Kay Tse

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Kay Tse
Kay Tse 20100911.JPG
Tse on 11 September 2010.
Background information
Origin Hong Kong
Born (1977-03-13) 13 March 1977 (age 40)
Hong Kong
Occupation Singer, actress
Genre(s) Cantopop, Mandopop
Instrument(s) Vocal, piano
Voice type(s) Lyric coloratura soprano
Label(s) Hong Kong:
Avex Trax (2005-2006)
Cinepoly (2006-2012)
Stars Shine International (2013)
Maya Entertainment Limited
(2014-2016)

Taiwan:
Universal Music (2010-2012)
Gold Typhoon (2013-2014)
Years active 2005-2016
Spouse(s) Louis Cheung (m. 2007)
Children James Cheung
Ancestry Pudong, Shanghai, China[citation needed]
Alma mater University of Hong Kong
謝安琪
Simplified Chinese 谢安琪
Traditional Chinese 謝安琪
Cantonese Jyutping ze6 on1 kei4
Hanyu Pinyin Xiè Ānqí

Kay Tse On-kay (Chinese: 謝安琪; born 13 March 1977) is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer. She is a prominent figure in Hong Kong music and popular culture and is frequently referred to in the media as a "grass-roots diva" and "goddess."[1] She is known for songs which deal with social issues and the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong.

Tse's main claim to fame was her 2008 song, "Wedding Invitation Street" (囍帖街), which was widely successful and swept many prestigious year-end music awards. This was followed up by further hits such as "Song of the Year" (年度之歌), Lone Village (獨家村) and viral hits such as The Egg and the Lamb (雞蛋與羔羊) and Rashomon (羅生門). She is considered to be one of the four leading female Cantopop singers of the 2000s-2010s, along with Miriam Yeung, Joey Yung, and Denise Ho.

Tse is married to fellow Hong Kong singer Louis Cheung, with whom she has a child.[2]

Life and musical career[edit]

Early life and discovery[edit]

Kay Tse was born on 13 March 1977 in Tai Po, Hong Kong, the only child of a Hakka family.[3][4] She first learned to play the piano at the age of six, and has since obtained eighth-grade level.[5] Tse attended Valtorta College, a state-funded Catholic high-school in Tai Po and obtained 21 points in her Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination.

Tse began her studies at the University of Hong Kong in 2002, majoring in American Studies, and graduated in 2005. During this time, she entered a university singing competition, performing the Stefanie Sun song, "Believe" (相信). One of the judges was music producer Adrian Chow (周博賢), who was so impressed by her that he would sign her onto his independent label, "Ban Ban Music". At the time, Tse was also working part-time as a piano teacher and taught English.

2005–2006: Career beginnings, Kay One and Ksus2[edit]

Tse's debut album, Kay One, was released on 5 May 2005. The album combines an eclectic mix of pop, rock and jazz styles. Kay One spawned five singles, including lead single "Beauties" (姿色份子), an up-tempo, pop-rock song which criticizes the beauty imperative within an Asian context. Follow-up single "The One and Only" (我歌。。。故我在) is a slow ballad which showcases Tse's versatile vocal range.

On 23 December 2005, the album received a special re-release edition titled Kay One Plus, with a new bonus track called "Follow Me" (跟我走). The song is rock influenced and deals with her music and her fans. The single reached number 1 on the TVB chart, becoming her first number one song. In addition, the album contains two non-Cantonese songs: The One and Only, an English cover of the second single; and "Plastic Rose" (塑膠玫瑰), the mandarin version of "Beauties."

In 2006, Tse started garnering more media attention, first losing her dental braces she had worn for many years in April. On 2 June, she released the EP, K sus2, which contained the first single "Gloomy Festival" (愁人節). The single received positive critical reception for raising public concerns about disadvantaged groups in society. It garnered a decent amount of airplay and became her first single to peak within the top 10 of all four major charts, reaching no. 1 on both the TVB and Commercial Radio charts, and winning her first year-end song award at the 2006 Ultimate Song Chart Awards.

On 12 October 2006, Tse joined major label Cinepoly Records, a decision made by Tse alongside her manager Sammy Haze and music producer Adrian Chow, on the condition that they be granted a level of artistic freedom.

2007: The First Day, pregnancy and hiatus[edit]

Tse performing at the Sina Awards in 2007.

