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|Pinyin||Kāng Jìnróng (Mandarin)|
|Pe̍h-ōe-jī||Khong Chìn-êng (Hokkien)|
May 2, 1967 |
Kaoshiung, Feng Shuan, Taiwan
|Other name(s)||Kang Kang (康康)|
|Influenced by||Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chen Sheng|
Kang Ching-jung, or commonly known as Kang Kang, is a Taiwanese entertainer, singer, and television host. He was first discovered by the Taiwanese king of showbiz, Chang Fei(張 菲 ) during a TV show performance. Before entering Taiwanese showbiz, Kang had switched many jobs. He was first a military policeman (MP), a salesman, then a pub singer for many years. He entered a singing contest in 1997 and won first place with his band. They released an EP in the same year.
It was not until 1998 that Kang got the chance to enter showbiz. Zhang Fei praised the young hard working Kang for his brilliant and quick-witted performance on his popular show, Dragon Brother, Tiger Brother, saying that he had a bright future as an entertainer. As a result, Zhang Fei took the young comedian under his wings, and showed Kang what it took to become a great comedian. At the same time, Kang's fortune hit the jack pot when he was introduced to another Taiwanese TV host, Jacky Wu (吳 宗 憲 ), due to their common share of musical direction. They immediately signed a full-time contract. Thus Kang embarked on his first step towards conquering Taiwanese showbizz by homing his comical and musical skills under two iconic figures in the modern showbiz.
Kang released his first album, Tears Inducing (催 淚 ) in June 1999. The album was a mild success, due to his soul-searching musical direction and humble low-range vocal. However, Kang's brilliant music was overshadowed by his obnoxious TV image as a comedian who used foul language, impersonation and slapstick humour as a means to win the audience's heart. The general public tended to focus primarily on his on-screen presence, saying that a singer must have style and Kang was lacking the magic within a singer. The reason for that was not a lack of media exposure or TV coverage, it was due to Kang's public image. Critics had pounded him as "ugly looking and badly dressed, with a tumbling voice that can't speak with proper volume and speed". Kang had since been working diligently to improve his voice command and speed, as the hard work eventually paid off. His popularity climaxed as he gained more TV exposure from the support of his boss, Jackie Wu as they appeared in countless classic TV hits such as "TV Citizen", "Electric Playground" and "Let's Hancuff Him".
In 2000, Kang released his second album, Happy Birdy Days (快 樂 鳥 日 子 ). The response was overwhelming and produced many classic songs, such as "Happy Birdy Days", which is a must sing song in many karaoke places. In 2001, Kang released his third album, Dream Come True (圓 夢), and produced mild success. Following it was a 2002 live album, Kang Kang's Special (康 康的 濕背秀), which is his best album up to date.
Kang's career blossomed when he co-hosted with Jackie Wu on the hit-show "Sunday Night 8 o' Clock" (周 日 八 點 黨 ). The show was an instant hit, claiming as the sole champion during the Sunday late night TV slot for more than six years straight. Its popularity was due to its renovating structure from in-studio recording to outdoor recording. Adding to that was the introduction of "Crossroad" (食 字 路 口 ), the outdoor game element that leads a group of guests to famous night markets and restaurants. The game starts with 3 teams, each led by one TV host, and they must follow certain rules in order to win the race. The rule is simple: each team is first given a title of a single food item and then they must come out a series of 8 food items correlating to the last letter of each item, for example Fried Rice -> Rice Dumpling-> Dumpling And Noodle -> Noodle Soup...and so on. There is an option that grants a team to use 7-11 as a life-saver, but it can only be used once. This newly introduced element was a first in TV game shows, because the Taiwanese culture had its love for food and its night markets for a long time, and what better way to advertise the culture in front of a live audience. Kang was easily the star of the show, as he often mimicked famous stars and singers with his uncanny ability to sing and make eccentric facial expressions at the same time. Often his teammates would respond with tears and laughter during their brief stint as they went on during stages of the game. Coincidentally, Kang's team would often round up as the winner of the show, which later on generated mixed emotions with another host, "NONO". However, the show lasted a long run and ended in 2008.
In 2005, Kang released his fifth album, Who Gives a Damn About Your Mother's Marriage (管你媽媽嫁給誰). It did poorly in both commercial sales and critical acclaim. In the same year, Kang hit bottom low with his TV career, as he was kicked off from Zhang Fei's show "Big Brother in Showbizz" (綜藝大哥大) due to creative differences. Even though he had the most TV offers in the same year, his popularity declined due to negative tabloid exposure. Critics often panned him as "egotistically self-minded, a language abuser, and arrogant as a mule". Worse still is that he was often spotted in pubs and other adult-oriented places by paparazzi. He was also hampered by the media as a playboy, often hailing his own sexual prowess and innuendos in public. Kang responded with the remark that his behaviour was only for the sake of the show.
In the spring of 2006, Kang Kang reinvented his long-term negative image by losing some weight and concentrating on his own TV shows. In addition, he was romantically involved with his fellow TV assistant. Kang Kang married in 2011 and is now a father of one child. He is currently on tour with Taiwanese legendary singer, Gao Ling Feng and TV icon, Jacky Wu as "The Three Hard Tenors".