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China Daily Website

Pop idol grows up

Updated: 2013-10-11 07:48
By Zhang Kun (China Daily)

Yang came to prominence when he participated in the first Million Star talent show in Taiwan in 2007. His voice, powerful, expressive, and highly recognizable, brought him immediate fame, but he had to drop out before the final round because he was found out to have lied about his age - his actual age was beyond the competition limit.

But his great popularity still brought him to stardom. His debut album Dove was a bestseller, and in 2008, he gave a concert at the Taipei Arena, a large outdoor space with 15,000 seats.

His music career then ground to a halt for two years when he became embroiled in a legal battle with his agent. Yang enrolled in a post-graduate program at National Taiwan Sport University, studying sports psychology. "I've always enjoyed sports, and decided maybe I could turn to a different career path," he says.

When the lawsuit concluded in 2010, Yang found himself back in the music scene, and his talent won him recognition from songwriter and music producer Lee Tsung Sheng (Jonathan Lee), one of the most respected people in the Chinese pop music scene.

Lee produced his second and third albums Original Colors and First Love in 2011 and 2013 respectively. "He's the big brother I always look up to," Yang says of Lee, his mentor and producer. "He's by far the most important influence in my music career."

Yang lived and worked closely with Lee in Beijing for more than a year, where, unbeknownst to him, he picked up traces of Lee's style, attitude and even stage manner.

The ups and downs of his bumpy career, as well as the influence of his mentor Lee, has left Yang with a wary attitude toward fame and success. "You don't have to win everyone's love. Everyone has his place. Don't quit just because the halo above your head fades," he says.

"The popularity of TV talent shows has produced bubbles that will eventually pop."

Earlier this year, Yang participated in the singing competition show I Am a Singer on Hunan TV, and became known to a wider public in the Chinese mainland. Although he didn't win any prizes, his richly emotional voice and graceful stage manners won him a large number of supporters. On the micro blog, where he communicates with mainland fans, Yang has more than 485 million followers.


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