Jolin Tsai

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Jolin Tsai
Jolin Tsai MAA.jpg
Tsai at the 5th MTV Asia Awards held in Bangkok, Thailand
Chinese name 蔡依林
Pinyin Cài Yī-lín (Mandarin)
Jyutping Coi3 Ji1-lam4 (Cantonese)
Yale Choi3 Yi1-lam4 (Cantonese)
Pe̍h-ōe-jī Chhoà I-lîm (Hokkien)
Birth name 蔡宜凌
Ethnicity Han, Papora
Born (1980-09-15) September 15, 1980 (age 35)
Xinzhuang, Taipei County, Taiwan
Other name(s) 蔡依翎 (Personal name)
Occupation Singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, entrepreneur
Genre(s) Pop, electronic, R&B
Instrument(s) Vocals
Voice type(s) Mezzo-soprano
Label(s) Universal, Sony, Capitol, Warner
Years active 1999 - present
Partner(s) Vivian Dawson (2010 - present)
Alma mater Fu Jen Catholic University
Official Website
Jolin Tsai

Jolin Tsai (Chinese: 蔡依林, born September 15, 1980) is a Taiwanese singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and entrepreneur. Often referred to as the "Queen of C-pop" and "Asia's Dancing Queen",[1][2] Tsai has achieved great popularity and fame in Greater China and other regions of Asia.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Tsai took part in an MTV contest and won the top prize with her rendition of Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All" in the final round.[3] Her first album, released in 1999 and entitled 1019 was a huge success, and Tsai quickly became an idol for teenagers. Her fifth album, Magic (2003), topped the Taiwan album charts for three months, is regarded as one of her biggest successes so far, right after album Dancing Diva (2006), which sold over two million copies in Asia.[3] After several successful albums and dozens of hits, she released her latest album, Play, in 2014.[3]

Jolin Tsai is one of the top earners among Taiwanese celebrities today, and she has sold more than 23 million albums and won numerous awards in Asia.[3] As a dance-pop vocalist, Tsai is cited as an influence of dance-pop music in the Greater China region. Tsai also now manages her own music production and management company Eternal.[4]

Life and career[edit]

1980 - 99: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Tsai was born in Xinzhuang, Taipei County, Taiwan, on 15 September 1980. Though Tsai was introverted and shy in childhood, she studied English intensively during her youth with the dream of becoming an English teacher and eventually majored in English literature at Fu Jen Catholic University. Tsai first started her singing career by taking part in an MTV singing competition at the age of 18. It was just supposed to be a record of an extracurricular activity she performed in order to help her apply for universities. She accidentally won the top prize at the competition with her rendition of Whitney Houston's #1 hit "Greatest Love of All" in the final round. In March 1999, she was signed by Universal Music.[5]

1999 - 2001: 1019, Don't Stop, Show Your Love, and Lucky Number[edit]

In July 1999, her debut single, "Living with the World", was released. The single was sold in 7-11 and was a huge success,[6] which led to the release of her 1st album, 1019, on 10 September 1999. At that time, she was promoted as "The Girl Next Door" and was an instant hit within teenagers. With earning the new title "Teenage Boy Killer",[5] the album 1019 ended up with more than 400,000 copies sold in Taiwan.[7]

Following the success of her 1st album, she released her 2nd album, Don't Stop, on 26 April 2000. Many of the hits from that album were well-known within Chinese-speaking countries, and the album also became a tremendous success with more than 450,000 copies sold in Taiwan, which is also Tsai's best-selling album in Taiwan so far.[8] In May 2000, she released her first photo book, Nineteen Years, with pictures mainly taken in Hawaii.

Nearing the age of 21, Tsai changed her stage image for her 3rd album, Show Your Love, which was released on 22 December 2000. The album was considered more mature and soothing, but it did not sell as well as her previous two albums.[9] However, Tsai's music video of "Fall in Love with a Street" from the album won the International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Mandarin at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Later, Tsai sang the Mandarin version of "Where the Dream Takes You", the theme song for the 2001 Disney's science fiction film Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Her 4th album, Lucky Number, was released on 6 July 2001, also failed to match the sales of her first two albums. Tsai's music career came to a halt with the conflict with her management company of the time.[10] At the end of 2001, Tsai's contract with Universal Music ended, and her first greatest hits collection, Together, was released. Tsai did not release any albums in the following year, but she released her second photo book, The Masque of the Princess · The Spirit of Knight, with photos mainly taken in Thailand.

