Hsiao at Man Power Concert in Beijing, July 2015.
Hsiao Ya-chih (蕭雅之)
24 August 1979
|Alma mater||Fu-Hsin Trade & Arts School|
|Genres||Mandopop, pop, R&B, dance|
Elva Hsiao (traditional Chinese: 蕭亞軒; simplified Chinese: 萧亚轩; pinyin: Xiāo Yǎxuān, born 24 August 1979) is a Taiwanese singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and businesswoman. Since being signed to a record deal in 1998 after competing in a singing competition, Hsiao has gone on to release fourteen studio albums and has achieved great commercial success within the Chinese pop music industry. Known for her R&B influenced ballads, the artist's first album, Elva Hsiao (1999), was considered one of the first to incorporate R&B in the Chinese market. Her most recent album Shut Up and Kiss Me was released in 2014.
Hsiao was recognized as one of four of the most popular female singers in the Chinese music scene among her contemporaries. As a result, she has also been brand ambassadors to various brand names such as, Motorola, Sprite, De Beers, Avon, Pantene and Ford. Hsiao was named one of Taiwan's top earning singers in 2014, with more than USD 18 million earned.
Life and career
Hsiao was signed to EMI Virgin Records in 1998, as their first artist, after being scouted from the singing competition New Talent Singing Awards affiliated with Hong Kong TV channel TVB. She was one of twelve finalists. Singers Jacky Chu and Ruby Lu also competed that year. Hsiao was part of a girl group called Phenomenon initially, but pursued a solo career after her bandmates dropped out. She was studying design in Vancouver, Canada, at John Casablancas Institute at the time. After signing, Hsiao was managed and groomed by songwriter, Yao Chien, who was also the president of Virgin/EMI in Taiwan at the time. Yao would also have a hand in writing for a many of Hsiao's albums released under Virgin/EMI. Hsiao's first album was self-titled and was of the pop and R&B genre. The album was released in 1999 and was considered a pioneer for the R&B genre in Chinese speaking markets. The album was a commercial success, selling a total 800,000 copies in Asia the following year after being marketed more widely outside of Taiwan. The success of the album paved the way for her first solo concert in Taipei later in 2000. The single "Cappuccino" became popular in Chinese karaoke settings. Hsiao was also tapped to record the jingle for the re-branding effort by the Broadcasting Corporation of China in Taiwan.
For Hsiao's third album Tomorrow, Virgin/EMI made a push for the mainland Chinese market, capitalizing on the singer's name recognition in the Taiwanese and Hong Kong music markets. The album included hip-hop influences and faster tempos than Hsiao's previous releases, as well as a song performed in Cantonese. With a limited schedule of just four concerts and press conferences in China and Hong Kong, the album would still go on to sell 400,000 copies in the mainland in addition to 290,0000 records sold in Taiwan in 2001. Hsiao's next album 4U released in 2002, featured a song that Hsiao wrote the lyrics for. She collaborated with English boy band Blue that year on a remake of their song "U Make Me Wanna" for her album Theme Song of Love, Kissing. That album featured two songs on which Hsiao contributed to production. That same year, Hsiao made her feature film debut in the Hong Kong crime thriller, Infernal Affairs in a minor role as the ex-girlfriend of the Tony Leung's character. The film was remade in the US as The Departed, which went on to win an Academy Award. Hsiao would also lend her voice to the animated film The Butterfly Lovers based on the classic Chinese fairytale of the same name in 2004. Two songs from Hsiao's next album, 5th Avenue were also featured in soundtracks for a film and a television show. The singer's contract with Virgin/EMI ended in 2004 with the release of her greatest hits record Beautiful Episode. Despite a light marketing budget banking on Hsiao's public persona, the album sold well, with 400,000 copies moved in mainland China, becoming the biggest selling record for the label that year.
Hsiao signed with Warner Music Taiwan but was only able to release her next album, 1087 in December 2006. The album was partly delayed because of an upheaval in staff at Warner and was named for the number of days between its release and Hsiao's previous studio album. Promotions for the album also experienced delays as the singer had to take five months to recover from tearing a ligament in her left leg while shooting a music video. Hsiao returned to EMI Music Taiwan in 2008 after releasing just one album with Warner, also reuniting her with former manager Yao Chien. She released 3 Faced Elva that same year in June. The artist's subsequent album Diamond Candy was released under the Gold Typhoon label after it was announced in August that the company had bought EMI Music Taiwan. Her entire catalog would later appear under the Warner Music label after the latter bought Gold Typhoon's music interests in 2014. This album featured songs written by British songwriter Wayne Hector and one song, "Beautiful Encounter", from that album was later covered by Brazilian pop singer Wanessa. She embarked on a world tour on December 31, 2009. Hsiao ventured into more dance oriented music with the release of Miss Elva in 2010. She released another compilation album Super Girl in 2013, featuring a new duet with Chinese K-pop star Han Geng.
In 2013, Hsiao signed with Sony Music in the greater China region along with fellow Taiwanese pop star Show Luo. Hsiao released Shut Up and Kiss Me, which was preceded by a single of the same name. The music video for the single achieved 1 million views on YouTube after a day of release on the back of a NTD 4 million marketing blitz by Sony. A song from the same album was used as the main promotional song for The Amazing Spiderman 2 in Taiwan. Hsiao went on hiatus in August 2017, disappearing from the public eye for 18 months for undisclosed reasons, delaying the release of a new album that she had reportedly been preparing for three years. She was forced to cancel 13 tour dates scheduled for April 2018 in China as well. The singer broke her silence in August the following year to explain her absence, stating that she had suffered chest injuries in a fall, resulting in her being unable to sing due to difficulty breathing. In November, Hsiao announced that she would be releasing a final 10-song album, Naked Truth, in mid-2020 to coincide with her 20th year as a recording artist. The lead single, "In a Heartbeat" peaked at #2 on the Taiwanese KKBox chart.
- Elva Hsiao (1999)
- Red Rose (2000)
- Tomorrow (2001)
- Elva First (2001)
- 4U (2002)
- Theme Song of Love, Kissing (2002)
- In Love With Love (2003)
- 5th Avenue (2003)
- 1087 (2006)
- 3 Faced (2008)
- Diamond Candy (2009)
- Miss Elva (2010)
- I'm Ready (2011)
- Shut Up and Kiss Me (2014)
- The Naked Truth (2020)
- Beautiful Episode (2004)
- Love Elva... Remix & More (2006)
- Super Girl (2012)
|2001||World Music Awards||Best Selling Chinese Artist||Won|||
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- McClure, Steve (25 December 2004). "Asian Talents Make Big Strides". Billboard. New York City: Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- JpopAsia. "Elva Hsiao - Elva Siu". JpopAsia. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "Real Dolls, Taiwan R&B, Eurasian Fusion". Billboard. New York City: Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 19 August 2000. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- "華語新歌日榜 2019-12-24". KKBox. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
- Lucky 13 For Monaco’s World Music Awards Archived 18 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Radio Caroline. Europa Productions. 2001-05-02. Retrieved 2011-02-21
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