YouTube star Keenan Cahill dies aged 27 after open heart surgery complications


The star went viral for dancing with celebrities

Tilly Pearce

Sat, 31 December 2022 at 8:49 am GMT

Keenan Cahill, internet star for lip-syncing songs, arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (AMA-ARRIVALS)
Keenan Cahill (Reuters)

YouTube star Keenan Cahill – famed for his lip-syncing videos with celebrities – has died aged 27.

The performer died on Thursday 29 December, following complications from open heart surgery which took place on 15 December.

He shot to fame in 2010 when he performed a lip-sync to Katy Perry‘s Teenage Dream, catching the attention and love of the internet and even Perry herself.

As his popularity grew he would perform at the American Music Awards with LMFAO, and would film a video with 50 Cent who joined him at his home to do their own video to his track Down On Me together.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Keenan Cahill (C) performs with LMFAO onstage at the 2011 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Keenan Cahill performing with LMFAO alongside David Hasselhoff (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

His death was confirmed by his family on his official Facebook page, with a GoFundMe launched to help cover the funeral costs.

The statement read: “Keenan is an inspiration and let’s celebrate by remembering all the content he created, artists he collaborated with, music he produced and the love he had for everyone who supported him over the years.”

The fundraiser elaborated on Cahill’s health battles, explaining he had was diagnosed with Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome at the age of one.

The condition causes many tissues and organs to enlarge, become inflamed or scarred, and eventually waste away. It also means he displays physical attributes similar to dwarfism.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) YouTube pesonality Keenan Cahil at the Young Hollywood Studio on March 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alyse Gilbert/Young Hollywood/Getty Images)
Keenan Cahill (Getty Images)

As a result he has been in and out of hospital his entire life, undergoing procedures including a bone marrow transplant and brain stem surgery in order to combat the condition.

“I think I have brought awareness to [the disease],” Cahill told ABC News in 2010. “A lot of people don’t know about it.”

He ultimately hoped to be a source of inspiration to others, and added: “People don’t have the right to say, ‘hey, don’t do this, you can’t do this.

“No matter what people have, they can do anything.”

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