Wei Wei (singer)

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Wei Wei
Chinese name 韋唯 (traditional)
Chinese name 韦唯 (simplified)
Pinyin Wéi Wéi (Mandarin)
Birth name Zhang Ju Xia Wei
Ancestry Zhuang
Origin China
Born (1963-09-28) 28 September 1963 (age 51)
Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China
Occupation Singer
Genre(s) Mandopop, dance-pop, pop rock
Instrument(s) Singing
Voice type(s) Contralto
Label(s) Wei Wei Music
Years active 1973, 1986–present
Official Website www.weiweimusic.com

Wei Wei (simplified Chinese: 韦唯; traditional Chinese: 韋唯; pinyin: Wéi Wéi; September 28, 1963) is a Mandopop singer and actress. She was born in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia and was raised in Liuzhou, Guangxi.

Wei Wei recently performed at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo (May 2010), as well as at the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics (August 2008). Between these two major events in China, she performed at the opening- and the closing ceremony of the 11th National Games in Nanjing, China (October 2009). She is a contralto, which is rare in Chinese Pop.

Wei Wei has been an Olympic Ambassador for China since 1993 when the Chinese Olympic Committee applied for the games for the first time. She supported the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics by performing at major Olympic events in China and abroad. In 2004, she received the highest number of votes[1] in an Internet survey as to who should sing the theme song of the Chinese Olympics. Wei Wei was the single representative for Asia at the 100 year anniversary show at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA in 1996.

In September 2006 Wei Wei's song I Want to Fly (the Mandarin version of Where We Are) was appointed official song for the 2008 Olympic Sailing City of Qingdao by the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Sailing Committee (Qingdao) of Beijing for the Beijing Olympics.

In 2006, Wei Wei celebrated 20 years on stage. The anniversary was highlighted by the production of new recordings of her 20 greatest hits: The Wei Wei 20X20 Celebration Collection. The recordings were produced in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles.

Her breakthrough came in 1986, when she won the National Young Singers contest on Chinese television. The next year, China sent a representative to an international pop competition for the first time: The 24th Sopot International Song Festival in Poland. She won the competition, and the "Miss Photo-category" as well, which brought her even more attention. Four years later, she was chosen to perform at the 11th Asian Games in Beijing, and sang a duet with Spanish singer Julio Iglesias at the 1993 East Asian Games in Shanghai. She has sold over 250 million records.

She has lived in Stockholm, Sweden since 1999. But according to I Am Singer 2, she now lives with her sons in Beijing, China.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Wei Wei was born to a Zhuang family in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. Her father was employed by China Central Railway. While in kindergarten, she practiced different instruments, classical ballet and singing and was trained to perform in front of large audiences from the age of four. Aged seven, Wei Wei's family moved to Liuzhou in Guangxi province. At the age of 14 Wei Wei moved to Beijing by herself and started to work for one of China's largest performance units, the Beijing Cultural Song and Dance Group. As a young unit member she participated in all kinds of performances as well as the activities around them – dancing, singing, playing instruments, choreography, stage design, lights etc. The unit traveled all over the country, often doing several live performances in one day.

1986–1987: Breakthrough[edit]

In 1986, Wei Wei won the National Young Singers contest on Chinese television with the song Wanna Take One More Chance to Look at You.

In 1987, she won the 24th Sopot International Music Festival in Poland as China's first representative to an international pop competition.

1988–1992: Rising Stardom[edit]

In 1988, her fame rose with the theme song for CCTV's Chinese New Year's Eve Show, Gathering of the Year of the Dragon. The song was also presented at CCTV's Spring Festival Live Show. Later that year, she received a special award for the hit song, Enamored Pursue at the Mysamy International Music Festival and Same Song won the gold medal in the Beijing International Song Festival.

In 1989, her song Dedication of Love became a national hit as she became the symbol for charity fund raising activities. Wei Wei was crowned "The Icon of Love" by the media[citation needed]. In the same year, her song Today is Your Birthday won the gold medal at Jian Brand Cup and Beijing Radio Song Competition. It has since been used as the theme song for China's National Day[citation needed].

