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Happy 60th, Teresa

(Global Times)

09:12, May 22, 2013

Paulina Rubio Photos: ICBook cover for One and Only: Teresa Teng Forever. Photo: Courtesy of Modern Press

Media used to say that wherever there are Chinese, you can hear the songs of Teresa Teng. And although she never visited the Chinese mainland during her whole life, she is still a beloved superstar here.

May 8, 1995 was a heart-wrenching day for the millions of fans of Teresa Teng (1953-1995). Television stations all over Asia reported Teng's sudden death in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the result of an asthma attack. For many Chinese people, her loss was not just a sad goodbye to an idol but the end of an era.

Since then, various events focusing on Teng have been a common occurrence. Teng has over 40 official fan clubs scattered around China and members have been organizing all kinds of memorial and charity events in Teng's name over the years since the first club was founded in 2001.

On Sunday, a concert in Beijing to celebrate what would have been Teng's 60th birthday attracted a lot of A-list singers and musicians.

A book called One and Only: Teresa Teng Forever was also released over the weekend. Planned by Teng's third brother Teng Changfu who is also the director of Teresa Teng Foundation, and written by journalist Jiang Jie who spent some 10 years gathering information and doing interviews across the world, the book reviews Teng's life from the very beginning to its untimely end.

Legendary life

The famous Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin wrote in the preface for One and Only: Teresa Teng Forever that "the degree of my admiration to her is that - I wouldn't mind if my boyfriend fell for her."

Teng's typical smile and her pleasant personality made her a sweetheart beyond time and region. However, her charm was far more than a pretty face and beautiful voice.

Teng was born in a poor family in Taiwan. At the age of 11, she won a singing competition, which started her on the path as a singer. The conflicts between her singing and academic work eventually forced her to drop out before finishing high school.

Luckily, Teng worked extremely hard and later traveled to the UK and US to study. She also went to Japan and Hong Kong to develop her career. The smart girl was quickly able to speak many languages. Not only could she perform Chinese and Cantonese songs but also English, Japanese and Indonesian songs.

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