Since 15 August 1996.


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Teresa Teng Forever

Page 3 of 10

An early beginning
Teresa, who was born in 1953, is probably the most famous woman singer among Chinese people worldwide. Maybe younger people born after the 1960s don't see what is so special about her, but people of the generation before theirs can give a lot of reasons why they are so uniquely fond of her.

Teng's father was a great aficionado of Peking opera, and little Teresa often accompanied him to performances. She was thus infected by a love for singing. When she was only five or six, she would dress up in her father's oversized shirt and stand in front of a "microphone" made out of a shoe polish can and belt out folk operas just like the real thing. In primary school, she sang more clearly and better than anyone else. She began to stand out, and often performed at informal parties and evening gatherings. Later she won a singing competition with a Hubei folk opera composition entitled "Visiting Ying Tai." (Hubei folk opera songs were updated and made popular by filmmakers in the 1960s.) She gave up her formal education in her third year of middle school and began performing in floor shows.

Next came appearances on the television show "Galaxy of Stars," followed by hosting a show of her own called "Each Day One Star," and then playing leading roles in films. Her popularity spread across Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. In 1973 she decided to take on the challenge of Japan, and she started on the path toward international stardom. She swept up the prize for "Best New Singing Star" in Japan's widely known Red and White Song Competition.

The soldiers' sweetheart
Before she had learned Japanese, she would make little notes and explanations on her sheet music in Mandarin Chinese phonetic symbols, Chinese characters, and romanization. Besides getting the pronunciation right, she also wanted to be sure she put the right feeling into each word, and make the right gestures. Everything was a struggle.

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