2002 - 05: Magic, Castle, and J-game[edit]

Tsai signed with Sony Music in 2002 and got the biggest transition in her whole music career. Her first single with Sony Music, "Spirit of the Knight", became a huge hit that led to the highly anticipated release of her 5th album, Magic, on 7 March 2003. The album topped the Taiwan album charts for three months with more than 360,000 copies sold in Taiwan alone, and over one million copies sold within Asia.[11] The album also contains many of her most well-known singles, including the hit dance song "Magic" that brought Tsai back to the top of the charts, a song some suggested was named after the Monkey King's 72 transformations.[12] Other songs from the album, such as "Say Love You" and "Prague Square", were penned by fellow Taiwan pop star Jay Chou. Later, Tsai sang the Mandarin version of "Warriors in Peace", the theme song for the film Warriors of Heaven and Earth.

Tsai's 6th album, Castle, released on 27 February 2004, was just as popular as her last album Magic. Tsai featured 10 new tracks in the album, such as the ballads "The Smell of Lemon Grass", the dance song "36 Tricks of Love" and "Pirates", and "Love Love Love". Just as with Magic, many songs from this album were written by Jay Chou, such as the playful song "It's Love" and the rock ballad "Rewind", which later became two of Tsai's biggest hits. Between the album Castle and her next studio album, Tsai released a remix album called J9 New + Party Collection. In addition to the remix version of her previous dance songs, Tsai also featured two new songs in the album, including the hit song "Signature Move". In August 2004, Tsai began her first solo concert tour "J1 World Tour". Despite having a few stops, the tour spanned through Asia and for the first time Tsai performed in North America.

On 25 April 2005, Tsai 7th album, J-game, was released. It became the longest running album on the Taiwanese album charts in 2005, with over one million copies sold within Asia for a month.[13] The album featured many more hip-hop element tracks than before, though it retained the dance-pop and ballad genre presented on her previous albums. Tsai supposedly broke up with Jay Chou around the time the album was recorded, but she was able to find other songwriters and producers, including Leehom Wang, the pop star who composed "Exclusive Myth" for her album. The first single of the album, "J-game", was followed by other singles, including "Greek Girl by the Wishing Fountain", "Sky", "Repeated Note", and "Overlooking Purposely". After she released the album, Tsai rapped in the duet "Destined Guy" with fellow artist Show Luo, which was featured in his album Hypnosis Show. She later performed that song with Show Luo in his first solo concert at Taipei Arena. In September 2005, Tsai was invited to sing the Mandarin version of "Under the Sea", the theme song for the 1989 Disney's animated film The Little Mermaid, for celebrating the grand opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.

In September 2005, Tsai released her first concert tour live album J1 Live Concert, presenting performances of hits from her albums Magic and Castle from the live shows in Taipei. Show Luo made a guest appearance in the performance of "Prove It". The DVD did not include Jay Chou's guest appearance in the concert, in which he danced together with Tsai, but it was later placed in the DVD for her greatest hits collection, J-top, which in May 2006 was released by Sony, including two CDs and a DVD with two previously unreleased music videos and a 70-minute documentary of Tsai's time at Sony.

2006 - 08: Dancing Diva and Agent J[edit]

In early 2006, media announced that Tsai would be leaving Sony Music to join Capitol Music.[14] In order to prepare for her new album, Tsai worked hard to perfect her dancing and change her stage image again. She won The Style Award at the 2006 MTV Asia Awards, where she performed her new single "Dancing Diva" with elements of yoga and rhythmic gymnastics.[15]

After the performance in the 2006 MTV Asia Awards, her 1st album with Capitol Music, Dancing Diva was released on 12 May 2006. The album became one of Tsai's most successful album, with over 2 million copies sold in Asia.[16] The album featured her released single "Dancing Diva" along with the dance tracks "Pulchritude" and "Mr. Q", the ballads "Pretence" and "Heart Breaking Day", and the bonus track "Attraction of Sexy Lips". Tsai also had some songwriting duties in the album, namely writing the lyrics for the song "The Prologue". According to G-music, Dancing Diva became the biggest selling album of the year in Taiwan.[17]

Tsai released her 3rd remix album, Dancing Forever, in October 2006, which contained two CDs and a DVD. The first disc features all the new material, including the title track and theme for her "Dancing Forever World Tour", covers of songs "I Heard that Love Has Returned", "Reminiscence" and "I'll even Go to the Graveyard" by Chinese singers Sandy Lam, Faye Wong and Chi-tien Yeh, and the duet "Marry Me Today" that she recorded with her idol David Tao. In this album, she also experimented with two other varieties of Chinese, Hokkien and Cantonese. Up to this point, she had only released music in Mandarin and English. The second disc includes remix versions of three dance hits from the album Dancing Diva, while the DVD featured the Lux-sponsored one-off concert she performed in Kaohsiung in the summer 2006.