The First Day is the third album and first compilation album of Kay Tse. Released on 18 January 2007, the album contains 12 songs, including 3 new songs which are The First Day 《第一天》, Soul behind the Window 《後窗知己》 and Obstacles 《節外生枝》. The song Obstacles 《節外生枝》 was released as the first single of the album and it climbed to the peak of number 1 on "903 Top 20", "TVB Billboard", and "RTHK Chinese-pop Billboard" becoming Tse's most successful single since her debut. The remaining 9 songs are Tse's greatest hits which re-arranged by several arrangers, such as Ted Lo, Adrian Chou. And the songs which are re-arranged have given new names, for example, Beauties 《姿色份子》 is the remastered version of Beauties 《姿色份子》. In March, Cinepoly released the second version which included a bonus DVD of her farewell concert in January 2007. In late January, Tse married fellow Hong Kong songwriter and recording-artist Louis Cheung who also debuted in 2005. The ceremony took place in Regal Airport Hotel near Hong Kong International Airport.[6] 3/8 was the first album released after giving birth to her son on 11 December 2007. 3/8 was Tse's second Greatest Hits album containing 15 of Tse's singles along with 3 new songs which are 3/8, Zhong Wu Yan 《鍾無艷》 and The retired life of Wonder Woman 《神奇女俠的退休生活》. All of which were released as singles to promote the new album. She explained that the album title is called "3/8" because she believes she has only finished 3/8 of her life, especially her music life, and it helps to summarize what she had done in past 2-year music journey.

2008-2009: "Wedding Invitation Street" and rise to prominence[edit]

Tse released her second album, Binary, in mid-2008. The album was well received by critics, and along with its second single, Wedding Invitation Street 《囍帖街》, which peaked at the summit of all four major charts. Thus giving Tse her first four chart number one song and received overwhelming positive reaction. Wedding Invitation Street also won many awards in the award ceremony at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, these include "Song of the Year" and "Media Award – Single". With a total of 16 awards won, Tse secured her first "Media Award – Performer", which is an award presented to the artist scoring the most award of the year.[7] The album was very successful with sales exceeding thirty-thousand copies sold within the first year of release, and it was rewarded Platinum record. This album marks Tse's rise to prominence as one of the most popular female recording-artist of Hong Kong. In November, Tse was admitted to hospital for suffering Pneumothorax, and it was reported this is the fourth time the condition have occurred. Tse subsequently stayed in hospital for a week.[8]

Tse during a performance on March, 2010.

Yelling was released on 19 March 2009. It contains 10 songs, one of which is Mandarin. The song titled "Farewell Party" and is the Mandarin version of "Wedding Invitation Street". The album has yielded 5 singles. The first two singles released from this album have peaked at Number 1 in the four major singles charts, further establishing Kay's popularity (such a feat is rare nowadays). Tse also released a second edition of this album which includes a bonus CD. The bonus CD includes MVs of 3 songs from the current album and 9 past hits. Her first stadium concert, Kay Tse's Yelling LIVE 2009, was announced in support of Yelling and begin in March 2009. The concert was later extended to include a date in Macau and Guangzhou in December, 2009, becoming her first concert held outside of Hong Kong. In fall 2009, HMV Hong Kong announced Yelling was the 9th biggest selling album of the year and sold excess of fifteen-thousand copies, seeing off competition from well established female acts such as Joey Yung and Miriam Yeung.[9]

2010: Second Home and Mandarin market[edit]

Tse's seventh studio album Slowness was released on 21 December 2009. The album received positive critical reception. The lead single released during November is called "Living" 《活著》 and has reached the summit of three of the four major local charts. Three subsequent singles were released up to May 2010, achieving moderate success. All of the singles was not able to chart on the weekly 'TVB Billboard' chart as a disagreement between Tse's record label, Cinepoly and TVB meaning all artists belonging to the Universal Music Group will not receive any airplay until an agreement is reached. For the same reason, Tse did not receive any awards at the TVB Annual Music Awards. As of August 2011, no agreements has been made. In promotion of the new album, Tse began a series of university mini concerts which spanned from January to March, 2010.[10] In late May 2010, Tse released her first mandarin song "Ten Years" 《拾年》, the song was selected as the title song for "The Tenth Chinese Music Media Awards". Tse confirmed that she is in the studio recording her first mandarin album, and confirmed that the lead single have been completed. In addition, she announced that her eighth Cantonese studio album will be due late 2010.[11] On 23 August 2010, Tse along with her management held a press conference to announce she had renewed her contract with her current record label, Cinepoly, a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. During the conference, it was revealed the seven-figure deal is a 5 years long contract. Tse released her debut Mandarin album, My Second Home 《第二個家》 on 5 November 2010. The album debuted at number 2 on the HMV albums chart. The first single of the album, "Weakness" 《脆弱》 was released to radio on 23 August.[12] After 2 months on the charts, the song jumped to the peak of the "903 Top 20" and "997 Top 20". Her following single, "Goodbye" 《再見》 was released to mainstream radio in November 2010 to coincide with the album launch. The title track, "My Second Home", has been released as the third single of the album and is currently charting in Taiwan.

2011: Your Happiness[edit]

Following her mandarin debut album, Tse launched her first mandarin concert tour for promotion. The series of concerts took place in many cities across China and Taiwan, including Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai. In January 2011, Tse was featured on the theme song "Movement in the City" 《大城小動》 for the RTHK production "Hong Kong Stories". In May, Tse premiered her first single from her upcoming eighth album "Twentieth of December" 《十二月二十》. The single was described as "last moment on Earth [...] lyrically about the rich-poor and class divides in Hong Kong". The single garnered positive reception, with many calling the style more in line with her earlier releases, the single reached the peak on three singles charts. On 15 August, Tse debuted her follow-up single "Your Happiness" 《你們的幸福》, in addition, she announced that it will also serve as the title for the next album, with the release date set as 13 October 2011.

