Teresa Teng (January 29, 1953 – May 8, 1995) (traditional Chinese: 鄧麗君; simplified Chinese: 邓丽君; pinyin: Dèng Lìjūn, , Japanese: テレサ・テン, sometimes spelled as Tang or Deng), was an immensely popular and influential Taiwanese pop singer. Teresa Teng's voice and songs are instantly recognizable in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and areas with large Chinese populations. It is often said, "Wherever there are Chinese people, the so...Read more (885 words more)
Teresa Teng (January 29, 1953 – May 8, 1995) (traditional Chinese: 鄧麗君; simplified Chinese: 邓丽君; pinyin: Dèng Lìjūn, , Japanese: テレサ・テン, sometimes spelled as Tang or Deng), was an immensely popular and influential Taiwanese pop singer. Teresa Teng's voice and songs are instantly recognizable in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and areas with large Chinese populations. It is often said, "Wherever there are Chinese people, the songs of Teresa Teng can be heard." She was known for her folk songs and romantic ballads, most of them having reached classic status during her lifetime.
She recorded many songs that are now staples of popular Chinese music; the most popular include "When Will You Return?" (何日君再來) and "The Moonlight Represents my Heart" (月亮代表我的心). In addition to her Mandarin repertoire, she also recorded songs in Taiwanese, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian, and English. She has sold more albums than any other East-Asian singer in history and is generally regarded as the most influential Chinese pop singer of all time. Teng died at the age of 42 as a result of a severe asthma attack while holidaying in Thailand in 1995.
Teresa Teng was born in a village in Yunlin County, Taiwan, to a mainland Chinese family from Hebei province. She was educated at Ginling Girls High School. As a young child, Teresa 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" (梁山伯與祝英台), at an event hosted by China Radio Station (Taiwan). Her singing proved successful and she was able to support her family during Taiwan's new and developing economy in the 1960s. With her father's approval, Teresa quit high school to pursue singing professionally.
In 1968, She had her first taste of fame after performing on a popular Taiwanese music program, which 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 Polydor Japan records 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, Teresa sang many Japanese songs, including original hits such as "I Only Care About You" (時の流れに身をまかせ or 我只在乎你).
In 1974, with the song "Airport" (空港), she conquered Japan. She remained a leading star despite a short exile in 1979 when she was deported for having a fake Indonesian passport that was bought for $20,000, a subterfuge thought necessary by a break in relations between Taiwan and Japan on China's entry to the UN Security Council. Singing by now in Cantonese, Japanese and English besides her native Mandarin, Teresa's popularity quickly reached Malaysia and Indonesia.
Teresa ended the contract with Polydor in 1981. Then she signed the contract with Taurus Records in 1983 when she re-debuted in Japan to great success. In 1984, she released her most-acclaimed album, Light Exquisite Feeling (淡淡幽情). This album consists of 12 poems from the Tang and Song dynasties, set to a blend of modern Western and traditional Chinese music written by various composers who wrote many of Teresa's popular songs. The most famous song from the album is "Wishing We Last Forever" (但願人長久).
Political tension between Taiwan and China continued; her music as well as others from Hong Kong were banned for several years in Mainland China in the early 1980s for being too "bourgeois" and reactionary ideology. This did not stop her growing popularity on the mainland; through the black market, her songs were played everywhere, from nightclubs to government buildings. It wasn't long before the ban on her music was lifted. People nicknamed her "Little Deng" because she had the same family name as Deng Xiaoping.
In 1989, She performed in Paris during the Tiananmen student uprising, singing for students and proclaiming her support for democracy. On May 27th, 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."
In Taiwan during the 70's and 80's, Teresa was also known as the 'soldier's sweetheart" because she periodically performed for the troops (she was a child of a military family). Her folksy songs were especially noted for giving mainlanders (or KMT) a sense of longing for their homes in China. 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." Her singing was heartfelt and genuine.
While Teresa's popularity worldwide boomed in the 1970s, especially after her debut in Japan, her fame peaked during the 1980s. Teen idols Judy Ongg, OuYang Feifei, & Agnes Chan declined in popularity around this time when Teresa took centerstage. 1984-1989 was known as "Teresa Teng's Golden Years" when she released many classic songs & albums. She won the All-Japan Record Awards for four consecutive years (1984-1988). Teresa was the first to achieve this.
Teresa had dreamed of giving a concert in mainland China and was even publicly invited by the Chinese government, but died before this was fulfilled. close
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Teresa Teng needs a pic! She was so pretty!