During the fall of 2006, Tsai began her "Dancing Forever World Tour", performing concerts to sellout crowds in Asia and then to audiences in North America and Australia. The huge opening concert in Hong Kong, which took place on her birthday, featured many special guests, including Hong Kong's male artist Eason Chan, Taiwan's rising pop star Rainie Yang, and Taiwan's pop singer Show Luo. On 8 June 2007, Tsai released her second live album, The Acquired Talent, which featured performances from her latest world tour and documented her work in preparing for the tour. The DVD shows footage of her performing dance sequences with concert guests Show Luo, Stanley Huang, and Elva Hsiao. The DVD opened at the top of the Taiwanese audio/video charts and stayed there for 13 weeks.[18]

On 16 June 2007, Tsai won the Most Popular Female Artist and the Best Female Mandarin Artist for the very first time at the 18th Golden Melody Awards.[19][20] Her duet with David Tao, "Marry Me Today", won the Best Song of the Year. Tsai's win for the Best Female Mandarin Artist drew criticism from netizens and industry critics. However, many said that she won due to her all-round talent, hard work, and universal pop appeal.[21] Regardless of the controversy surrounding this award, she won Most Popular Female Artist following a fan vote conducted a few months prior to the awards show, beating out many other artists including A-mei, Fish Leong, and Stefanie Sun.

Tsai's 2nd album with Capitol Music, titled Agent J, was released on 21 September 2007. The album featured 11 new tracks: the title track "Agent J", the ballads "Alone" and "Fear-free", the dance tracks "Bravo Lover" and "Tacit Violence", and the bonus track "Let's Move It," which was used as a promotional track in commercials for Toyota. The deluxe version of the album contained a three-part 70-minute music movie filmed in Paris, London, and Bangkok. The movie, which cost NT$50 million to film, stars Tsai as the leather-clad Agent J and featuring popular Korean actor Kim Jaewon and Hong Kong stars Stephen Fung and Carl Ng.[22][23] During the filming of the movie, Tsai had to learn two new forms of dance in ten days: aerial silk and pole dance. She almost paralyzed her right arm and fainted in the process.[24] According to G-music Taiwan, the album accounted for 45% of album sales and over 65% of Mandarin album sales in Taiwan in its first week of release. After its release, the album stayed at the No. 1 position for two weeks.[25] For the second year in a row, Tsai had the best-selling album in Taiwan.[26]

Tsai then collaborated terribly with legendary Australian female singer Kylie Minogue by doing a bad karaoke rendition on a song called "In My Arms", which would only be included in the Taiwanese version of Kylie's album X due to the disgraceful quality of Tsai's vocals and pronunciations. This version of the track has, shamefully, since been labelled a tremendous stain in Minogue's massive repertoire. Tsai was invited to the world premiere of Kylie's movie White Diamond, where Tsai presented Minogue with her newest album and a jade bracelet that Tsai picked out for her. This is a huge PR stunt arranged by Tsai's management in attempt to create make-believe that she is cool by association with Minogue.[27]

In September 2008, Tsai was invited to collaborate in a song, "Beijing Welcomes You", with one hundred famous artists and entertainers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea.[28] The song was a feature song for the 100-day countdown of the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China.

On 31 October 2008, Tsai released her 1st English cover album, Love Exercise. The songs are cover version of English hits and ranges in many different genres, including the track "I Won't Last a Day Without You" (originally by The Carpenters), "Lady Marmalade" (originally by Labelle), "When You Say Nothing at All" (originally by Keith Whitley), and "Physical" (originally by Olivia Newton-John).

2009 - present: Butterfly, Myself, Muse, and Play[edit]

On 27 March 2009, Tsai released her 10th studio album, Butterfly, which was also her 1st album released with Warner Music. The album featured 10 new songs, including the title song "Butterfly", the dance songs "Hot Winter" and "The Shadow Dancer", and the ballads "Compromise" and "Parachute". The release of its 1st music video, "Real Man" featuring Nick Chou, was played on the biggest LED screen in Beijing and was greatly received by the public. The album's 3rd single, "Butterfly", displayed ballet moves that Tsai spent three months learning and making the hardest dance that she had ever learned.[29] According to G-music, Butterfly was also the best-selling album of 2009, with an accumulated sales of 130,000 copies sold in Taiwan alone. Tsai then announced the Butterfly School Concert Tour later in that year to celebrate the success of the album.[30] However, during the tour, she injured her thigh and scapula and re-injured her back due to over-training for ballet, so the company stopped her from dancing for two months. During the break, Tsai performed a one-off concert called Slow Life, an intimate concert in which all songs were soft rock or ballads. In May 2010, Tsai sang the theme song of Taiwan Pavilion, "Heartbeat of Taiwan", at Expo 2010 held in Shanghai, China.

