The Journey Begins

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Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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34th RTHK Gold Song Awards

2012’s gala was held January 7th. Eason Chan was the big winner with 5 awards and Jenny Tseng was given the Golden Needle Award.

Top 10 Song Awards
01. Eason Chan – 六月飛霜 (June Frost)
02. Ivana Wong – 末日 (Doomsday)
03. Charlene Choi – 年年 (Years)
04. Kary Ng – 我本人 (Me)
05. Leo Ku – 爆了 (Explode)
06. Joey Yung – 花千樹 (A Thousand Flowering Trees)
07. Hins Cheung – P.S. I Love You
08. Vivien Wu – 那些年 (Those Years)
09. Kay Tse – 你們的幸福 (The Happiness of You All)
10. Chilam Cheung – 戀上外星人 (Fall For An Alien)
11. William So – 那誰 (Then Who)

Best Prospected Newcomer Award
Gold: Joyce Cheng
Silver: Mag Lam
Bronze: Alfred Hui
Exceptional: Karene Mak, Abella Leung, Gin Lee

Outstanding Mandarin Song Award
Gold: Vivien Wu – 那些年 (Those Years)
Silver: G.E.M – 我的秘密 (My Secret)
Bronze: Khalil Fong – 好不容易 (Really Not Easy)

Outstanding Singer Award
G.E.M
Khalil Fong
Hins Cheung
Joey Yung
Kay Tse
Hacken Lee
William So
Miriam Yeung
Leo Ku
Eason Chan
RubberBand

Outstanding Male Singer Award: Eason Chan
Outstanding Female Singer Award: Joey Yung

CASH’s Best Singer-Composer Award: Mr.

The Most Improved Singers of the Year Award
Gold: C AllStar
Silver: Sugar Club
Bronze: FAMA

Best Singer of the Country Award
Male: Eason Chan
Female: Na Ying
Group: Twins

Best Chinese Song Award: Khalil Fong – 好不容易 (Really Not Easy)
Most Popular Weibo Singer Award: Raymond Lam
Best Song of Asia Award: William So – 那誰 (Then Who)

Best Selling Singers of the Year Award
Male: Eason Chan
Female: Joey Yung
Group: Twins

RTHK Golden Needle Award: Jenny Tseng (Yan Nei)

Top 20 of 2011

According to Taiwan’s Hit FM, the 20 biggest songs of the year 2011 were…

20. 想自由 Freedom, Yoga Lin 林宥嘉

19. Someone Like You, Adele

18. 我最紅 I’m Red, 2NE1

17. 還是要幸福 Be Happy Too, Hebe 田馥甄

16. Born This Way, Lady Gaga

15. 那個男人 That Man (Korean Version), Hyun Bin

14. 被遺忘的 The Forgotten, Aska Yang 楊宗緯

13. 她說 She Said, JJ Lin 林俊傑

12. A-Cha, Super Junior

11. What the Hell, Avril Lavigne

10. Mine Mine, Jay Zhou 周杰倫

9. 狂想曲 Rhapsody, Jam Xiao 蕭敬騰

8. 獨一無二 Only You, Show Luo 羅志祥

7. 我最親愛的 My Dearest, A-Mei Zhang 張惠妹

6. Just the Way You Are, Bruno Mars

5. 那個男人 That Man (Chinese Version), Aska Yang 楊宗緯

4. 當冬夜漸暖 When Winter Becomes Warm, Stefanie Sun 孫燕姿

3. The Boys, Girls’ Generation 少女時代

2. Mr. Simple, Super Junior

1. 水手怕水 Sailor Afraid of Water, Jay Zhou 周杰倫

Source: http://www.hitoradio.com/newweb/chart_2.php

Best Chinese Songs of the 1990s

20. “She Knows” by Shino Lin (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: She Knows, 林晓培
Pinyin Romanization: “She Knows” by Lin, Xiaopei
Year of Release: 1999

Shino was one of the few Chinese pop stars who dabbled in electronics and came up with a few great tunes, this being her best. LINK

19. “Tolerance” by Jeff Zhang (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 宽容, 张信哲
Pinyin Romanization: “Kuan Rong” You by Zhang, Xinzhe
Year of Release: 1995

His soft voice was a perfect fit for his love ballads. LINK

18. “Just Between the Two of Us” by Eason Chan (Hong Kong)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: Just Between the Two of Us, 陈奕迅
Pinyin Romanization: ” Just Between the Two of Us ” by Chen, Yixun
Year of Release: 1999

It was difficult to pick an Eason song. The man just kept getting better all the time putting his whole heart into his singing. We’ll settle on this wedding number. LINK

