Internet sensation Keenan Cahill dead at 27

It’s always tragic when young people pass away too soon, and the sad news of Keenan Cahill’s death is no different.

The beloved YouTube star made millions smile with his hilarious lip-syncing videos, becoming a social media sensation overnight in 2010.

Sadly, his life came to an end on December 29, 2022.

Internet personality Keenan Cahill attends the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

I’m not a part of the younger generation that’s glued to YouTube all day, but I can still remember the first time I saw Keenan Cahill on the platform.

He had a certain charisma, and radiated a joy that was hard to resist – you couldn’t help but smile when you saw the young boy taking on the most famous hit songs at the time.

In 2010, Keenan published his first lipsynced YouTube video, singing ”Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. Not long after that, he gained fame all over the world when his videos started going viral.

Historic Youtube-user

But it was one particular video that stood out and propelled the beloved Keenan to internet stardom.

In November 2010, Keenan uploaded a video together with 50 Cent. The duo covered the rapper’s song with Jeremih, “Down on Me,” and it was an instant success. It gained 60 million views, and during the height of his popularity, Keenan had guest artists cueing up to be on his channel.

Always with a huge smile and a lot of energy, he sang songs and did lip-sync videos with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, such as Jennifer Aniston, Flo Rida, Maroon 5, Cody Simpson, Jason Derulo, and Justin Bieber.

According to TMZ, Keenan was the first user on YouTube to reach 500 million views on his channel. He was nominated for the Viral Web Star at the J-14 Awards, and the young star’s life was also captured in a one-hour documentary aired in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. 

The hilarious YouTuber also created his own music, releasing 18 singles and two EPs via iTunes.

“I wanted to put a song out there to show people that I’m capable of not just being a lip-syncer on YouTube,” Cahill told Fuse after relating his debut single “Hands Up.”

“I thought, ‘If I can sing, then why not do my own music and do what I’ve always wanted to do?’”

Keenan Cahill diagnosis

Keenan Cahill, born in 1995 in Elmhurst, Illinois, was diagnosed with Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome when he was just a baby. 

People with MPS typically don’t display any signs of the condition at birth, but the rare genetic disorder causes many tissues and organs to enlarge and become scarred over time. In 1997, Keenan underwent a bone marrow transplant in order to slow down the progression of the disease – but he was forced to live with it for the rest of his life.

When Medpagetoday talked to Keenan in 2011, he was receiving weekly infusions, as well as a treatment called “enzyme replacement therapy.” Over the years, the Illinois native had several surgeries, including surgery to relieve intracranial pressure.

On December 15, Cahill underwent open heart surgery at a Chicago-area hospital, but unfortunately, there were complications.

According to his manager, he was put on life support, but doctors were unable to save his life. He was 27.

Even though a few years had passed following Keenan’s big break, he still had a considerable following on social media.

A few weeks ago, he shared details about his latest project, when he was working with the artist Jillian Jensen AKA “Rain.” In December, he posted one of his last updates on Instagram and updated his followers on his health status.

”One week till open heart surgery. Wish me luck. Love ya’ll,” he wrote.

YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill visits the SiriusXM Studios on June 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

The news of Keenan’s passing saddens me. He had a sweet spirit and fun energy and brought a lot of joy to people with his YouTube videos!

Rest in peace!