||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (December 2012)|
|Chinese name||鄧麗君 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||邓丽君 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||Dèng Lìjūn (Mandarin)|
|Pe̍h-ōe-jī||Tēng Lê-kun (Hokkien)|
|Birth name||Teng Li-yun (鄧麗筠)|
|Ancestry||Daming County, Hebei|
|Origin||Republic of China (Taiwan)|
January 29, 1953|
Baojhong, Yunlin, Taiwan
|Died||May 8, 1995
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
|Resting place||Chin Pao Shan (Jinbaoshan), Taiwan
|Other name(s)||Teresa Tang, Teresa Deng|
|Genre(s)||Mandopop, Cantopop, J-Pop|
Yeu Jow (1967–71)
Polydor K.K. (1974–81)
|Partner(s)||Quilery Paul Puel Stephane (1989-1995) (engaged)|
Teresa Teng (January 29, 1953 – May 8, 1995; traditional Chinese: 鄧麗君; simplified Chinese: 邓丽君; pinyin: Dèng Lìjūn; Wade–Giles: Teng Li-chun; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tēng Lē-kun, Japanese: テレサ・テン) was a Taiwanese Chinese pop singer. Teng's voice and songs are instantly recognized throughout East Asia and in areas with large Asian populations. It is often said, "Wherever there are Chinese people, the songs of Teresa Teng can be heard." Her songs enjoy popularity among Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese listeners as well.
Teng was known for her folk songs and romantic ballads. Many became standards in her lifetime, such as "When Will You Return?" and "The Moon Represents My Heart". She recorded songs not only in her native Mandarin but also in Taiwanese Hokkien, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian, and English.
Teng, a lifelong sufferer from asthma, died in 1995 from a severe respiratory attack while on holiday in Thailand. She was 42.
Teresa Teng was born in Baozhong, Yunlin County, Republic of China, to a mainland Chinese from Hebei, which her father was a soldier, she was the only girl, with three older brothers and a younger brother. She was educated at Ginling Girls High School. As a young child, Teng 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" (梁祝), at an event hosted by Broadcasting Corporation of China. She was soon able to support her family with her singing. Taiwan's rising manufacturing economy in the 1960s made the purchase of records easier for more families. With her father's approval, she quit high school to pursue singing professionally.
Teng's singing style conveyed simplicity and sincerity. 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."
Teng gained her first taste of fame in 1968 when a performance on a popular Taiwanese music program 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 the Polydor Japan 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, Teng sang many Japanese songs, including original hits such as "Give yourself to the flow of Time" (時の流れに身をまかせ Toki no Nagare ni Mi wo Makase ) which was later covered in Chinese as "I Only Care About You".
In 1974 the song "Airport" (空港) became a hit in Japan. Teng remained popular in Japan despite being barred from the country briefly in 1979 for having a fake Indonesian passport she purchased for US$20,000. The subterfuge had seemed necessary due to the official break in relations between Taiwan and Japan that occurred shortly after the People's Republic of China replaced the ROC in the United Nations.
Teng's popularity boomed worldwide in the 1970s after her debut in Japan. Singing by now in Cantonese, Japanese and English besides her native Mandarin, Teng's popularity quickly grew in Malaysia and Indonesia. In Taiwan she was known not only as the island's most popular export, but as "the soldier's sweetheart" because of her frequent performances for servicemen. Teng was herself the child of a military family. Her concerts for troops featured popular music and Taiwanese folk songs that appealed to natives of the island as well as Chinese folk songs that appealed to homesick refugees of the civil war.
In the early 1980s, continuing political tension between mainland China and Taiwan led to her music, along with that of other singers from Taiwan and Hong Kong, being banned for several years in mainland China as too "bourgeois". Her popularity in China continued to grow nonetheless thanks to the black market. As Teng songs continued to be played everywhere, from nightclubs to government buildings, the ban on her music was soon lifted. Her Chinese fans nicknamed her "Little Deng" because she had the same family name as Deng Xiaoping; it was said that Deng the Communist leader ruled China by day, but that Deng the singer ruled China by night.
