Teresa Teng (邓丽君)

Teresa Teng was a Taiwanese singer, one of the most famous and successful singers to originate from the Mandarin-speaking world. She is known to the Chinese community worldwide (especially in South East Asian countries), even in groups who may not speak Mandarin as their primary Chinese dialect. Teng’s popularity was at the peak throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and still remained popular even in the 1990s up till her death in 1995. She was known for her folk songs and ballads, such as “When Will You Return?” and “The Moon Represents My Heart”. She recorded songs not only in Mandarin but also in Taiwanese Hokkien, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian and English. She also spoke French fluently.

Teng died from a severe respiratory attack while on vacation in Thailand in 1995, at the age of 42.

Faye Wong (王菲)

Faye Wong, born 8 August 1969, is a Chinese singer-songwriter and actress, often referred to as “the Diva” (天后; literally: “Heavenly Queen”) in the Chinese-speaking world. Early in her career she briefly used the stage name Shirley Wong. Born in Beijing, she moved to British Hong Kong in 1987 and came to public attention in the early 1990s by singing in Cantonese, often combining alternative music with mainstream Chinese pop. Since 1997 she has recorded mostly in her native Mandarin. In 2000 she was recognised by Guinness World Records as the Best Selling Canto-Pop Female. Following her second marriage in 2005 she withdrew from the limelight, but returned to the stage in 2010 amidst immense interest.

Hugely popular in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, she has also gained a large following in Japan. In the West she is perhaps best known for starring in Wong Kar-wai’s films Chungking Express and 2046. While she has collaborated with international artists such as Cocteau Twins, Wong recorded only a few songs in English, including “Eyes on Me” – the theme song of the video game Final Fantasy VIII. Wong is known to be a “diva with few words” in public, and has gained a reputation for her “cool” personality. In Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture, Jeroen de Kloet characterised her as “singer, actress, mother, celebrity, royalty, sex symbol and diva all at the same time”.

Fong Fei-Fei (凤飞飞)

Born Lim Chiu-Luan (林秋鸾) 20 August 1953, Fong Feifei was a Taiwanese singer, host and actress.

Fong often referred to as the “Queen of Hats” because of her signature headwear choices. She owned more than 600 hats in her entire lifetime. She once said in an interview that the first time she wore a hat onstage, the response from the audience was tremendous. Since then, she started to wear hats for all her performances, and she mentioned that the hats she wore meant a lot to her. She won Taiwan’s Golden Bell Awards in 1983 and 1984 and had many fans throughout Asia.

Fong spent the last ten years of her life living in Hong Kong. On January 3, 2012, Fong died at the age of 58 from lung cancer in Hong Kong.

Jenny Tseng (甄妮)

Born Yan Suk Si (甄淑诗) on 20 February 1953, Jenny is a Macau singer, actress and producer, mostly known in Cantonese-speaking regions, based in Hong Kong for much of her career. Tseng was one of the most popular female singers in Hong Kong during the Golden Age of Music and remained popular throughout the late 70s all through to the early 90s.

In 1985 Tseng released 明天會更好 a bestselling charity single. she also re-entered Hong Kong Coliseum to celebrate her 15 years being in the business 甄妮再見十五年演唱会. Meanwhile, she released 為你而歌 a nominated song during the Jade Solid Gold Awards.

After a 6-year break from doing concerts, Tseng announced her final concert tour which would last from 6 to 9 May at the Hong Kong Coliseum. The tour will through Taipei, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Guangzhou, Singapore and Genting tour. The tour continued all through the year and sold out once again 4 times. During in which one of the dates was her 60th birthday, where over 12,000 people sang happy birthday for her.

Kulilay Amit (张惠妹)

Born 9 August 1972,better known by her stage name A-Mei, Kulilay Amit is a Taiwanese Puyuma singer-songwriter. In 1996, she made her singing debut and released her album, Sisters. Her albums, Truth (2001), Amit (2009), and Faces of Paranoia (2014), each won her a Golden Melody Award for Best Mandarin Female Singer, and made her one of the singers who won the category the most times. Having sold more than 50 million records, she has achieved success in Mandarin-speaking world, and she is often referred to as the “Queen of Mandopop”.