The 1990 song Asian Mighty Winds was introduced at the Asian Games and immediately became a national hit. Wei Wei was dubbed the "Queen of Sports" in Chinese media and has since been regarded as the "Icon of Sports Music"[citation needed].

She founded and staged a charity fundraising show in China for saving victims of flooded areas in Eastern China in 1991. Her song Our Shared Homeland crowned the event. It became a hit and the show was the most successful fundraising event of the year[citation needed]. She then starred in the musical film The Diva's Story[citation needed].

She performed at the Miss Asia competition show in Hong Kong in 1992. She became the lead singer in the first concert tour in American major cities arranged by the China Central Song and Dance Group.

1993–1996: International recognition[edit]

She was the lead singer at the 1993 East Asian Games opening and closing ceremonies together with Spanish singer and star Julio Iglesias,[2] and then performed at the Asian Games opening show in Hiroshima, Japan. Later that year, representing China, she visited Monaco for a campaign concerning the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

In 1994, she gained more fame by being the "star" of the Chinese New Year Show in Carnegie Hall, New York, broadcast by CCTV. In the same year, the song Wind Coming From the East became a hit at a show in Shanghai Oriental TV, and subsequently became the TV station's theme song. Her first English album was released, titled The Twilight.

The year 1995 saw her concert tour "Wei Wei and the World" - a tour in the major cities of mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Kunming.

She represented Asia and performed in front of 60,000 people at the centennial anniversary of the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. She was portrayed in a CNN fifteen-minute special as the only Asian representative for the Olympic anniversary shows.

She also participated in the new Beijing Capital Stadium opening show.

1997–2002: National icon[edit]

She was the main performer at The Night of Hong Kong Return to China in 1997, a live show held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and her song Broad Highway became a national hit[citation needed].

She was the "star of the night" with the song Dedication of Love in what is considered 1998's largest fundraising show for the victims of the flooded Yangtze River[citation needed]. The show, held in the People's Hall in Beijing, was broadcast by CCTV.

In 1999, her compilation album titled Wei Wei's Devotion was the most popular pop music album in China[citation needed]. To further promote the album, she held a concert at American Caesar's Palace in Paris, France.

She joined the Chinese Olympic Committee and represented China in the campaign bid for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in 2000.

She sang at a live show together with Sydney Opera and Shanghai Opera.

In 2001 she became an ambassadress at the fundraising concerts for the victims in Sri Lanka[citation needed].

In 2002, she was again the "star of the night" at CCTV's Chinese New Year's galas in Beijing.

2003–2005: The new Wei[edit]

2003

Special invited artist at galas arranged in Beijing in the honor of healthcare staff after the SARS epidemic.

Initiated an international management company, Wei Wei International Management, in Stockholm for the purpose of developing her international career - weiweiint.com.

2004

Released the Western-produced songs "All There Is" and "Where We Are". Launched a photo book.

Main performer at several major Olympic events: Celebration as the Chinese Olympic medalists were welcomed home from the Olympic Games in Athens, Olympic Cooperation Show in Hong Kong, the presentation of the Beijing 2008 logo, the symbolic construction start of the new Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

Voted "The most requested opening singer at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics" on an internet survey[citation needed].

Lead singer at the opening ceremony show for the Formula 1 Racetrack in Shanghai.

2005

Star of the largest New Year's celebration show in China, with a song of praise dedicated to China and the rest of the world. The show was broadcast to several hundreds of millions of television viewers in China and internationally.

Lead singer at several Olympic Shows, the launch of the Olympic Games mascots and the countdown from 1000 days. Opening artist at the opening ceremony of the 10th China National Games. At the show for the international unveiling of China's Olympic slogan: "One World – One Dream", Wei Wei performed Andrew Lloyd Webber's song "Love Changes Everything".

Named one of the "Top Ten Heroic Women in China." Nomination and selection were made by Unesco Beijing, Peking University, China Youth Daily, China Reform Daily, CETV, Sohu.com and Macau STV.

