From Music-China Wiki
Teresa Teng was born in Baozhong, Yunlin County, Taiwan, to a mainland Chinese family from Hebei. She was educated at Ginling Girls High School. As a young child, Teng won awards for her singing at talent competitions. Her first major prize was in 1964 when she sang "Visiting Yingtai" from Shaw Brothers' Huangmei opera movie, "The Love Eterne" (梁祝), at an event hosted by Broadcasting Corporation of China. She was soon able to support her family with her singing. Taiwan's rising manufacturing economy in the 1960s made the purchase of records easier for more families. With her father's approval, she quit high school to pursue singing professionally.
Teng's singing style conveyed simplicity and sincerity. Yeh Yueh-Yu, a professor of Cultural Theory at the University of Southern California said, "It was the sweetness in her voice that made her famous. She had a perfect voice for folk songs and ballads, and she added traditional folk song stylings into Western-style compositions." Her voice was also described as being "like weeping and pleading, but with strength, capable of drawing in and hypnotizing listeners." Songwriter Tsuo Hung-yun said Teng's voice was "seven parts sweetness, three parts tears."
Teng gained her first taste of fame in 1968 when a performance on a popular Taiwanese music program led to a record contract. She released several albums within the next few years under the Life Records label. In 1973 she attempted to crack the Japanese market by signing with the Polydor Japan label and taking part in Japan's Kōhaku Uta Gassen, a year-round singing match of the most successful artists. She was named "Best New Singing Star". Following her success in Japan, Teng sang many Japanese songs, including original hits such as Template:Nihongo which was later covered in Chinese as "I Only Care About You" (我只在乎你).
In 1974 the song "Airport" (空港) became a hit in Japan. Teng remained popular in Japan despite being barred from the country briefly in 1979 for having a fake Indonesian passport she purchased for US$20,000. The subterfuge had seemed necessary due to the official break in relations between Taiwan and Japan that occurred shortly after the People's Republic of China replaced the ROC in the United Nations.
Teng's popularity boomed worldwide in the 1970s after her debut in Japan. Singing by now in Cantonese, Japanese and English besides her native Mandarin, Teng's popularity quickly grew in Malaysia and Indonesia. In Taiwan she was known not only as the island's most popular export, but as "the soldier's sweetheart" because of her frequent performances for servicemen. Teng was herself the child of a military family. Her concerts for troops featured popular music and Taiwanese folk songs that appealed to natives of the island as well as Chinese folk songs that appealed to homesick refugees of the civil war.
In the early 1980s, continuing political tension between mainland China and Taiwan led to her music, along with that of other singers from Taiwan and Hong Kong, being banned for several years in mainland China as too "bourgeois". Her popularity in China continued to grow nonetheless thanks to the black market. As Teng songs continued to be played everywhere, from nightclubs to government buildings, the ban on her music was soon lifted. Her Chinese fans nicknamed her "Little Deng" because she had the same family name as Deng Xiaoping; it was said that Deng the Communist leader ruled China by day, but that Deng the singer ruled China by night.Template:Citation needed
Teng's contract with Polydor ended in 1981. She signed a contract with Taurus Records in 1983 and made a successful comeback appearance in Japan. In 1983 Taurus released her album, dan dan you qing (淡淡幽情). This album consisted of settings of twelve poems from the Tang and Song dynasties. The music, written by composers of her earlier hits, blended modern and traditional styles of East and West. The most popular single from the album today is "Wishing We Last Forever" (但願人長久). The number of hits released in the years from 1984–1989 make them "Teresa Teng's Golden Years" in the views of her fans. She was the first singer to win the All-Japan Record Awards for four consecutive years (1984–1988).
Teng performed in Paris during the 1989 Tiananmen student protests on behalf of the students and proclaimed her support for democracy. On May 27, 1989, over 300,000 people attended the concert called "Democratic songs dedicated to China" (民主歌聲獻中華) at the Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong. One of the highlights was her rendition of "My Home Is on the Other Side of the Mountain."
Though Teng performed in many countries around the world during her career, her hopes of performing one day in mainland China never materialized. The Communist Party of China eventually invited her to do so in the 1990s but she died before having the opportunity.
Death and commemorations
Teng died from a severe asthma attack while on holiday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the age of 42 (43 by Chinese reckoning) on May 8, 1995. She was an asthmatic throughout her adult life. Teng was given state honors at her funeral in Taiwan, with the flag of the Republic of China draped over her casket and then president Lee Teng-hui in attendance among thousands in mourning.
She was buried in a mountainside tomb at Chin Pao San, a cemetery in Jinshan, New Taipei City (then Taipei County) overlooking the north coast of Taiwan. The grave site features a statue of Teng and a large electronic piano keyboard set in the ground that can be played by visitors who step on the keys. The memorial is often visited by her fans. (This represents a noteworthy departure from the traditional Chinese practice of shunning grave sites.) Geotagging of the Teresa Teng Memorial Park (Yun Garden): Geolocation on Google Maps from the tomb of Teresa Teng with view from the driveway on her golden statue: 25.248582,121.601843 (Latitude/Longitude).
