Meilin at a photo shoot for her latest article on China Daily, Beijing, China. Jun 25, 2010
|Pinyin||Mei Lin (Mandarin)|
|Birth name||Alyssa Meilin Gray (梅琳)|
|Ancestry||Chinese, English, Scottish, Irish|
June 14, 1989 |
Redwood City, California
|Occupation||Singer, Composer, Actress, Choreographer, Lyricist, Dancer, Entrepreneur|
|Genre(s)||Mandopop, Chinese rock, Chinese R&B, Alternative|
|Instrument(s)||Guitar, piano, flute, traditional Chinese instruments|
|Years active||2006 – present|
|Parents||Gordon J Gray, Xiao-Nan Liu|
Alyssa Meilin Gray (born June 14, 1989) is an American-Chinese pop singer and songwriter, based in Beijing, China. Meilin first appeared on Chinese national and worldwide television in 2006 with her younger sister, Suelin, winning first place on Beijing Television’s ‘Arts of Our Land’ competition, performing a traditional Chinese ‘hulusi’ flute duet. BTV’s Arts of Our Land competition (Wai Guo Ren Zhong Hua Cai Yi Da Sai), was China’s then-premier international competition for foreigners to showcase their talents in traditional Chinese art and culture.
Following success on BTV’s ‘Arts of Our Land’, Meilin entered China Central Television’s ‘Xing Guang Da Dao’ Star Search competition, China’s foremost national talent competition, where she won first place in both the weekly and monthly competitions.
In 2007, Meilin (梅琳) and Hong Kong singer and actor, Nicholas Tse, recorded the theme song and music video for Walt Disney’s Mandarin language release of the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which gave Meilin her first commercial success, with the song reaching No.2 on Pepsi’s Chinese Billboard Pop Charts.
Early life and family
Meilin was born in Redwood City, California to Gordon J. Gray, a business consultant and musician, and Xiao-Nan Liu, a naturalized US citizen, whose parents had been high government officials in mainland China. Meilin’s parents met while attending a formal banquet for the visiting president of China, hosted by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Her parents married in 1986, and by the time Meilin was born, they had already relocated from L.A. to the San Francisco Bay area, where Meilin attended both private and public schools in Foster City, Belmont, and Redwood Shores.
Meilin’s family has been a major influence on her interest in music. Her father is a music recording enthusiast, who commandeered the family den into service as a recording studio when Meilin was 1-year old. Later, after relocating the family to China, he built a larger recording studio and continued experimenting with creating the music that eventually became Meilin’s first recordings and the backing tracks for her public performances.
Her father’s grandfather and grandmother had been professional child actors in vaudeville known as ‘Little Dottie’ and ‘Paul Yale’. They met in 1911 as touring members of the Marx Brothers vaudeville act, and were married on tour in 1912, later performing leading theater roles on Broadway in New York City. Meilin’s great uncle, Oakley Yale, was an accordionist and music teacher, who transposed and recorded classical symphonic music on accordion, touring Europe for many years with his accordion orchestra. Meilin’s father’s mother was also an accordionist, who performed on USO Armed Services Radio during World War II. On her mother’s side of the family in China, her mother and uncle studied violin prior to the closing of school during the Cultural Revolution.
Throughout her early youth Meilin studied the performing arts; broadway vocals, classical piano and jazz flute, as well as ballet, tap and jazz dance.
Music and stage career
In 1996, at the age of seven, Meilin began her acting career in San Mateo in supporting roles in the College of Notre Dame’s yearly performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’, the story of Scrooge, which she performed in for three years. In 1997, Meilin began an association with the San Mateo Performing Arts Group, with roles in the musicals ‘Wizard of Oz’, and ‘The King & I’, where she first came under the tutelage of professional actors and actresses.
By 2000, Meilin had begun her early singing career, establishing a local singing group composed of school friends, which she called ‘Mestere’, a name which she later used for her record company.
Relocating to China
Meilin’s parents’ connection with China meant that Meilin visited her family there periodically throughout her childhood, exposing her to Chinese music and culture early-on.In 2002, at the age of 13, while visiting family in China, Meilin decided she wanted to take one semester at a Chinese school to become more familiar with Chinese language and culture.Her father and mother were considering moving the family to China for business reasons, so Meilin moved over first, followed up a few months later by her entire family.She attended Nanjing Experimental Middle School, then relocated to Beijing, where she attended Bei Da Experimental School, and later a special music program focused on classical guitar at a public high school in the Haidian District of Beijing.
In late 2005, Meilin entered her first singing competition in China, the citywide ‘New Youth Singer’s’ competition in the city of Tianjin.By week-long TV call-in voting, Meilin was chosen by viewers as the top ‘New Entertainer’ among the original 800 competitors.
Following her success in various city-level singing competitions, in late 2005, Meilin began hosting ‘Vantage Point’, a 26-episode half-hour television series, presenting Chinese traditional arts and crafts to Chinese audiences, in Mandarin language.During the taping of one of these shows, Meilin was introduced to the Chinese traditional gourd flute known as the ‘hulusi’, which she and her younger sister then learned well enough to perform a duet, winning first place on (BTV) Beijing Television’s ‘Arts of Our Land’ international talent competition in early 2006.Meilin then entered CCTV’s ‘Xing Guang Da Dao’ Star Search, winning both weekly and monthly competitions.
During 2006–2007 Meilin performed in over 60 shows, both as a solo artist and with her sister Suelin.Meilin was invited by the Chinese folk singer ‘A Bao’ to perform a duet at the Great Hall of the People, and she and her sister, Suelin, performed a hulusi Chinese flute duet at this same venue in late 2006.
