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Veteran Chinese singer set for comeback

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-30 09:43

Despite her absence from the music scene since the 2000s, Hang Tianqi says she never feels too far away from the stage. [Photos provided to China Daily]

"Just when I was about to leave, a staff member called out my name. I realized that she was a senior student in my university and we had met a couple of times on campus. She helped me file the application form and gave me the chance to do the first round of audition," Hang recalls.

Hang went on to beat thousands of others in the competition to secure a spot in the final where she performed two pop songs, My Beloved Hometown and Yellow Earth of the High Plateau, both of which feature folk music styles native to northwestern China. She eventually finished second in the competition.

With her wide vocal range and expressive singing style, Hang rose to fame as a household name and became a solo singer in a song and dance troupe of the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army.

"All of a sudden, people recognized me when I walked on street and I had the opportunity to release my solo albums," recalls Hang. "It was overwhelming and exciting for a young singer."

While she had a passion for pop songs, such as those by Taiwan singer Teresa Teng (1953-1995), Hang only sang them in private because her teachers considered such music frivolous compared to classical music.

In 1989, she made her debut performance at CCTV's Spring Festival gala, one of the most-watched television shows in the country. Such was her magnetism that she went on to perform at the gala for nine consecutive years.

In 1990, she performed the song Black Hair in the Air for the 11th Asian Games. The song later became one of Hang's most popular hits.

"My schedule was hectic. Unlike today's singers, who have many team members to take care of them, I traveled alone to perform at cities across the country. The good thing was that I managed to build long-lasting friendships with other singers who shared stages with me then," Hang recalls.

Hang slowed the pace of her career in the 2000s after getting married and giving birth to her children.

"I am lucky because I've witnessed the golden era of original Chinese music in the 1990s, which gave birth to lots of timeless songs," Hang says.

"Today, the music industry has totally changed. I am now ready to meet some new fans during my tour."

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