23 years on: Death can't do Teresa Teng and her Chinese fans part


娱乐 来源:中国日报


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Jan 29 would have been the 65th birthday of Teresa Teng, or Deng Lijun in Mandarin. Google celebrated the occasion, honoring the Chinese queen of songs, known for her folk and romantic ballads, with a doodle that comes up on the search engine's homepage.

As the most popular singer in the 1980s and 1990s, Teng was widely known by the Chinese-speaking world and her sweet voice has captured a whole generation.

Born in Taiwan in 1953, Teng's singing talent came to light at the young age of ten. Her rendition of Cai Hong Ling (Picking Red Water Chestnuts) won the first prize at a singing contest organized by the Gold Horse Record Company.

Her win heralded the beginning of Teng's singing career, which saw the star releasing eight albums in just two years in the late 1960s.

Teng's voice moved audiences in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, French and Malay, as the singer was a polyglot.

Teng's sweet image and voice soon thrust her to stardom. She was a superstar in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and beyond the Chinese territories. She won widespread acclaim in Japan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.

During her career peak from 1981 to 1987, her songs dominated the Chinese market and could be heard playing virtually everywhere.

Nearly everyone at the time had a tape of her songs, playing hits like Tian Mi Mi (Very sweet) and Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The moon represents my heart) on loop. Teng's presence in the lives of Chinese people was concretized by the saying – "Wherever there are Chinese people, there will be Teng's songs."
当时几乎每个人都有一盘她的歌曲磁带,循环播放热门歌曲《甜蜜蜜》以及《月亮代表我的心》等。有一句话形象地表现出邓丽君在华人生活中的影响力 —— “有华人的地方,就有邓丽君的歌声。”

But all beautiful things must end: Teng died of asthma in Thailand on May 8, 1995, and the tragic news fell like a bombshell on her fans and music lovers. But while Teng was gone, her heritage lived on: even today, 23 years after her death, programs about Teng are still running on television.

A museum to commemorate her was established in Taiwan, and she also inspired a theme restaurant in the Chinese capital Beijing.

People seem to keep Teng's memory alive in a multitude of ways, and she will always be one of the shining stars in Chinese culture.

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)

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