2008 Beijing Olympics
In the run-up period to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Meilin recorded the lead vocal on the official theme songs for China’s pre-Olympics promotional tour of America.The song was ‘Welcome to Beijing in 2008’, and featured Meilin in lead vocal, backed by a children’s choir of over 20 singers.The song was recorded on March 15, 2008 at the Beijing studios of China’s Air Force Blue Sky Children’s Art and Entertainment Group. The Beijing city government sent more than 500 entertainers to America to promote the Beijing Olympics, and this song was featured as one of the main theme songs heard throughout that tour, with versions of the song created for the various cities they visited.
In August 2007, China’s Olympic Committee staged the one-year countdown celebration to the Olympics, featuring 100 of China’s top singers on Tiananmen Square, singing the official Olympics countdown song called, ‘We Are Ready’, Meilin was the only foreigner invited to participate in this event, which was broadcast worldwide on China Central Television.She was also featured in the official printed book commemorating this song and event, with a full-page photo and her signature.
Artistic development and university
Throughout 2007 and 2008, Meilin participated in many televised events, including an official show at China’s ‘White House’, a state holiday dinner attended by over 200 foreign ambassadors.Meilin was introduced to China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and sang a solo part in the final song, broadcast on CCTV.In 2008, Meilin was a guest artist in the Chinese Spring Festival Evening Concert.
Meilin attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA during the summer of 2009, taking courses in music theory, songwriting, and performing.This was followed by a month of study at “The Acting Corps” in Los Angeles, with personalized classes in acting, dance, and performing arts.
In 2007, Meilin was given a scholarship at Tianjin Normal University and began her under-graduate study with a major in Performing Arts.Since then, she has divided her time between formal university study and performing and recording.
Single With Nicholas Tse
- 2007: Beauty and The Beast a Disney release.
Singles in Chinese
Singles in English
- 2010: If You Knew
- 2010: Thought I'd Lost You
- 2010: Make It
- 2011: Tastes Like Sugar'
- 2011: Make It: AGAIN'
- "Arts major takes charge". China Daily. June 25, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "Ｈａｌｆ Ｈａｉｒ玩味冬春风情―《中国化妆品（时尚版）》―2008年第2期―龙源期刊网". Qikan.com.cn. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- For an article about the Gray sisters, the early career of Meilin & Suelin, see "(新华社)"心手牵连"电视公益行动在京启动(附图)". Crcf.org.cn. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- Read article, photos of both sisters
- "美国女孩爱唱越剧——梅琳在津演出侧记(组图)-梅琳,美国女孩-北方网-新闻中心". News.enorth.com.cn. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- CCTV.com央视国际网络有限公司版权所有. "首届在华留学生汉语大赛在京举行_cctv.com提供". News.cctv.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "Meilin 梅琳 and Nicholas Tse 謝霆鋒 – Beauty and The Beast MV". youtube. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- "组图：谢霆锋新歌发布 自诩"恋家的温柔野兽"_影音娱乐_新浪网". Ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "谢霆锋携手梅琳 演唱《美女与野兽》主题曲 – 娱乐新闻". Music.ifensi.com. September 3, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "迪士尼日报 » 谢霆锋与梅琳打造《美女与野兽》中文版主题曲《爱在蔓延中》 – 神奇一刻 – 迪士尼迷的家 迪斯尼 Disney Fans' Corner". Disneybox.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "谢霆锋携手梅琳 演唱《美女与野兽》主题曲". News.cn6154.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "为动画大片献声 梅琳谢霆锋上演"美女与野兽" -梅琳,谢霆锋-新闻". News.qz828.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "谢霆锋携手梅琳 演唱《美女与野兽》主题曲(图) -快讯-东方热线". News.cnool.net. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "Îª¶¯»´Óæ¬Ï×Éùã·Áõð»Öª·Æéïñý¡°Ãàå®Óëò°Êþ¡±". Sxjzwb.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "《中国化妆品》 2008年第02期在线阅读 – 《杂志合集》 – 期刊杂志TXT下载 – 手机电子书 |TXT小说下载|手机小说|手机电子书下载|手机电子书免费下载". Daydaygou.com. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "资料图片：《星光大道》第五个月冠军-梅琳(5)_影音娱乐_新浪网". Ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "梅琳图片|梅琳资料|资讯 – 梅琳". Singer.yiqilai.com. January 16, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "美国女孩爱唱越剧——梅琳在津演出侧记(组图)-梅琳,美国女孩-北方网-新闻中心". News.enorth.com.cn. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- Read about the performance, and photo of Meilin with A Bao
- "【MV】群星《We Are Ready》倒计时一年主题歌-人民宽频-人民网". People's Daily. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "北京奥运我们准备好了，百名明星演唱奥运歌曲_资讯中心_中国邮箱网". Chinaemail.com.cn. July 26, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "幕后花絮：《We Are Ready》群星倾力献唱-人民宽频-人民网". People's Daily. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "133名歌星天安门演唱 杨臣刚站前排遭抗议-娱记之家-娱乐先锋-搜狐社区". Club.yule.sohu.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "邵雨涵《死了都不卖》"唱"出680多万利润_娱乐资讯_中网资讯中心（CNWNS）". Cnwnews.com. August 13, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "北京奥运会倒计时1周年歌曲《we are ready》MV-奥运-北方网-文化娱乐". Ent.enorth.com.cn. June 4, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "让世界无眠的哈尔滨之夜——记第24届世界大学生冬季运动会开幕式-开幕式-黑龙江新闻". Heilongjiang.dbw.cn. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "第24届世界大冬会开幕式六大亮点-生活报". Shzhidao.cn. February 19, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "Meilin Gray". Berkleemusic.com. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
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