2006–2007: Celebrating 20 years on stage[edit]

2006

Wei Wei celebrated 20 years on stage, highlighted by the release of twenty new recordings of her 20 greatest hits. The first one, a medley that consists of parts of her five greatest hits, was launched on May 8: The 20X20 Dance Loop.

Wei Wei released worldwide on digital download distributor iTunes Music Store.

Launched a new official website – www.weiweimusic.com

International tour for the celebration of the Chinese New Year: Los Angeles, Vienna, Toronto and Barcelona. Star of the evening at the Olympic Show held in Toronto.

Jury member in China's largest song competition: "The National Young Singers Grand Award."

Performing with her new theme song One World One Dream at an Olympic Show at the Great Wall and the same evening in a Beijing performance together with Olympic athletes.

2008

In Early 2008, Wei Wei performed for a TV audience of over a billion people, as part of the Fairchild Media Group, and Shanghai Media Group's "Chinese New Year All Star Show 2008". The show was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, on January 18, 2008, and included a duet from Classical-Crossover Soprano Giorgia Fumanti and Wei Wei. Wei Wei sang several of her songs, including "Go Girl Go" (The Women's World Cup theme song), and "One World One Dream" for the festivities.[3] Wei Wei is going to do a collaboration with 9 singers from all over the world, such as BoA, Ruth Sahanaya, Rusiana Gaitana, Despina Vandi and Phoebus Phoebe[disambiguation needed], Sonu[disambiguation needed], Daniela Mercury and the other 2 are from Paris and Oman. They're going to remake an English song "Dedication of Love". It produced by Ronald Hoffmann and Brian Allan. The recording will be held in Beijing on June 9, 2008. The Song is originally Wei Wei's song.[4]

Songs and music[edit]

Discography[edit]

Singer and training[edit]

Wei Wei had a classical training since early age in kindergarten.

She has recorded more than one thousands songs, performed several thousands of times, and she regularly performs in front of massive audiences, both live and on television.[citation needed]

She has made film music and also acted in the popular music film "The Singer's Story".

Song list[edit]

Songs In Mandarin (names translated to English) from three of her latest records
  • Dedication of Love
  • Asian Wind
  • The Red Flower
  • Tears of A Lover
  • Love Song To The Moon
  • Understanding
  • Looking At You
  • You Are The One
  • Woman Like A Bird
  • True Feelings
  • A Soft World
  • The Same Homeland
  • Today Is Your Birthday
  • The Lolo Song
  • True Love
  • Searching For Love
  • Telling To The Spring
  • The Same Song
  • Welcome to Beijing
  • This Wonderful World
  • Common Holiday
  • Good Luck To You
  • Sparkling sky
  • Love for Chishui
  • Green snares of love
  • Look up at the sparkling sky
  • Thanks
  • I Believe In China
Songs In English
  • All There Is / Multiplay
  • Where We Are /Multiplay
  • Love Changes Everything / Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • If You Believe / Peter Jöback/Anders Bagge

Western influences[edit]

At an early age, Wei Wei was influenced by western music. With friends she secretly listened to forbidden radio stations from the west. The Swedish group ABBA is an example of what inspired Wei Wei to become a pop singer and to learn English.

Wei Wei has an international career and has performed with several western artists. Since 2003 she has produced new music in studios in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles, produced by western teams.

All there is (Mandarin: Its all different) / Multiplay Music – Vinny Vero, Peter Malmrup, Andreas Hedlund, Erik Nova

Where we are (Mandarin: I want to fly) / Multiplay Music – Fatima Rainey, Brian Hobbs, Andreas Aleman, Andreas Hedlund, Erik Nova

"Love Changes Everything" / Andrew Lloyd Webber

If you believe (Duet with Peter Jöback) / Murlin Music – Anders Bagge

The Dance loop / Eclectic – Johan Åberg

- Broad Highway
- It's All Different
- Asian Wind
- The "Lolo" Song
- Welcome To Beijing

Olympics[edit]

Olympic ambassador[edit]

Wei Wei is the musical Olympic Ambassador of China since 1993. She has been representing and supporting the Chinese Olympic Committee in their work to obtain the Olympic Games in Beijing. After winning the games that day in Moscow July 13, 2001, Wei Wei has performed as leading star at most of the shows held to celebrate the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.

