But, reports CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller, that's not expected to matter one bit in a career that's suddenly zooming.
Lin, 24, a chubby soprano, was being compared to Susan Boyle, the dowdy Scottish woman who shot to fame when she shocked judges and the audience alike with her stirring version of "I Dreamed a Dream" on "Britain's Got Talent," the British version of "Idol."
Boyle got millions of YouTube hits seemingly overnight, and landed a record contract. She's raked in $6 million in royalties so far and has a No. 1 album that's sold 2 million copies worldwide.
Similarly, Lin's become an instant YouTube sensation, racking up 6 million hits to date.
Lin with his soaring rendition of the Whitney Houston classic, "I Will Always Love You" on the show, "Super Star Avenue."
He dedicated it to his maternal grandmother, who raised him until he was 4.
The unassuming Lin sang "Amazing Grace" for Miller in an interview, and followed it up with "I Will Always Love You."
Lin's now in talks for a record deal, and while he only speaks a little English, he told Miller he can't believe how much his life has changed in just one week. "Unbelievable!" he said. "It's just like a dream."
It's a wonderful turn of events for the Lin, who says he was often teased as a little boy. "I felt really bad about myself growing up," Lin admits, saying classmates would make fun of him and call him "Fatty." "I used singing to help me feel better," Lin notes.
He says he'd like to follow in the footsteps of that other singing Cinderella story, Boyle.
Lin says he'd love to come to the U.S., but wants to improve his English first.
Click on the video below to see Lin doing "I Will Always Love You" on "Super Star Avenue":
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