In December 2016, she embarked the upgraded version of her seventh concert tour, Utopia 2.0 Carnival World Tour, as the celebration of her 20th anniversary of her singing career, which visited Taiwan, Mainland China, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada and United States.

Han Hong (韩红)

Tibetan name Yangchen Drolma(央金卓玛), Han Hong is a Chinese singer and songwriter of mixed Tibetan and Han ethnicity. She was born in Chamdo on September 26, 1971. Like her mother, a Tibetan singer, Han Hong is able to shift quite easily from piercing high pitches to soft low tones. Han Hong is one of the most popular Chinese female musicians who specializes in a variety of Chinese folk music. Most of Han’s work reflect the Tibetan culture, but Han also use elements of Jazz, R-n-B, Rock-n-Roll and Latin music in her music work.

Han Hong was born in a family of performers in 1971, and sang in the choir at the age of 5. Her father was a Han Chinese rusticated youth who came to Tibet during the Cultural Revolution, and her mother was a Tibetan singer named Yongxi.

Han’s signature works are Tibetan Plateau (青藏高原) and Heaven’s Road (天路).

Li Guyi (李谷一)

Born 4 November 1944, Li Guyi is a Chinese singer and dancer. Li rose to fame after singing Homeland Love (乡恋), a mellow love ballad written by Ma Jinghua and Zhang Peiji, in 1980, the year of China’s reform and opening-up.

Li was born in 1944 in Kunming, Yunnan;  she graduated from Hunan Art College (now part of Hunan Normal University) in 1961. From 1961 to 1974, Li worked in Hunan Opera Theatre.

In 1970, Li performed Tinker a Pan (补锅). Chinese officials thought she was a revisionist black talent. Officials searched her house, confiscated her property, and she was sentenced to hard labor.

Priscilla Chan (陈慧娴)

Priscilla Chan Wai-han (born 28 July 1965) is a singer from Hong Kong.

Chan started her life as a professional singer when she was 18 in 1983. Her first song was titled “Forgotten Promise” (逝去的諾言), which is recorded in an album “Girl Magazine” (少女雜誌) that also features two other newcomers.

In 2007, Chan signed with IEC – EC Music and the following year released a new live album recorded at a series of concerts in Hong Kong.

In 2013, Priscilla Chan signed with Universal Music Hong Kong again, with the relaunch of the PolyGram label.

In July 2015, she made her one night concert performing her greatest hits at the Resorts World Genting, Malaysia.

Fish Leong (梁静茹)

Born 16 June 1978, Fish Leong is a Malaysian singer. Having sold more than 18 million records, she achieved popularity and success in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

In 2016, Leong became the first Malaysian Chinese singer to perform at Lincoln Center in New York City. She performed to a sold-out crowd as part of her “Tu T’appelles L’amour 2016” concert.

She debuted her singing career in Taiwan and signed to Rock Records in October 1997. She then adopted the English name “Fish”, because the last character of her Chinese name “茹” sounds like “fish” (魚) in Cantonese.

Na Ying (那英)

Born 27 November 1967, Na Ying is a Chinese vocalist. She is considered as one of the best present-day female singers in Mainland China, having sold more than 10 million albums. She is also noted for her buoyant and forthright personality.

Na was born in Shenyang, Liaoning. She is an ethnic Manchu, a descendant of the noble Yehe Nara clan of the Qing dynasty. She became a member of the Liaoning Juvenile Broadcasting Chorus in 1979, and the Shenyang Singing and Dancing Troupe in 1983. Na won several national singing contests in the 1980s, and received vocal training from the famous composer Gu Jianfen (谷建芬).

In 2012, Na became a coach and judge on the first season of the popular television singing show The Voice of China.

Tian Zhen (田震)

Tian Zhen, born 2 May 1966, is a Chinese rock singer from Beijing.

Both of her parents are the members of the army — her father is a soldier, and her mother is a solo singer.

Tian, along with Mao Amin, Na Ying are regarded the greatest female singers of that generations. Tian’s masterpieces such as Perseverance (执着), Cheers,Mate(干杯,朋友),What a big tree(好大一棵树),The girl from Ali Mountain(阿里山的姑娘), Night Stand (水姻缘), Roses in the storms and rainbows(风雨彩虹铿锵玫瑰) , are very successful songs.