Teng's contract with Polydor ended in 1981. She signed a contract with Taurus Records in 1983 and made a successful comeback appearance in Japan. In 1983 Taurus released her album, Dandan youqing. This album consisted of settings of 12 poems from the Tang and Song dynasties. The music, written by composers of her earlier hits, blended modern and traditional styles of East and West. The most popular single from the album today is "Wishing We Last Forever". The number of hits released in the years from 1984–1989 make them "Teresa Teng's Golden Years" in the views of her fans. She was the first singer to win the All-Japan Record Awards for four consecutive years (1984–1988). In 1986, she was named one of the top seven female singers in the world by TIME magazine. Despite all this, she only had one concert in Japan, which was ironically named "One Night and Once Only" in NHK Concert Hall.
Gunther Mende, Mary Susan Applegate and Candy de Rouge wrote a song entitled The Power of Love for Jennifer Rush. After a couple of months, Teresa Teng covered it, making it notable in Asian regions. She originally sung it in her Last Concert, 1985.
Teng performed in Paris during the 1989 Tiananmen student protests on behalf of the students and proclaimed her support for democracy. On May 27, 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."
Though Teng performed in many countries around the world during her career, her hopes of performing one day in mainland China never materialized. The Communist Party of China eventually invited her to do so in the 1990s, but she died before having the opportunity.
Death and commemorations
Teng died from a severe asthma attack, though doctors and her partner Paul Quilery had speculated that she died from a heart attack due to a side effect of an overdose of adrenergic agonists during her attack while on holiday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the age of 42 (43 by Chinese reckoning) on May 8, 1995. Quilery was on his way to buy food for her, but the attack occurred in his absence. He was also aware that Teresa relied on the same medication in the two months before her passing with minor attacks. Teresa was an asthmatic throughout her adult life. She was admitted to the same hospital back on New Year's Day that year for asthma attack, but died in transit. Teng was given state honors at her funeral in Taiwan, with the flag of the Republic of China draped over her casket and then president Lee Teng-hui in attendance among thousands in mourning.
Teresa Teng was buried in a mountainside tomb at Chin Pao San, a cemetery in Jinshan, New Taipei City (then Taipei County) overlooking the north coast of Taiwan. The grave site features a statue of Teng and a large electronic piano keyboard set in the ground that can be played by visitors who step on the keys. The memorial is often visited by her fans — this represents a noteworthy departure from the traditional Chinese practice of shunning grave sites.
A house she bought in 1986 in Hong Kong at No. 18 Carmel Street, Stanley has also become a site of pilgrimage for her fans soon after her death. Plans to sell the home to finance a museum in Shanghai were made known in 2002, and subsequently sold for HK$ 32 million. It closed on what would have been her 51st birthday on January 29, 2004.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of her death, the Teresa Teng Culture and Education Foundation launched a campaign entitled "Feel Teresa Teng". In addition to organizing an anniversary concert in Hong Kong and Taiwan, music fans paid homage at her shrine at Chin Pao San Cemetery. Additionally, some of her dresses, jewelry and personal items were placed on exhibition at Yuzi Paradise, an art park outside Guilin, China. The foundation also served as her wishes to set up a school or educational institute.
In May 2002, a wax figure of Teng was unveiled at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
In September 2013, Taiwanese singer-songwriter Jay Chou featured Teng in the Taiwan leg of his Opus Jay 2013 World Tour series of concerts, with her projected image and digitally rendered vocals, in an effort similar to Tupac Shakur's posthumous appearance at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival. There, they sang a duet, starting off with Teng's classic, "What Do You Have To Say", and Chou's 2012 single "Mundane Inn", before ending off with the 2006 single "Faraway" (originally a duet with Fei Yu-ching).