17. “Suddenly Think of You” by Elva Xiao (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 突然想起你, 萧亚轩
Pinyin Romanization: “Tu Ran Xiang Qi Ni” by Xiao, Yaxuan
Year of Release: 1999

This song established the Vancouver-educated songstress as one cool diva. LINK

16. “Morning Train” by Beyond (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 早班火车, Beyond
Pinyin Romanization: “Zao Ban Huo Che” by Beyond
Year of Release: 1992

The Chinese Beatles continued churning out their classics into the 90s. LINK

15. “Arctic Snow” by Kelly Chen and Steve Zhou (Hong Kong, Taiwan)

 

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 北極雪, 陳慧琳+周传雄
Pinyin Romanization: “Bei Ji Xue” by Chen, Huilin and Zhou, Chuanxiong
Year of Release: 1998

Steve Zhou is one of the most overlooked singers in the industry. He wrote a couple of classics for Kelly Chen and they performed this beautiful tune as a duet. LINK

14. “Red Dragonfly” by The Little Tigers (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 红蜻蜓, 小虎队
Pinyin Romanization: “Hong Qing Ting” by Xiao Hu Dui
Year of Release: 1990

Every school girl had a crush on this male trio back in the day. Their “Green Apple Paradise” was more popular in the late-80s, but we prefer this irresistible offering. LINK

13. “Crazy about Love” by René Liu (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 为爱痴狂, 劉若英
Pinyin Romanization: “Wei Ai Chi Kuang” by Liu, Ruoying
Year of Release: 1995

This was a sleeper hit. It wasn’t until after her “Afterwards” five years later that this song became extremely popular. LINK

12. “Buddha Chant” by Shirley Kwan (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 梵音, 关淑怡
Pinyin Romanization: “Fan Yin” by Guan, Shuyi
Year of Release: 1991

Having sung two of the all-time biggest hits of Cantopop, Shirley delved into experimental territory here and succeeded. LINK

11. “Listening to the Sea” by Sherry Zhang (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 听海, 张惠妹
Pinyin Romanization: “Ting Hai” by Zhang, Huimei
Year of Release: 1997

Sherry (also known as A-Mei) became the Republic of China’s answer to the PRC’s Faye Wang, an overnight sensation, thanks, in part, to this megahit. LINK

10. “Come Back” by Priscilla Chan (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 归来吧, 陈慧娴
Pinyin Romanization: “Gui Lai Ba” by Chen, Huixian
Year of Release: 1992

More popular in the Mainland than her SAR counterpart, Anita Mui, Priscilla continued her string of classics. LINK

9. “Red Bean” by Faye Wang (PRC)

Language: Both Mandarin and Cantonese versions exist
Chinese: 红豆, 王菲
Pinyin Romanization: “Hong Dou” by Wang, Fei
Year of Release: 1998

One of the biggest Chinese songs of all-time, “Red Bean”, from the Beijing export to Hong Kong, continues to be extremely popular today. LINK

8. “Boundary 99” by Mavis Xu (Singapore)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 边界99, 许美静
Pinyin Romanization: “Bian Jie 99” by Xu, Meijing
Year of Release: 1999

Singapore’s first pop superstar, with an excellent singing voice to boot, scored a number of hits in the late-90s, this being, arguably, her best. LINK

7. “If You Knew My Difficulties” by Vivian Chow (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 如果你知我苦衷, 周慧敏
Pinyin Romanization: “Ru Guo Ni Zhi Wo Ku Zhong” by Zhou, Huimin
Year of Release: 1992

A couple of this strikingly beautiful diva’s songs were more popular but we’ll settle on this power love ballad as one of the all-time classics of Cantopop. LINK

6. “Episode” by Sammi Cheng (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 插曲, 郑秀文
Pinyin Romanization: “Cha Qu” by Zheng, Xiuwen
Year of Release: 1999

By the end of the decade, Sammi had taken over the top spot of Hong Kong’s female stars. This song certainly helped. LINK

5. “Monologue” by Valen Xu (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 独角戏, 许茹芸
Pinyin Romanization: “Du Jiao Xi” by Xu, Ruyun
Year of Release: 1996

Because of this song, Valen’s album Do the Clouds Know? became the biggest-selling album in Taiwanese history. LINK

4. “You Are Hers” by Gigi Leung (Hong Kong)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 你是她的, 梁咏琪
Pinyin Romanization: “Ni Shi Ta De” by Liang, Yongqi
Year of Release: 1998

Her “Short Hair” and “Chicken Chick” were bigger hits, as was her “Make a Wish” with Leo Ku, but this song was her masterpiece.

