Michael Wong (Chinese: 王光良; pinyin: Wáng Guāngliáng), born August 30, 1970, is a Malaysian singer and composer. Wong began his singing career with Rock Records in a duo with Victor Wong. The pair had attained notable success in Taiwan, but in a mutual agreement the two split in 2000. Wong has released four solo albums, the third being his breakthrough album Fairy Tale. He also enjoys success as an actor in Chinese dramas and movies.
Born in Ipoh, Malaysia to a Hakka family of six as the third child amidst two older brothers and one younger sister, the first step of Michael Wong's journey in the world of music began when his parents invested into a piano (a semitone lower) for him and his younger sister. Wong was ten years old at the time. He then began to accompany his six year-old sister to attend piano lessons together. He has practiced the piano for seven years since then.
Wong, as a devout Catholic, often sang in the church choir during his school days and was once a choir teacher at a church. Graduating from Sam Tet School in Ipoh, Wong often participated in musical performances in school and has been writing his own songs since secondary school. Arriving in Kuala Lumpur (the capital city of Malaysia) to pursue a course in computer engineering, and his interest in the world of music and music composition began to grow.
Entering from up to 30 singing competitions in town in a single year, where he managed to surface as the winner several times, were also the stepping stones to his successful singing career today. Finally noticed by Asia Pacific Music in the Pioneer karaoke contest, he then joined forces with a college mate, Victor Wong, and together the duo produced a demo album for Rock Records, which in turn, signed them up almost immediately. They then formed a duo group known more commonly known in Malaysia as Michael & Victor or Guang Liang Pin Guan (光良品冠). In Taiwan and China, they were mostly known as Wu Yin Liang Pin (無印良品), a name given by their record label in Taiwan.
The duo then arguably became the first Malaysians to attain much success in the music scene in Taiwan. Their albums managed to hit the top notch both locally and in Taiwan as their debut album went platinum in both nations. After a few splendid and successful years together as a duo in the Chinese music scene, during which the pair bagged countless awards for their success, Michael and Victor then decided it was time to part cordially and go their own ways in the music scene as solo singers in year 2000.
Not long after the announcement, Wong worked hard to compose and write new songs for his new solo album, Michael's First Album (第一次個人創作專輯; Dì Yī Cì Gè Rén Chuàng Zuò Zhuān Jí), which performed above expectation. Although Wong's company promptly decided that he should produce his first solo album on his own, he did not agree straight away. This is because he was not confident that he was skillful enough to produce one whole album all by himself. However, after much contemplating, Wong finally accepted the challenge and was successful in breaking away from the Michael & Victor mould. Other than working on his own album, Wong also found time to co-produce other singers' albums like Rene Liu and Fish Leong.
Wong released his second album, Ray of Light (光芒; Guāng Máng), in November 2002. It,then became the number one album, in sales, in Taiwan.
After releasing two solo albums on his own, his fans had to wait another two years before Wong finally launched his much-anticipated album, Fairytale (Tong Hua). The first single from this album, Fairy Tale, Wong wrote and composed by himself. Wong, who is more of a composer and hardly wrote lyrics, asked about 30 lyricists for suggestions for this particular song. After finally adding a finishing touch to the song with lyrics he wrote himself, he then left it to be arranged and produced by the experienced Japanese producer Taichi Nakamura. After rejecting the first few songs he short-listed himself for the album with his sense of perfection, Wong eventually re-selected some songs himself and finally rooted for his ten favourite songs to be cut into the album, of which six were co-written by himself. His two years of hard work finally paid off when this album immediately attained success, and is critically acclaimed to be Wong's best-selling album yet.
Fairy Tale has proved to be his strongest single yet by shooting up to No. 1 immediately after it was released in January 2005, making it to the top of the download counter Baidu 500 for 15 weeks as Asia was swept by the "Fairy Tale Tornado". The single is arguably the most successful Chinese language song in the 21st Century. As of 2007 it is still among the top in the karaoke charts.
Michael Wong's contract with Rock Records ended on 31 Dec 2004 but he decided to continue to promote for the album, Fairy Tale, released Jan 2005. After the promotion period finished, Wong has made the biggest decision in his singing career by announcing his departure from his long time recording company, Rock Records, in July 2005. After 10 years being contracted with Rock Records, Wong is now officially signed to Seed Music. The reason of his departure from Rock Records was because Rock Records believed that since his music was so simple, it was not music. Thus, they ignored him. On TV, someone had claimed that Wong's music was not music due to its simplicity, causing the singer grief. Wong's unstable relationship with Rock Records has encouraged his decision to leave for Seed Music. When pressed for comments, Wong firmly and merely stated that he thanked Rock Records for giving him his big break.