1993

  • Olympic Application Campaign. Monaco

1996

  • Olympic 100 years celebration Show. Atlanta, USA

2000

  • Olympic Application Campaign. Moscow, Russia

2004

  • Launch of Olympic Logo. Beijing, China
  • Start Building Olympic Stadium "The Bird Nest" in Beijing, China
  • Olympic Investment Meeting Hong Kong-Mainland. Hong Kong
  • Athén Olympic Medalist Celebration Show. Beijing, China
  • Olympic Song Program Show. Beijing, China
  • Olympic Sports Film Festival. Beijing, China

2005

  • Launch Olympic Slogan "One World One Dream". Beijing, China
  • Launch of Olympic Mascots. Beijing, China
  • 1000 Days Countdown Show. Beijing, China

2006

  • Olympic Celebration Show. Toronto, Canada
  • Great Wall Olympic Show. Great Wall, China
  • Olympic Athletes Celebration Show. Beijing, China
  • Olympic Sailing City Opening Ceremony. Qingdao, China
  • Two Years Countdown Show. Beijing, China
  • Official Olympic Song and Singer. Qingdao, China

2007

  • 500 Days countdown Show on CCTV. Beijing, China
  • 500 Days countdown at Hunan Super Girl TV. Beijing, China
  • Olympic Fire Show on CCTV. Beijing, China

See pictures of the Olympic Ambassador Shows

2008

Wei Wei is currently a member of the Chinese Olympic Committee and is working closely together with the different groups arranging the ceremonies and events for the Olympics.

2013 - Present

Wei Wei's latest appearance was on the massively popular Chinese television series I Am a Singer (我是歌手) as a contestant, along with her three children as special guests, and other singers, both veterans and new. She was eliminated in the third round (episode), however was given an award during the finals (an award never given to any singer before her). Wei Wei's speech upon receiving the award was broadcast live on national television to over 500 million viewers, her entire performance being hailed as a revolution in the Chinese music industry, and her reputation as a mentor to new artists was reinforced.

Charitable causes[edit]

In 1989 her song Dedication of love became a national hit as she became the symbol for charity fund raising activities. Then in 1991 she staged a charity fundraising show in China for victims of floods in Eastern China. She performed her song Our shared homeland, which became a hit.

In 1998 she performed the song Dedication of love at a major charity fundraising show for victims of the Yangtze River floods. The show was held in the People's Hall in Beijing, with stars from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 2001 she was an ambassador at charity fundraising concerts for Sri Lankan victims of the tsunami.

In 2003 she was special invited artist at two galas arranged in Beijing in the honor of healthcare staff after the SARS epidemic. In 2004 she performed at China's largest charity ball for the handicapped. Deng Pufang, son of the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, organized a charity gala for disabled people in Beijing. Wei Wei performed with her song Dedication of Love, which she sang with a blind artist, Yang Haito. In 2005 she performed at the charity show "The Happiness Project" for mothers in Shenzhen.[5]

In 2006, Wei Wei initiated a charity fund in Sweden with the purpose of supporting charity organizations and projects in China. The purpose is also to bridge cultural gaps and help to overcome difficulties between Eastern and Western fund raising projects.

Family[edit]

Wei Wei was married to an American composer, Michael Joseph Smith, but the couple divorced on April 17, 2004, after 10 years of marriage.

She has three sons with her former husband: Symington W. Smith, Remington W. Smith and Vinson W. Smith, all born in Atlanta, Georgia. The boys have toured with their mother from an early age and have appeared continuously on stage and television in China.

Tax Controversy[edit]

Swedish tax authorities decided in December 2009 to raise Wei Wei's tax in Sweden with more than 100 million Swedish kronor (approximately 10 million euro) for incomes in China during the years of 2003-2008. Swedish tax authoritie's grounds for the decision in December 2009 was rejected by Swedish court (Länsrätten) in June 2009 due to the lack of concrete facts. The new decision has been appealed by Wei Wei to the Swedish court (Förvaltningsrätten).[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]