3. “Don’t Ask Who I Am” by Linda Wong (Hong Kong)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 别问我是谁, 王馨平
Pinyin Romanization: “Bie Wen Wo Shi Shei” by Wang, Xinping
Year of Release: 1993

Another timeless classic and delivered with vocal perfection. LINK

2. “Come Home” by Shunza (United States)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 回家, 顺子
Pinyin Romanization: “Hui Jia” by Shunzi
Year of Release: 1997

This Beijing native who grew up in San Francisco is a singer-songwriter and blew everyone away with her velvety but powerful delivery of this masterpiece. LINK

1. “Everyone Has a Dream” by Vivian Lai (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 一人有一个梦想, 黎瑞恩
Pinyin Romanization: “Yi Ren You Yi Ge Meng Xiang” Li, Rui’en
Year of Release: 1993

This is the classic to end all classics of Cantopop. It was so catchy that it was responsible for sparking the karaoke craze in China. Vivian Lai, not to be confused with Vivian Chow, delivered this gem and it won the song of the year award in Hong Kong. LINK

You can find our Best Chinese Songs of the 1980s HERE.
And our Best Chinese Songs of the 2000s is HERE.

Best Chinese Songs of the 1980s

Chinese classics were neither better nor worse than the music of today. It was a different kind of music, stuff that sounded very different from western pop, especially the Cantonese songs—so beautiful! We’ve reviewed the big hits of the 80s and came up with a personal list of our favourites. To keep things tidy, we’re including only one song per artist.

20. “Childhood” by Luo, Dayou (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 童年, 罗大佑
Pinyin Romanization: “Tong Nian” by Luo, Dayou
Year of Release: 1982

The grandfather of Mandarin rock released his debut album Zhi Hu Zhe Ye 之乎者也 in 1982. “Childhood” was its masterpiece, as important a song as it is a treat to the ears: catchy, driving, and playful. MV

19. “Have Nothing” by Cui, Jian (PRC)

 

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 一无所有, 崔健
Pinyin Romanization: “Yi Wu Suo You” by Cui, Jian
Year of Release: 1986

This was Mainland China’s first rock star’s first big hit, an instant classic. MV

18. “Rare Lovers” by Shirley Kwan (Hong Kong)

 

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 难得有情人, 关淑怡
Pinyin Romanization: “Nan De You Qing Ren” by Guan, Shuyi
Year of Release: 1989

Shirley’s nearly forgotten these days. But she did perform two of the all-time biggest hits of Cantopop. This number was named Cantonese Song of the Year in Hong Kong. MV

17. “Romantic Rainy Night” by Alan Tam (Hong Kong)

 

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 雨夜的浪漫, 谭咏麟
Pinyin Romanization: “Yu Ye de Lang Man” by Tan, Yonglin
Year of Release: 1985

Tam was part of the band Wynners with Kenny Bee but disagreed with the band’s simply doing Chinese versions of English songs, so he left the band to become a soloist. MV

16. “Bonds of Friendship” by Teresa Cheung (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 情义两心坚, 张德兰
Pinyin Romanization: “Qing Yi Liang Xin” by Zhang, Delan
Year of Release: 1983

Early on, Teresa was part of the group Four Golden Flowers. She became famous by singing theme songs of several TVB drama series. MV

15. “As Long As You’re Better Off Than Me” by Kenny Bee (Hong Kong)

 

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 只要你过得比我好, 钟镇涛
Pinyin Romanization: “Zhi Yao Ni Guo de Bi Wo Hao” by Zhong, Zhentao
Year of Release: 1989

Alan Tam’s Wynners’ band mate did pretty well as a soloist, especially with this classic. MV

14. “I May Be Ugly, But I’m Gentle” by Zhao, Chuan (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 我很丑可是我很温柔, 赵传
Pinyin Romanization: “Wo Hen Chou Ke Shi Wo Hen Wen Rou” by Zhao, Chuan
Year of Release: 1989

Here’s another forgotten superstar. It seems that, after Mr. Zhao hit the airwaves with this Mandarin classic, which incidentally made him an overnight star, every Chinese song ever since had to include the term wenrou in the lyrics. MV

13. “You Really Don’t Understand My Heart” by Angus Tong (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 其实你不懂我的心, 童安格
Pinyin Romanization: “Qi Shi Ni Bu Dong Wo de Xin” by Tong, Ange
Year of Release: 1989

Before the likes of Jay Zhou and David Tao, old Angus was the number one male singer from Taiwan. He was so good that we found it difficult to select his best song. We finally settled on this one. MV

12. “Love Is Gone” by Jacky Cheung (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 情已逝, 张学友
Pinyin Romanization: “Qing Yi Shi” by Zhang, Xueyou
Year of Release: 1985

