Adam Nyerere Bahner (born July 6, 1982), better known by the pseudonym Tay Zonday, is an American musician, Youtuber and voice actor. He entered mainstream exposure when his song "Chocolate Rain", and accompanying video on YouTube, became a popular Internet meme in July 2007. As of August 2010[update], it has more than 56 million views.
Media Response Edit
In July 2007, Zonday went from a grad student in Minneapolis, Minnesota to appearances on national television. He appeared on the Opie & Anthony Show, G4TV's Attack of the Show!, VH1's Best Week Ever, Lily Allen and Friends, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Maury where he performed "Chocolate Rain" on national television a little over three months after he posted his composition on YouTube. He made the front page of Sunday's Los Angeles Times on August 12, 2007 with additional features in The Toronto Star, The Chicago Tribune''s RedEye, The Star Tribune and People and has appeared on CNN for a televised interview. He also has appeared on Fox News. On February 12, 2008, he appeared on the television show Lily Allen and Friends on BBC Three, and performed a cover of Lily Allen's debut "Smile". In March 2008 the video won a YouTube-award in the category "Music".
The Australian Daily Telegraph newspaper wrote: "Tay Zonday has written perhaps the most listened to song in the world right now." People said: "He's scored a YouTube hit with his repetitive, keyboard-driven 'Chocolate Rain', and after a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Tay Zonday's star is shining even brighter." The article also noted that celebrity musicians paid tribute to the song as its popularity rapidly peaked in August 2007. Singer John Mayer reportedly mimicked Zonday's keyboard riff with his guitar in concert, along with appearing on Best Week Ever improvising a parody to the tune of Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right". Green Day drummer Tré Cool recorded a cover of "Chocolate Rain" which he posted on Youtube. Zonday also became the subject of thousands of other parodies and remixes on YouTube. A clip of his video was also shown on CW11's Online Nation, a new series. Zonday has been interviewed twice on Good Morning America, in March and November 2008.
Zonday starred in a commercial for Comedy Central's "Last Laugh 07", hosted by Lewis Black. He released a video titled "Cherry Chocolate Rain", in a promotion with Dr Pepper. He starred alongside Leslie Hall in a commercial for Firefox singing a song titled "Users Against Boredom" in a parody of We Are The World. He appeared in-person at Intel's Consumer Electronics Show booth, rendering the source files of the "Chocolate Rain" Youtube video in Sony Vegas.
The Grammy-winning music video for rock band Weezer's single "Pork and Beans" featured Zonday along with other YouTube celebrities in May 2008, spoofing his appearance in "Chocolate Rain"; as well, he performed an acoustic version of the song with Brian Bell of Weezer.
As a voice actor, Zonday voiced part of a multimedia presentation built to celebrate 50 years of NASA history. He also voiced a role in AdultSwim's Robot Chicken, spoofing "Chocolate Rain".
Zonday was featured on the "Jace Hall Show", where he was comically interviewed at a famous Hollywood restaurant in a play on the dissonance between internet-fame and the traditional entertainment industry.
In February 2010 Zonday cameoed in a Vizio Super Bowl commercial opened by Beyoncé.