Teresa had guarded her personal life from the public since 1987, fearing that it would jeopardize her career. She had a failed relationship with son of a Malaysian gambling industry tycoon that ended with his untimely passing when she was about 19. In 1982, she was engaged to Beau Kuok 郭孔丞, a Malaysian businessman/CEO/Chairman (at the time with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts) and son of multi-billionaire Robert Kuok, they met in 1978, but Teng called off the engagement due to the three unreasonable pre-nuptial agreements by his grandmother which forced Teng to quit and sever all ties with the entertainment industry, as well as fully disclosing her biography, as well as her rumoured relationships in writing. She also had a high-profile rumored relationship with Jackie Chan, which resulted in failed farewell performances on Enjoy Yourselves Tonight in her attempts to fade out of entertainment business. In 1989, she met a French photographer Quilery Paul Puel Stephane (Paul) in Paris which they spent 7 years together until her death. Paul revealed at an interview with Karen Mok 3 years after her death that they were engaged in a temple in Chang Mai, Thailand in 1995, and planned to marry in August.
Influence on popular culture
- Teresa Teng, Judy Ongg (1950–), Agnes Chan (1955–), Ouyang Feifei (1949–), and Yu Yar (尤雅, 1953–) were billed as the "Five Great Asian Divas" during the 1970s and 1980s due to their huge cross-cultural popularity. Teng's music remains the most popular.
- Her songs have been covered by a number of singers, including Faye Wong who released a tribute album (Decadent Sound of Faye, 靡靡之音, 1995) of Teng's popular hits.
- The 1996 Hong Kong film Comrades: Almost a Love Story (甜蜜蜜) directed by Peter Chan features the tragedy and legacy of Teresa Teng in a subplot to the main story. The movie won best picture in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and at the Seattle Film Festival in the United States.
- Her songs are featured in various films, e.g. Rush Hour 2, The Game, Prison On Fire, Formosa Betrayed, Gomorrah.
- In 2007, TV Asahi produced a tanpatsu (単発, TV movie), entitled Teresa Teng Monogatari (テレサ・テン物語) to commemorate the 13th anniversary of her death. Actress Yoshino Kimura starred as Teresa Teng.
- Her song "Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase" was played numerous times in the film "Ban zhi yan" (also known as "Metade Fumaça" which means "half smoked" in Portuguese), including the opening scene. It can be called the theme of the film.
- In Mainland China, her songs had been banned during Cultural Revolution, after that, cassette tapes of her songs finally was filtered and copied into the homes of the citizens. Coincidentally, because she shared the same surname as Deng Xiaoping, a politician and reformist leader of the Communist Party of China, so Teresa also had a nickname of "Little (or Younger) Teng", and in China, there had been sayings such as "Listening to Older Teng (Deng Xiaoping) in the morning, and Younger Teng at night", or "Only listening to (or love) Younger Teng and not Older Teng.". Teng never managed to hold any concerts in Mainland China throughout her career.
Awards received in Japan
Teng received the following awards in Japan:
- The New Singer Award for 「空港」 (Kūkō) in 1974.
- The Gold Award in 1986 for 「時の流れに身をまかせ」 (Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase).
- The Grand Prix for 「つぐない」 (Tsugunai) in 1984: 「愛人」 (Aijin) in 1985; and 「時の流れに身をまかせ」 (Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase) in 1986. This was the first time anyone had won the Grand Prix three years in a row.
- The Outstanding Star Award for 「別れの予感」 (Wakare no Yokan) in 1987.
- The Cable Radio Music Award for 「別れの予感」 (Wakare no Yokan) in 1987 and 1988.
- The Cable Radio Special Merit Award (有線功労賞) in 1995 for three consecutive Grand Prix wins.
Unless it has new songs or new re-recordings of old songs, a compilation is not listed here. Also, these English translations of non-English albums are unofficial; some albums may be impossible to accurately translate.
- 1974: kūkō / yukigeshō (空港 / 雪化粧 Airport/Covered in Snow)
- 1975: yoru no jōkyaku / onna no ikigai (夜の乗客 / 女の生きがい Passengers at Night / Life of a Woman)
- 1975: Akashia no yume (アカシアの夢 Dreams of Acacia)
- 1977: furusato wa doko desu ka (ふるさとはどこですか Where Is Home?)
