Celine Dion sings in Mandarin for Chinese New Year

Celine Dion appeared on CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala last night, singing Jasmine Flower 茉莉花 in Chinese in a duet with Song Zuying 宋祖英. The two red and gold-clad divas opened with a traditional arrangement of the Chinese classic before breaking into an up-tempo pop version of the song.

Following the performance, Celine continued in Mandarin by wishing the audience a happy Spring Festival (“新春快乐”) and a prosperous new year (“恭喜发财”), before taking to the stage solo to belt out her signature song, My Heart Will Go On. (more…)

Ethnic minorities in Chinese entertainment

Does she look Chinese to you?

One of the most frustrating things about introducing new Chinese artists are the “they don’t look Chinese” comments. Considering China has 56 official ethnicities with their ancestral homes in China, and who knows how many unofficial ones, and 1.3 billion people, it’s unfair to homogenize any part of China (or of the world ). And according to wikipedia, minority populations are rising at 7 times the rate of the Han Chinese because the One Child Policy only applies to Han Chinese (no, China is not trying to eliminate its minorities via One Child).

Photographer Chen Haiwen recently paid a tribute to the diversity of China by producing a series of photos that captured this diversity. Along with a team of photographers, he traveled across China for a year to take photos of a family from each ethnic group. Those, along with thousands of other photos captured on the trip, were put on display in Beijing’s WangFuJing Street last month. zhouzhzh on youtube has a slideshow of all the photos.

Here’s a spot light on some, definitely not all, minority Chinese artists in pop culture.

Super Girl He Jie

our Yi-group
manager: Super Boy Ji Jie and brand manager for Bacardi
members: two powerful and tomboyish songstresses SM’s lost cause Zhang Liyin
and really lost cause Super Girl He Jie
and boyband Blue Bird Flying Fish‘s 70.
HuHu’s not Yi, but he’s there by association. Maybe Zhang Yunjing can join, too, by marriage. (more…)

New Year Galas Wrap-up

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CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala has become one of the symbols of the Lunar New Year in China and one of the most extravagant shows that CCTV puts on every year. Jay Chou’s performance was probably the most anticipated event of the night. It consisted of three generations of singers – folk singer Song Zuying, Jay and 9-year-old genius Hou Gaojunjie- singing a blend of Song Zuying’s “Spicy Girls” and Jay’s “Herbalist Manual.” Apparently, singing with Song Zuying has been a dream of Jay.

Update: Jay also said that he has already invited Song Zuying to sing in a duet with him. He says he wants to compose a duet just for her.

Herbalist Manual and Give you a Eastern  jasmine

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Epic Post 2: No More Lip-Synching

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Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi

This bit of news is really, really old and I was not going to post on this at all, but I began writing an introduction to another post that eventually evolved into its own long-winded post, and so here we are with me talking politics all over again because I couldn’t bear to just drop what I had already spent time on. Btw, Epic post basically means political post now.

China, as you may know from reading other sites, has recently decided to ban lip-synching from commercial performances, which in my opinion was a decision that came from older people in the industry frustrated by the recent flood of idol singers and not for other reasons that western news sources like to conjecture about, such as the lip-synching girl, Lin Maoke at the Olympics. Basically the first 3/4 of this post talks about why I am so pissed at how the articles that came out about this revelation (revealed by Chinese committe head himself) were so ridiculously flawed, as the articles often were during the Olympics, and I think it’s ridiculous that this is still being stated as truth, like the Variety article I linked to. The last 1/4 talks about the Chinese entertainment circle and how and whom the ban would affect. Beware, this is even longer than my Gong Li Epic Post. (more…)

Are you in Olympics withdrawal?

I think Jackie Chan is. He posted massive amounts of pictures on his blog about the good times he had as a volunteer for the Olympics, and the famous people he got to meet. Feast your eyes on this quartet you boyband lovers.

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These guys know no generation boundaries: L-R Emil Chau Jackie Chan Liu Huan and Andy Lau

But unlike most of us, Jackie doesn’t have to go cold turkey. He will be performing at the first concert event of any kind held at the Birds Nest, along with people who can actually sing/make music, including world famous pianist Li Yundi, old school Chinese singer Song Zuying, and Supergirl Li Yuchun. This is a show for charity.

Tickets will be tight probably since they’ve covered a broad range of fans from the classical to folk to pop to “other” (whatever Jackie Chan’s music would be called) , but don’t worry, if you can’t make the Birds Nest, you can still get tickets for the Musical Watercube Extravaganza.

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Song Zuying helps Hunan Education

Whenever I think of her, I think of how far mainland Chinese music’s scene has come. Ten years ago, the most famous artists seemed those who sang “classic”, not pop songs. Song Zuying is probably the most famous Hmong (or in Chinese Miao ethnicity) singer in China. She sang with Placido Domingo at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics and you may already be kind of familiar with one of her songs Spicy Girls on which Jay Chou’s Herbalists’s Manual tune was based (with permission; too bad they couldn’t collab).

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