Believe it or not, this was the very first big hit song from the greatest male Chinese singer of all-time, and definitely one of his best. MV

11. “Tomorrow Will Be Better” by Various Artists (Greater China)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 明天更美好
Pinyin Romanization: Ming Tian Geng Mei Hao
Year of Release: 1985

This is the classic to end all classics. “Beijing Welcomes You” was not the first time all the pop stars got together. Back in the mid-80s, Luo Dayou assembled all the (Mandarin) pop stars of the day to sing this song about the glory of China, celebrating 40 years of freedom from invasion. There are some who consider this the greatest Chinese song ever written. The music video is a must-see—absolutely beautiful! MV

10. “Life’s Desires” by Danny Chan (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 一生何求, 陈百强
Pinyin Romanization: “Yi Sheng He Qiu” by Chen, Baiqiang
Year of Release: 1989

Just about anything dear Danny sang was gold. This song was so good that, even though sung in Cantonese, it was a big hit all over China back in the day. His untimely death was a huge blow to the Chinese music industry. MV

9. “Who Is Your Best Lover?” by George Lam (Hong Kong)

 

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 最爱是谁, 林子祥
Pinyin Romanization: “Zui Ai Shi Shei?” by Lin, Zixiang
Year of Release: 1986

This was written by Hong Kong’s great Lowell Lo for the movie in which George starred, “Passion”. It deservedly won Song of the Year in Hong Kong. MV

8. “I Only Care about You” by Teresa Deng (Taiwan)

 

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 我只在乎你, 邓丽君
Pinyin Romanization: “Wo Zhi Zai Hu Ni” by Deng, Lijun
Year of Release: 1987

This timeless classic has been covered by 70 different artists. But none can sing it better than Teresa, the greatest Chinese pop star of all-time. MV

7. “Am I the One You Love Most?” by Michelle Pan (Taiwan)

 

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 我是不是你最疼爱的人, 潘越云
Pinyin Romanization: “Wo Shi Bu Shi Ni Zui Teng Ai De Ren” by Pan, Yueyun
Year of Release: 1989

If only everyone could sing like her. A feast for the ears. MV

6. “High Heels in September” by Qi, Yu (Taiwan)

 

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 九月的高跟鞋, 齐豫
Pinyin Romanization: “Jiu Yue de Gao Gen Xie” by Qi, Yu
Year of Release: 1988

Dazzling Greater China with her “Olive Tree” in the late 70s, Qi Yu became one of the first stars of Mandarin pop. This was her best song in the 80s. MV

5. “Miss You” by Leslie Cheung (Hong Kong)

 

Language: Both Cantonese and Mandarin versions exist
Chinese: 想你, 张国荣
Pinyin Romanization: “Xiang Ni” by Zhang, Guorong
Year of Release: 1988

We didn’t care much for “Monica”. Fans of the late-great Leslie would probably accost us for listing this as his best song. But, there’s just something exhilarating about it, its saxophone solo, and the fact that Leslie wrote the music himself. MV

4. “Past Wind” by Qi, Qin (Taiwan)

Language: Mandarin
Chinese: 往事随风, 齐秦
Pinyin Romanization: “Wang Shi Sui Feng” by Qi, Qin
Year of Release: 1985

Qi Yu’s little brother released his classic Wolf album in ’85, one of the best albums of Chinese rock – ever! We liked this song the best. MV

3. “Like You” by Beyond (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 喜欢你, Beyond
Pinyin Romanization: “Xi Huan Ni” by Beyond
Year of Release: 1988

They’re the Chinese Beatles. Need we say more? MV

2. “Silly Girl” by Priscilla Chan (Hong Kong)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 傻女, 陈慧娴
Pinyin Romanization: “Sha Nu” by Chen, Huixian
Year of Release: 1988

Who could not like Priscilla? This is Cantonese music at its very best. Her “Night Flight” was great too. MV

1. “Good Luck” by Sally Yeh (Canada)

Language: Cantonese
Chinese: 祝福, 叶蒨文
Pinyin Romanization: “Zhu Fu” Ye, Qianwen
Year of Release: 1987

She’s known as the Chinese Céline Dion. This song was just so damn good! MV

You can find our Best Chinese Songs of the 1990s HERE.
And our Best Chinese Songs of the 2000s is HERE.

