Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” with an electrifying energy that charmed millions worldwide.
In November 2010, 50 Cent appeared in a video on Cahill’s channel where they lip-synced to the rapper’s song “Down on Me.” After that, his rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” earned him a meeting with the pop artist on her “California Dreams” tour in 2011 but that was only the beginning of his walk towards stardom.
Perry then joined Cahill for a duet of the song that now exists on his YouTube channel. The lip sync extraordinaire then shared the screen alongside Jennifer Aniston in a commercial for SmartWater.
Cahill then performed alongside the electronic duo LMFAO on stage at the 2011 American Music Awards. Cahill’s extensive list of collaborations includes Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Nick Cannon, Jason Derulo, David Guetta, Tyra Banks, DJ Pauly D, and a few contestants from “America’s Next Top Model.”
Cahill became one of the early YouTubers to cross 500 million views on his personal channel. He currently has a whopping 725,000 subscribers on his YouTube.
Keenan Cahill became a DJ and producer
Despite being known solely for lip-syncing, Cahill wanted to be more than that. He released a single of his own in 2013 and became a DJ and producer later in life.
“He never made a lot of money, but he enjoyed what he was doing and brought smiles to the faces of so many people,” his grieving family shared on GoFundMe.
His friends and fans admire him for his jolly personality and passion for music. Among celebrities, DJ Pauly D of “Jersey Shore” shared his gratitude to Cahill for “always making the world smile.”
American blogger Perez Hilton paid his respects by reposting a video where he spoke a few words about Cahill and their bond. Popular Twitch user Ellohime, who used to play “RimWorld” with the YouTuber, called him a “Viking forever.”
Graham, his manager, labeled Cahill a “legend.” In an email, he wrote, “Keenan inspired millions worldwide by being his true self despite his short stature, disease, and age of 15-16,” talking about the popularity he received at such a tender age.