Following the success of Butterfly, Tsai released her 11th studio album, Myself, on 13 August 2010. This album featured her released single "Honey Trap" along with the dance song "Black-haired Beautiful Girl", and the ballad "Nothing Left to Say". Myself is a display of Tsai's love for pop music with 80% of the album made with fast-paced electronic dance songs. The first single, "Honey Trap", combined dance moves of Tsai's first experiment with Voguing, which later attracted many people and thus launched a dance competition later in that year. Myself peaked at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks and went back on top again on its fifth week on the G-music Charts. Although Myself was not as successful as Butterfly, the album managed to sell 65,000 copies and landed fourth on the best-selling albums list in Taiwan that year. Tsai was still able to achieve best-selling female solo artist of that year.[31] Tsai later on announced her "Myself World Tour", her third concert tour, with a total of 35 shows.

On 14 September 2012, Tsai released her 12th studio album, Muse.[32] Muse combines art, pop, and music to portray how a girl should act and stand out in modern society. This album featured 11 new tracks, including the dance track "The Great Artist", the playful track "Spying on You Behind the Fence", and the ballads "Wandering Poet" and "Mosaic". The album was also greatly recognized by people supporting gay pride with hit songs like "Dr. Jolin" and "Fantasy", both defining love as equal.[33] Muse was a commercial success, selling 100,000 copies in Taiwan alone and becoming the best-selling female album of the year.[34] The album peaked at No. 1 for five consecutive weeks upon its release and regained first place again during its 7th and 13th week on the Taiwan's G-music Charts.[35] Tsai was also nominated for Best Asian Act at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, the only Taiwanese artist nominated for the award.[36] Tsai performed at Wembley Arena in London, England, on 21 October 2012. This is the first time in Tsai's career to hold a concert in Europe. She also performed in Paris on January 30, 2013 as part of the annual Taiwan Music Night.

Upon the release of nominees for the 24th Golden Melody Awards, Muse was nominated for four awards, including Best Music Video, Best Mandarin Album, Best Mandarin Female Singer, and Best Song of the Year.[37] During the 24th Golden Melody Awards, Tsai's track "The Great Artist" won Best Song of the Year, the first ever Mandarin dance-pop song to win in the category.[38] On 9 June 2014, ahead of 2014 FIFA World Cup that kicked off June 12 in Brazil, Tsai released her new English single, "Now Is the Time", to support that year's World Cup. This song was included in the compilation album Pepsi Beats of the Beautiful Game, and it is also Tsai's very first time to sell her record worldwide.

On 15 November 2014, Tsai released her highly anticipated 13th studio album, Play, which marked her comeback since the release of her previous album, Muse, two years ago. The album dominated the music charts upon its release.[39] For the album, she collaborated with American designing team The Blonds, who have previously worked with acclaimed American artists like Beyoncé and Katy Perry. The album title, according to Tsai, was to relay how script, acting, and performance has helped her to gain experiences and wisdom throughout the past two years. She hopes, with her new witty music and image, fans will find her album to be playful and joyful, as well as bring optimism to the future. Opening with jungle anthem "Gentlewomen", the album contains an amazing assortment of stunners. Hit singles "Play", a pop tour de force, and club thumper "Phony Queen" are accompanied by alternative rock hair raiser "The Third Person and I", sweeping piano and strings ballad "Lip Reading", cinematic delight "Miss Trouble", and perfect synth-driven closer, "We're All Different, Yet the Same". Tsai also made a collaboration in the album with Japanese female singer Namie Amuro for Tsai's own composition called "I'm Not Yours", which contains both English and Mandarin lyrics. The music video of the lead single, "Play", gained three millions views in just three days and over ten million views now on YouTube, which claimed the most rapid view of Chinese language music videos of all time.[40] The album also helped thrusting Tsai into the international spotlight, and the music video of "Play" was also reported on the website of Time magazine, which claimed it the year's best pop music video;[41] The Canadian online music magazine CMB also claimed the album the international album of the year;[42] Later, the weekly business magazine Bloomberg Businessweek (Chinese Edition) dubbed Tsai the Great Chinese Dance-pop Artist.