- 1977: anata to ikiru (あなたと生きる Living with You)
- 1978: Tōkyō yakei (東京夜景 Tokyo Night)
- 1978: kokoro ni nokoru yoru no uta (心にのこる夜の唄)
- 1980: Enka no messēji (演歌のメッセージ Message of an Enka)
- 1980: nii (anata) / ma gokoro (你(あなた) / まごころ)
- 1981: Jerusomīna no arui ta michi (ジェルソミーナの歩いた道 The Way Gelsomina Walked)
- 1983: Tabibito (旅人 The Traveler)
- 1984: Tsugunai (つぐない Atonement)
- 1985: Aijin (愛人 Lover)
- 1986: Toki no nagare ni mi o makase (時の流れに身をまかせ Traces of Time)
- 1987: Wakare no yokan (別れの予感 Premonition of Separation)
Lee Fung Records (丽风唱片)
- 1972: dang wo yijing zhidao ai / na nu wa qingge (當我已經知道愛 / 娜奴娃情歌)
- 1973: caiyun fei (彩雲飛)
- 1974: hai yun (海韻)
- 1975: meiyou ai zenme huo / yong xiangai (没有爱怎么活 / 永相爱)
- 1976: Gui ma qiao yisheng (鬼馬俏醫生)
- 1976: Heart Likes to Just Say Love / I Love You Exactly (心中喜歡就說愛 xinzhong xihuan jiu shuo ai / 我就是愛你 wo jiushi ai ni)
Polygram (寶麗金) / Kolin (歌林唱片)
Albums by Kolin Records with different names are listed separately.
- 1975: Island of Love Songs: Goodbye! My Love (岛国之情歌: 再见! 我的爱人 daoguo zhi qingge: zaijian! wode airen)
- Also known as Island of Love Songs 1: Goodbye! My Love (岛国之情歌第一集: 再见! 我的爱人 daoguo zhi qingge diyi ji: zaijian! wode airen)
- Mandarin rendition of the Japanese album Kūkō / yukigeshō (空港 / 雪化粧)
- In Taiwan, released by Hai Shan Records (海山唱片)
- 1976: Island of Love Songs 2: Thinking about You Tonight / Tears of Drizzle (岛国之情歌第二集: 今夜想起你 / 淚的小雨 daoguo zhi qingge dier ji: jinye xiangqi ni / leide xiaoyu)
- Mandarin rendition of the album Yoru no jōkyaku / onna no ikigai (夜の乗客 / 女の生きがい)
- 1977: Greatest Hits
- Twelve re-recordings of songs originally from Lee Fung Records (丽风唱片)
- 1977: Island of Love Songs 3: Fine Drizzle (岛国之情歌第三集：丝丝小雨 daoguo zhi qingge disan ji: Sisi xiaoyu)
- Mandarin rendition of the album Akashia no yume (アカシアの夢); bonus addition to the song "Yun shenqing ye shen" (雲深情也深), originally sung by Liu Wen Zheng
- 1977: Greatest Hits Vol. 2
- Some tracks are re-recordings of songs originally from Lee Fung Records (丽风唱片)
- 1977: Island of Love Songs 4: Love in Hong Kong (島國之情歌第四集: 香港之戀 dao guo zhi qingge disi ji: Xianggang zhi lian)
- Mandarin rendition of furusato wa doko desu ka (ふるさとはどこですか)
- Two following different songs replaced other two Japanese songs by Teresa Teng instead of rendering them in Mandarin:
- 1979: Your Sweet Smile / Sweet Honey Honey (甜蜜蜜 tian mi mi)
- 1980: zai shui yifang (在水一方)
- 1980: A Small Wish (一个小心愿 yi ge xiao xin yuan)
- 1980: yuan xiangren (原鄉人)
- 1981: yuan xiangqing nong (原鄉情濃)
- Slightly different from the Kolin release of the same name
- 1983: dandan youqing (淡淡幽情)
These albums with different names have slightly similar tracklists with one or two songs omitted from Polygram counterparts.