Hit FM Awards, 2011

Yesterday, Hit Fm completed its first annual global golden chart awards show at the Taibei Arena. The show opened with a tour de force performace by Jolin Cai who sang Madonna’s “Vogue” followed by her own “Honey Trap”. Best male and female awards went to Alexander Wang and Fish Leong, while the Best Group award went to S.H.E. Some of the awards given were…

Best new artist gold award: Hebe Tian
Most popular artist: Han Geng
Best stage performer: Elva Xiao
Most popular group: Super Junior – M
Best group: S.H.E
Most popular female artist: Jolin Cai
Most popular male artist: Jay Zhou
Best all-round artist: Show Luo
Best composer: Alexander Wang
Best producer: JJ Lin
Best male artist: Alexander Wang
Best female artist: Fish Leong
Best Chinese album: The Era, Jay Zhou

Awards were also given for the 20 most popular songs.

Singers from Shanghai

The biggest city in Greater China, population-wise, is Shanghai. Despite its humungous crowds it has failed to provide many pop stars over the years. But things are looking up for the metropolis. There are at least four significant Shanghainese singers now. Although the people of Shanghai tend to be quite patriotic about their city (perhaps because it’s one of the wealthiest in Greater China), many of them seem ignorant about who their own local pop stars are, and when you tell them their names, they express surprise, not knowing that the said star was Shanghainese.

The major Shanghainese pop stars are Anson Hu, Isabelle Huang, Jacky Xue, and Kym.

 

Anson Hu

 

Chinese Name: 胡彦斌
Mandarin Name: Hú Yàn Bīn
(b. 1983 in Shanghai, China)

Biggest Hits:

進行式 (with Elva Xiao)
月光
红颜
男人 KTV
包袱
诀别诗
蝴蝶
我的未来不是梦
愿望
婚礼进行曲
北京的金山上

Anson Hu was admitted into the Shanghai Music Conservatory when he was 13. He majored in singing. He won the silver medal at the Shanghai Music Awards New Singer Competition enabling him to sign a recording contract with Go East Entertainment. He released his successful debut album in 2002. The following year he released his sophomore effort, Upgrade 4147. One of its songs was a duet with pop diva Elva Xiao and made the year-end charts in Taiwan. Hu has won many music awards over the past several years and has switched record labels, now with Gold Label Records. In 2007 he appeared as guest artist at Gigi Leung’s concert in Shanghai.

 

Isabelle Huang

 

Chinese Name: 黄龄
Mandarin Name: Huáng Líng
(b. 1987 in Shanghai, China)

Biggest Hits:

High歌

特别
一个人想你
原谅
魔鬼身材
骑士
夜来香

Isabelle has released a couple of albums, her debut being Itch. She sponsored Reebok products in advertising and recorded the song “I Am What I Am” for the company. She also sang a song for the launch of clothing line Shanghai Tang as well as the theme song for EA Games SIMS2. She cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the EA Games shop at Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak.

 

Kym

 

Chinese Name: 金莎
Mandarin Name: Jīn Shā
(b. 1983 in Shanghai, China)

Biggest Hits:

星月神话
亲爱的还幸福吗
我懂了
我知道我们不会有结果
笨蛋
相思垢
被风吹过的夏天
天边的眷恋
发现爱 (with JJ Lin)

Kym started with a role in the drama Sky in 2003. That year, she also appeared in an A-do music video. The following year, she signed with Ocean Butterflies Music and released her debut album, Air. She performed three duets with JJ Lin who is under the same label. One of these 发现爱 “Finding Love” was a chart-topper.

 

Jacky Xue

Chinese Name: 薛之谦
Mandarin Name: Xuē Zhī Qiān
(b. 1983 in Shanghai, China)

Biggest Hits:

认真的雪 “Attentive Snow”
未完成的歌
深深爱过你 “Deeply in Love with You”
黄色枫叶
传说
Memory
王子归来
钗头凤
我终于成了别人的女人

Shanghai native Jacky Xue appeared on the Mainland’s first televised singing competition My Show before the hugely popular Super Girl took off. His unique voice, ability to compose music, and his skilled dance moves helped him win champion standing. He abandoned his pursuit of a career in hotel management which he’d studied in Switzerland and signed a record deal with the prestigious Sony BMG. His debut, self-titled album was released in 2006. The single “Attentive Snow” became a number one hit in China and remained at the top of the charts for five straight weeks. Japanese music legend Shinji Tanimura, was so impressed with Jacky’s music, that he invited him to the Osaka Music Festival

Two years later, Jacky released his second album Deeply In Love With You. Its title-track became his second number one hit. Xue recorded two versions of the song: a classical style and a modern arrangement. He held a concert in Shanghai and a DVD was released shortly thereafter.

 

For Chinese New Year 2011, three of these singers and some other local celebreties appeared in a rap music video: “I Love Shanghai” and sang in Mandarin, English, and Shanghainese.