Mao Amin (毛阿敏)

Born 1962, Mao Amin is a Chinese singer known by the “honorific title” of Dajieda (“Big Sister”), “was one of China’s most famous and senior female pop stars” by “the mid-1990s.” In 2001, she was one of 36 Chinese athletes and entertainers who were depicted on a series of postage stamps issued “in support of Beijing’s bid for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games.”

While Nimrod Baranovitch writes that Mao became famous because of her “powerful and uninhibited” voice, All China Women’s Federation contends that she “became famous after winning third place in the Yugoslavian International Musical Eisteddfod with Green Leaf and the Root. It was the highest honor a Chinese pop singer had ever been given in an international competition. But Mao became even more well known by singing in the Spring Festival Gala.” Moreover, her performance in 1988 for the Chinese New Year TV Celebration “made both song and singer extremely popular in Mainland China.” By the late 1980s, Mao “earned two thousand yuan for a single performance as China’s biggest pop star…” The New Straits Times described her as “China’s most popular singer,” who “retains a nationalistic flavour in her songs,” and “China’s top pop singer for the past four years” before 1990.

Sandy Lam Yik-lin (林忆莲)

Sandy Lam,  born 26 April 1966, is a Hong Kong singer.

Sandy Lam, whose parents are migrants from Shanghai, was born in Hong Kong and began her career at the age of sixteen. Lam started her singing career in Hong Kong in the mid-80s with a string of up-tempo Japanese style songs.

Lam gained popularity in Taiwan with her debut Mandarin release “Home Again Without You” (“愛上一個不回家的人”) in 1991. In 1995 she teamed up with Jonathan Lee, Taiwanese music producer, and released her fourth Mandarin album Love, Sandy featuring the hit single “Scars” (“傷痕”), which became one of the all-time best selling Chinese language albums.

Lam won a total of four awards at the 24th Golden Melody Awards in 2013. These include “Best Female Singer” .

Jolin Tsai (蔡依林)

Born September 15, 1980, Cai is a Taiwanese singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and businesswoman. Tsai is known for frequently reinventing both her music and image, and she is cited as a huge role of popularizing dance-pop as mainstream popular music in Greater China. She maintains her autonomy within the recording industry, and her musical productions have received widespread critical acclaim. Referred to as the “Queen of C-Pop”, she has achieved popularity in Chinese-speaking world by releasing a series of successful albums.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Tsai began her singing career by winning the champion at an MTV singing competition in 1998. Her debut album, 1019 (1999), made her quickly become a teen idol with a large teenage fanbase. Her fifth album, Magic (2003), is regarded as one of her biggest successes so far, right after her eighth album, Dancing Diva (2006), which reflected her mature artistic statement. Her thirteenth album, Play (2014), further thrust her into the international spotlight. After several successful albums, her fourteenth album, Ugly Beauty, was released in 2018.

Having sold more than 25 million records in Asia, Tsai is recognized as one of the best-selling artists in the region.

Liu Jo-ying (刘若英)

Born 1 June 1970, Joy-ing is better known as Rene Liu in English. She is a Taiwanese singer-songwriter, actress, director and writer. In the Sinophone world, Liu is widely known by her affectionate nickname “Milk Tea”.

She has released 20 albums since 1995 and held hundreds of solo concerts worldwide. She has also had a remarkable acting career, having won numerous awards throughout Asia including Best Actress twice at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

Timi Zhuo Yi-Ting (卓依婷)

Born 2 October 1981, Timi is a singer and actress from Taiwan. She has recorded over 800 songs in Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien.

From 1986 to 1991, she starred in many Hokkien soap operas, including ‘No more wine for sale 酒矸通卖無’, ‘Sentiment of the Wind and Rain 风雨情’, ‘where are you 君在何处’, ‘love you in the bone 爱你入骨’, ‘neighbor relatives 隔壁亲家’, ‘Mother of God 顺天圣母’, ‘the story of eight faithful dogs 忠义八犬传’, ‘You are my most loving person 你是我最爱的人’, ‘little genius 小天才’, ‘mother 妈妈’, ‘little angry 冷冷的怒’, ‘Mother’s day 三八亲母’, ‘Spring wind and autumn rain 春风秋雨’, ‘powerful prince 盖世皇太子’ and ‘Unmatched couple 菜鸟配凤凰’. During that period of time, she also recorded many music albums, mostly in Hokkien.