- 1977: Yun shenqing ye shen (雲深情也深)
- Taiwanese edition of Island of Love Songs 3: Fine Drizzle (岛国之情歌第三集: 丝丝小雨)
- 1977: xiao cun zhi lian / qiansheng youyuan (小村之恋 / 前生有缘)
- Taiwanese edition of Island of Love Songs 4: Love in Hong Kong (島國之情歌第四集: 香港之戀)
- 1980: yuan xiangqing nong (原鄉情濃)
- Taiwanese edition of yuan xiangren (原鄉人)
- 1976: With Love from... Teresa Teng (愛之世界 ai zhi shijie, lit. World of love)
- 1973: Caiyun fei (彩雲飛) 7" EP
- 1974: "konya kashira ashita kashira / ame ni nure ta hana" (今夜かしら明日かしら / 雨にぬれた花 "Tonight? Tomorrow? / Wet Flower")
- —: "kūkō / hagure ta kobato" (空港 / はぐれた小鳩 "Airport / Stray Pigeon")
- —: "yukigeshō / tōku kara ai o kome te" (雪化粧 / 遠くから愛をこめて "Covered in Snow / With Love from Afar")
- 1975: "onna no ikigai / yogiri" (女の生きがい / 夜霧 "Life of a Woman / Night Fog")
- —: "yoru no jōkyaku / kuraku naru made" (夜の乗客 / 暗くなるまで "Passengers at Night / Until Dark")
- —: "Akashia no yume / michishio" (アカシアの夢 / 満ち潮 "Dreams of Acacia" / "Tide")
- 1976: "yoru no ferībōto / Akasaka tasogare" (夜のフェリーボート / 赤坂たそがれ "Ferry Boat at Night" / Twilight in Akasaka")
- 1977: "furusato wa doko desu ka / anata ni kaeri tai" (ふるさとはどこですか / あなたに帰りたい "Where Is Home? / You Want to Go")
- —: "anata to ikiru / umibe no hoteru" (あなたと生きる / 海辺のホテル "Living with You / Seaside Hotel")
- 1977: Fāsuto konsāto (ファースト コンサート First Concert)
- Wudunn, Sheryl. "Teresa Teng, Singer, 40, Dies; Famed in Asia for Love Songs." The New York Times. May 10, 1995.
- 鄧麗君 Teresa Teng 望春風 Spring Fever (台語 Taiwanese)[dead link]
- Teresa Tang - Forget Him (Cantonese)[dead link]
- Teresa Tang - You and Me (Japanese & Mandarin)[dead link]
- "Pop diva Teresa Teng lives on in Chinese hearts". China Daily. 2005-05-12. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- Kristof, Nicholas D. (February 19, 1991). "A Taiwan Pop Singer Sways the Mainland". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Zhou, Kate (2011). China's Long March to Freedom: Grassroots Modernization. Transaction Publishers. p. 145.
- Yeh, Joseph. "Legendary singer Teresa Teng's exhibition kicks off today". news.asiaone.com. January 26, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- YouTube (video), Google.[dead link]
- Zhao, Lei (August 3, 2006). "Why Teresa Teng Could Not Visit Mainland China". Southern Weekend (via Sina.com). Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5XSZ3QSti4 Teresa Teng those years before she passing away 鄧麗君 邓丽君 最後的秘密生活2
- Teresa Teng's grave. North Coast & Guanyinshang official website. Retrieved 2 Jan 2007.[dead link]
- Taiwanese diva's home 'for sale'. BBC news, 29 July 2002. Retrieved 2 Jan 2007.
- A Retrospective Look at 2004. HKVP Radio, Dec 2004. Retrieved 2 Jan 2007.
- "Teresa Teng in loving memory forever". China Daily. 2005-05-08. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- Beau Kuok in Baidu
- Teresa Teng those years before she passing away 鄧麗君 邓丽君 最後的秘密生活1
- テレビ朝日｜スペシャルドラマ テレサ・テン物語
- " テレサ・テン データべース (Teresa Teng Database)", Retrieved 14 Dec 2007.
- Teresa Teng Foundation 鄧麗君文教基金會
- 鄧麗君 Teresa Teng テレサ・テン – One And Only
- Teresa Teng at AllMusic
- Teresa Teng discography at MusicBrainz
- Teresa Teng at the Internet Movie Database
|Awards and achievements|
|Golden Needle Award of RTHK Top Ten Chinese Gold Songs Award