In August 2011, Tse was invited to the opening ceremony performance for the 2011 Summer Universiade being held in Shenzhen.

2012-2013: Musical Theatre, Label changes[edit]

In 2012, Tse performed as a principal cast member representing Chinese culture in Loving the Silent Tears, a Broadway-style musical production at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, USA. The musical is based on Supreme Master Ching Hai’s poetry collection, Silent Tears.[13][14]

On 29 March 2013, Tse announced that she had signed to Gold Typhoon Music Co., Ltd.(金牌大風_(台灣)) and she would be releasing a new Mandopop song called I Have A Dream.[15]

2014-2016: Kontinue, "Rashomon," and 10th Anniversary Concerts[edit]

On 30 June 2014, Kay's company released her new single Egg and Lamb (雞蛋與羔羊). The composer and writer Adrian Chow, claimed that he was inspired by the film 12 Years a Slave. The song soon became popular as the official MV collected about one million clicks on YouTube within two weeks of its release. However, it was alleged that the new song touched on sensitive political issues between Hong Kong and Mainland China. The song and the official MV on Chinese mainstream online music players and video websites were soon deleted respectively on the second day since its release. Also, the name of the song was blocked when searching on websites.

On 29 September 2014, Kay released her new Cantonese album Kontinue, her first since 2011 and the 12th album in her music career.

Discography[edit]

# Title Format Release Date Label
1st Kay One Album 2005-05-06 Avex Asia
2nd Ksus2 EP 2006-06-02
3rd The First Day Album 2007-01-18 Cinepoly
4th 3/8 Compilation 2007-12-11 Cinepoly
5th Binary Album 2008-07-24 Cinepoly
6th Yelling Album 2009-03-19 Cinepoly
7th Slowness Album 2009-12-21 Cinepoly
8th Second Home (Mandarin) Album 2010-11-05 Cinepoly
9th Your Happiness Album 2011-10-14 Cinepoly
10th The Best of Times 2006-2012 Compilation 2013-09-17 Cinepoly
11th With Thanks-Kay (Mandarin) Album 2013-09-20 Gold Typhoon (Taiwan)
12th Kontinue Album 2014-09-29 Maya Entertainment

Tour[edit]

Yelling LIVE 2009[edit]

During 2009, Tse announced her first individual tour "Yelling LIVE 2009" to support the album Yelling. The tour was held during 5th-10 May with 5 dates. The location selected was Hong Kong Coliseum. Tickets for these dates sold out quickly. As a result, from high demand of tickets, two additional dates were added to a total of 7 dates. At December 2009, an extra date was added to extend the tour to Macau, marking her first concert outside of Hong Kong.

SLOWNESS University Mini Tour 2010[edit]

With the release of Tse's 7th album Slowness, Tse embarked on a mini concert tour in support of the new album. The tour started from January 2010 to March of the same year. The tour consist of nine stops, visiting the eight universities of Hong Kong, with the final concert as part of the charity show for Lions Clubs International held in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

  • Split Second Murders (2009)
  • Love Connected (2009)
  • Lover's Discourse (2010)
  • Love Is the Only Answer (2011)
  • Nightfall (2012)
  • Doomsday Party (2013)
  • The Legend of Dunhuang (2013)

TV Series[edit]

Awards[edit]

2006[edit]

Tse won the Bronze Award for "CRHK 2005 Best New Artist", along with Ivana Wong and Janice Vidal who won the Silver and Gold Award respectively.

2007[edit]

In the CRHK annual award, Tse's single "Gloomy Festival" 《愁人節》 scored number 10 of the CRHK Top Ten Recommendation, becoming her first end-of-year top 10 single.

2008[edit]

In the CRHK annual award, Tse won the Bronze Award for "Best Female Singer".

2009[edit]

In the Metro Hit Music Awards, Tse won 4 awards including "Favourite Female Singer", "Best Female Singer". Her single "Wedding Invitation Street" 《囍帖街》 also won "Favourite Single of the Year" and "Single of the Year". In the Ultimate Song Chart Awards, Tse won 5 awards. With the single "Wedding Invitation Street" becoming "Single of the Year" and "Favourite Single of the Year". The album "Binary" also won the "Album of the Year" award. Tse herself won the Silver Award for "Best Female Singer" and "Favourite Female Singer of the Year". In the Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards, Tse scored her first Top 10 with "Wedding Invitation Street", the single also won the "Single of the Year" award. In the CRHK annual award, Tse acored again "Single of the Year" for "Wedding Invitation Street" and "Album of the Year" for "Binary". In the Most prestigious ceremony of the year, the Four Station Joint Music Awards, Tse won 3 of the 4 available categories, including "Media Award – Single" for "Wedding Invitation Street", "Media Award – Album" for "Binary" and the most prestigious award of all "Media Award – Performer", which is awarded to the artist that have won the most award in the 4 main awarding ceremonies.

References[edit]

External links[edit]