On 22 May 2015, Tsai began her "Play World Tour", her fourth concert tour. On 27 June 2015, Tsai won Best Mandarin Album at the 26th Golden Melody Awards. On 15 September 2015, Tsai was nominated for Best Taiwanese Act at the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards



  • Six Friends (2001)
  • Come to My Place (2002)
  • Secretly in Love with You (2002)
  • Hi! Working Girl (2003)


  • Jolin's English Diary Book (2005)
  • Vocabulary 2000 (2005)
  • Love Exercise (2008)
  • Keep Fit (2011)


  • J1 World Tour (2004 - 06)
  • Dancing Forever World Tour (2006 - 09)
  • Myself World Tour (2010 - 13)
  • Play World Tour (2015 - )


See also[edit]


  1. ^ (English) Taiwanese Queen of Pop, Jolin Tsai Tells Touching Lesbian Love Story in New Music Video. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  2. ^ (English) Airplane Wednesday: The Dancing Queen of Asia – Jolin Tsai. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d (English) Jolin Tsai : Concerts on Demand, Latest News & Bio. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  4. ^ (Chinese) 传蔡依林升格当经纪人 签下情敌谢沛恩就近看管
  5. ^ a b (English) Jolin Tsai Brings It On in Beijing
  6. ^ (English) Jolin Tsai Pop Star Page. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  7. ^ (Chinese) 蔡依林十年音乐路①:环球时期“少男杀手”. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  8. ^ (Chinese) 蔡依林十年音乐路①:环球时期“少男杀手”. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  9. ^ (Chinese) 蔡依林十年音乐路①:环球时期“少男杀手”. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  10. ^ (Chinese) 蔡依林十年音乐路①:环球时期“少男杀手”. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  11. ^ (Chinese) Sina Ent. 蔡依林北京新專輯慶功 宣稱將走性感路線. August 10, 2003. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  12. ^ (Chinese) Southcn 周杰伦、蔡依林异地“同题问答”. September 2, 2003. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  13. ^ (Chinese) 野蠻遊戲全亞洲銷量破百萬 蔡依林登高望遠. June 1, 2005. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  14. ^ (English) Jolin Tsai sign for Capitol Music, reunion with mentor. February 18, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  15. ^ (English) MTV News. MTV Asia Awards 2006 Honors The Best From West And East With Revolutionary Duets And World Debut Performances. May 6, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  16. ^ " Dancing Diva (Perfect Celebration Edition)". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  17. ^ (Chinese) G-music. g-music 2006 Yearly Mandarin Chart. December 31, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  18. ^ (Chinese) G-music Taiwanese audio/video charts. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  19. ^ (English) China Daily Nicky Lee, Jolin Tsai win Mandarin pop music awards. June 17, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  20. ^ (English) Jolin Tsai Biggest Winner at Golden Melody Awards. June 18, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  21. ^ (English) Backlash at Golden Melody Awards. Is Best Female Singer Jolin Good as Gold. June 22, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  22. ^ (Chinese)[1] October 3, 2007.
  23. ^ (English)[2] Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  24. ^ (Chinese)[3] Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  25. ^ (Chinese)G-music Taiwanese audio/video charts. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  26. ^ (Chinese)玫瑰大眾2007年度銷售榜. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
  27. ^ (English) Jolin Tsai Records Duet with Kylie Minogue. October 15, 2007.
  28. ^ (Chinese)众星演绎《北京欢迎你》为何最受欢迎?
  29. ^ Jolin Tsai Learns Ballet Dance
  30. ^ Jolin Tsai Butterfly Album Best Selling Album Of The Year 2009 In Taiwan
  31. ^ (Chinese) 年度唱片销量榜出炉 蔡依林名次滑落
  32. ^ (English) Jolin Tsai to Release First Studio Album in Two Years
  33. ^ Jolin Tsai Supports Same sex with album Muse
  34. ^ Jolin Tsai Best selling female artist in taiwan [MUSE]
  35. ^ Jolin Tsai G Music Charts
  36. ^ Jolin Tsai Nominated Best Asian Act
  37. ^ Jolin Tsai Nominated 4 awards at 24th Golden Melody Awards
  38. ^ Jolin Tsai won Best Song of the Year at 24th Golden Melody Awards
  39. ^ (Chinese) 一周台湾华语:蔡依林霸气登场 《呸》空降冠军
  40. ^ (Chinese)蔡依林《美杜莎》MV12月1日首播 化身妖艳蛇姬
  41. ^ Nolan Feeney. "Jolin Tsai's 'Play' Might be 2014's Weirdest Pop Music Video". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  42. ^ "Jolin Tsai - Canadian Music Blog". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 

External links[edit]