A house she bought in 1986 in Hong Kong at No. 18 Carmel Street has also become a site of pilgrimage for her fans soon after her death. Plans to sell the home to finance a museum in Shanghai were made known in 2002, and subsequently sold for HK$ 32 million. It closed on what would have been her 51st birthday on January 29, 2004.
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of her death, the Teresa Teng Culture and Education Foundation launched a campaign entitled "Feel Teresa Teng". In addition to organizing an anniversary concert in Hong Kong and Taiwan, music fans paid homage at her shrine at Chin Pao San Cemetery. Additionally, some of her dresses, jewelry and personal items were placed on exhibition at Yuzi Paradise, an art park outside Guilin, China.
In May 2002, the wax figure of Teng was unveiled at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
Influence on popular culture
- Her songs have been covered by a number of singers, including Faye Wong who released a tribute album (Decadent Sounds of Faye, 靡靡之音, 1995) of Teng's popular hits.
- The 1996 Hong Kong film Comrades: Almost a Love Story (甜蜜蜜 – Tiánmìmì) directed by Peter Chan features the tragedy and legacy of Teresa Teng in a subplot to the main story. The movie won best picture in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and at the Seattle Film Festival in the United States.
- Her songs are featured in various films, e.g. Rush Hour 2, Prison On Fire, Formosa Betrayed, Gomorrah.
- In 2007, TV Asahi produced a tanpatsu (単発, TV movie), entitled Teresa Teng Monogatari (テレサ・テン物語) to commemorate the 13th anniversary of her death. Actress Yoshino Kimura starred as Teresa Teng.
- Teresa Teng, Judy Ongg (1950–), Agnes Chan (1955–), Ouyang Feifei (1949–), and Yu Yar (尤雅, 1953–) were billed as the "Five Great Asian Divas" during the 1970s and 1980s due to their huge cross-cultural popularity.Template:Citation needed Teng's music remains the most popular.
- Her song "Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase" was played numerous times in the film "Ban zhi yan" (also known as "Metade Fumaça" which means "half smoked" in Portuguese), including the opening scene. It can be called the theme of the film.
- Her song "Tian Mi Mi" appears in the 2009 film Formosa Betrayed
- Her song have been covered by Indonesian artist Kasino, in his movie [Sama Juga Bohong] with his group Warkop in 1986.
Awards received in Japan
Teng received the following awards in Japan:
- The New Singer Award for「空港」(Kūkō) in 1974.
- The Gold Award in 1986 for「時の流れに身をまかせ」(Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase).
- The Grand Prix for「つぐない」(Tsugunai) in 1984:「愛人」(Aijin) in 1985; and「時の流れに身をまかせ」(Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase) in 1986. This was the first time anyone had won the Grand Prix three years in a row.
- The Outstanding Star Award for「別れの予感」(Wakare no Yokan) in 1987.
- The Cable Radio Music Award for「別れの予感」(Wakare no Yokan) in 1987 and 1988.
- The Cable Radio Special Merit Award (有線功労賞) in 1995 for three consecutive Grand Prix wins.
- 忘不了 inoubliable
Articles & Interviews
- ↑ "Pop diva Teresa Teng lives on in Chinese hearts". China Daily. 2005-05-12. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-05/12/content_441430.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- ↑ Kristof, Nicholas D. (February 19, 1991). "A Taiwan Pop Singer Sways the Mainland". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE4DD153CF93AA25751C0A967958260. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- ↑ Video at YouTube.com
- ↑ Zhao, Lei (August 3, 2006). "Why Teresa Teng Could Not Visit Mainland China". Southern Weekend (via Sina.com). http://www.zonaeuropa.com/culture/c20060805_1.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- ↑ Teresa Teng's grave. North Coast & Guanyinshang official website. Retrieved 2 Jan 2007.
- ↑ http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/pda/m1.aspx?sNo=0002091&id=R158 Tourism Bureau, Republic of China (Taiwan) > Teresa Teng Memorial Park (Yun Garden)
- ↑ Taiwanese diva's home 'for sale'. BBC news, 29 July 2002. Retrieved 2 Jan 2007.
- ↑ A Retrospective Look at 2004. HKVP Radio, Dec 2004. Retrieved 2 Jan 2007.
- ↑ "Teresa Teng in loving memory forever". China Daily. 2005-05-08. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-05/08/content_440103.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- ↑ テレビ朝日｜スペシャルドラマ テレサ・テン物語
- ↑ " テレサ・テン データべース (Teresa Teng Database)", Retrieved 14 Dec 2007.
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Tian Mi Mi - Teresa Teng, so sweet :)