Zhuo has given several concert performances since 2002 in Singapore, Malaysia, USA and China. She is very famous for Chinese New Year songs as well as pop and folk music.

She is advertised in concert posters using the nicknames used by her fans, “柔聲歌后”, “賀歲公主” and “賀歲天后” (Soft Song Diva, New Year Princess, New Year Diva).

Anita Mui Yim-fong (梅艳芳)

Mui Yim-fong was a Hong Kong singer and actress making major contributions to the Cantopop music scene and receiving numerous awards and honours. She remained an idol throughout most of her career, and was generally regarded as a Cantopop diva.

Mui once held a sold-out concert in Hammersmith, London, England, where she was dubbed the “Madonna of the East” (東方麥當娜), which brought her to further international fame. That title stayed with her throughout her career, and has been used as a comparison for both Eastern and Western media.

In the 1980s, the gangtai style of music was revolutionised by Mui’s wild dancing and on-stage femininity. She was famed for her outrageous costumes and high-powered performances in combination with contraltovocals, which are rare in female artists.

Her fan base reached far beyond Hong Kong into many parts of Asia, including Taiwan, mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia, and other countries, as well. In the Hong Kong entertainment industry, where stars often rise and fall quickly, Mui remained in the spotlight for 21 years (1982–2003). Her career came to an abrupt halt in 2003 when she announced that she had cervical cancer. She died later that year at the age of 40.

Wei Wei (韦唯)

Wei Wei, born 28 September 1963, is a Mandopop singer and actress. She was born in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia and was raised in Liuzhou, Guangxi.

Wei Wei recently performed at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo (May 2010), as well as at the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics (August 2008). Between these two major events in China, she performed at the opening- and the closing ceremony of the 11th National Games in Nanjing, China (October 2009). She is a contralto, which is rare in Chinese pop.

Wei Wei has been an Olympic Ambassador for China since 1993 when the Chinese Olympic Committee applied for the games for the first time. She supported the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics by performing at major Olympic events in China and abroad. In 2004, she received the highest number of votes in an Internet survey as to who should sing the theme song of the Chinese Olympics. Wei Wei was the single representative for Asia at the 100 year anniversary show at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA in 1996.

In September 2006 Wei Wei’s song I Want to Fly (the Mandarin version of Where We Are) was appointed official song for the 2008 Olympic Sailing City of Qingdao by the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Sailing Committee (Qingdao) of Beijing for the Beijing Olympics.

She has lived in Stockholm, Sweden since 1999.

Yang Yuying (杨钰莹)

Born 11 May 1971, Yang is a Chinese singer best known for her pop numbers.

Yang Yuying born on 11 May 1971 at a village in Nanchang. When she was young, her father died. She lived with her mother and sister. She started singing on stage at the age of five. She was active in the Nanchang Children’s Palace Choir in her childhood. Later, she won many awards in the singing competition.

In the early 1990s, Yang Yuying was very popular in China’s music scene, especially with the singer Mao Ning’s partner performance. It was hailed as “The Cutest Boy and Girl”, and the two-part concert singer “The Heart Rain” has been widely sung.

Yang Yuying was widely reported by the media as the singer with the highest sales volume in mainland China. As of 2012, its total sales of genuine albums reached more than 20 million.

Yao Beina (姚贝娜)

Also known as Bella Yao, Yao was born to a family of musicians on 26 September 1981 in Wuhan.

She participated in Chinese Young Singer Championship in 2008 and won the champion of the pop singing group. She was known as the singer of the theme songs of Empresses in the PalacePainted Skin: The Resurrection and Back to 1942. She also sang the pop version of Let It Go in Mandarin Chinese in the Disney CGI film, Frozen for the Mandarin Chinese dub when the film was released in China. She competed in The Voice of China television reality show.

She rose to prominence after winning the Chinese Young Singer TV competition Championship in 2008 with the first full mark in history. She performed on the stage of Beijing Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

Yao’s performance caused an Internet sensation that led to her almost-overnight popularity with the No.1 Internet Searched pop star in the Baidu and Sina Weibo.

In December 2014, Yao had a recurrence of breath cancer and in January 2015 She died a day later in Shenzhen, Guangdong, aged 33.

By Staff Editor

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