His talents and works in the music world aside, Wong also happens to be a worthy actor. Acting alongside Taiwanese singer Richie Ren, fellow Malaysian singer, Ah Niu and famous Cantonese singer/actress, Sammi Cheng, Wong made his debut in the big screen in movie 'Summer Holiday' in year 2000. Next to that, Wong also acted in several TV drama series in Taiwan, such as White Romance (starring alongside Karena Lam), Wintry Night 2, and a several more. Besides that, Wong also did a stunning act in Taiwanese director, Su Chaopin's debut comedy movie, 'BTS'. Besides movies and drama series, Wong also starred in a musical stage drama in Taiwan, 'Mr. Wing' in August 2005.
He has released his new fourth album, entitled 《約定》(Yue Ding / Commitment), which sold 1.5 million copies in less than one month. This is a best collection of many of his past works. There would be a total of approximately 17 tracks on this album. Three self-penned new songs are featured in this new album, which are titled 《約定》(Commitment), 《都是你》(Dou Shi Ni / It's You) and 《擁抱我》(Yong Bao Wo / Embrace Me). The rest of the album will be filled with songs which he wrote for other singers like 《勇氣》[(Yong Qi / Courage)-original singer: Fish Leong)], 《我等你》[(Wo Deng Ni / I'm Waiting For You)-original singer: Rene Liu)] and 《戀》[(Lian / Love)-original singer: Angelica Lee)]. He also included the songs he written and sang when he was still part of the duo, Michael and Victor.
Owing to the overwhelming success of Tong Hua, some critics have expressed their concerns that Tong Hua might only be Wong's one-hit-wonder. His critics were proven wrong as the sales of his fourth album, Yue Ding, exceeded expectations by selling more than a million copies worldwide in a month's time. Wong's fanbase has grown tremendously and has gained much popularity globally. His success as a singer and songwriter has earned him countless awards from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Gaining more and more recognition globally, Wong was recently appointed as Tourism Malaysia's ambassador. Earlier before that, Wong's participation in A Music records label in Hong Kong has also gained him more recognition in Asia. He appeared as a guest appearance at the concert of famous Cantonese singer, Leon Lai concert in October 2005.
On June 6, 2006, Wong made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as the Malaysian Chinese Male Composer with the highest number of awards and also for The Best Selling Chinese Album (Tong Hua). Wong has gathered 44 awards,23 which were for his hit song Tong Hua.
Wong has also managed to make it to the nominees' list of the 17th Golden Melody Awards, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Grammys. Wong was holding up against fellow Taiwan-based Malaysian singer Penny Tai and other musical talents like Hu Defu, Chen Xiaoxia, and Yu Yang in the Best Composer Category. Although the award went to fellow Malaysian singer, Penny Tai, Wong expresses that he feels very grateful and lucky to be nominated in this prestigious award ceremony.
In the past, Wong always felt puzzled and uncertain whenever his fans urged him with the question, "When are you finally having a concert?". Due to circumstances in the past, Wong has never held his own solo concert before and always tried to soothe his fans by making promises to them that he will, one day, finally stage his own solo concert some time soon. And therefore, in year 2006, he finally got the chance to fulfill the commitment between him and his fans.
With just half a year in Hong Kong music scene, Wong who gained more recognition in Hong Kong, was given a golden opportunity to stage his own solo concert. Not only that it is his first time, but it will also be held in the famous Hong Kong Coliseum where almost every Chinese singer dreams to stage their own concert. Apparently, he is the first Malaysian singer to do so. Although a bit worried about the amount of audience turning up that night, Wong's fear has been proven to be unnecessary because his concert tickets was sold out after being available for purchase in only 5 days. Wong was deeply surprised and delighted and thanked his fans greatly for their utmost support to his music. Wong completed his much-anticipated first solo concert in the Hong Kong Coliseum on the 29th of March and the success of the whole concert was undeniable. His concert is entitled 'Michael's First Fairy Tale Concert 2006'. Wong has managed to make his mark in everybody's heart with his love for music. After that, he will set to return to his homeland, Malaysia in September to stage a concert there as well.
His second concert, titled 'Michael's Commitment Concert Malaysia 2006', was held on the 1st of September in the Putra Indoor Stadium in Malaysia. After about a few weeks of selling tickets, all were sold out. Due to the overwhelming response, Wong and his company decided to stage his concert there for two nights. Wong was very delighted and grateful that his fans are so supportive and stated that he hoped these two concerts will allow him to introduce his country, Malaysia to his fans from other countries, playing the role as Tourism Malaysia's envoy. His two shows in Malaysia guaranteed a fun-filled night where fans enjoyed Wong's soothing, self-written songs.
Wong released a compilation called Michael 1996-2006 the greatest hits on May 16, 2007.
On November 9, 2007, Wong released his 5th solo studio album, Never Apart.