Teng Teresa 1953 - 1995 (42)

I would rather be loved than be a hero.


Teresa Teng (Chinese: 鄧麗君; 1953-1995) was a Chinese singer from Taiwan, a pioneer of contemporary folk music in China, the most popular singer in Asia. Teng incorporated Western and Eastern styles into her music, helped replace the revolutionary songs that had prevailed in mainland China until then, helped bridge the cultural divide between Chinese-speaking nations, and became the first artist to connect Japan with much of Southeast Asia, singing Japanese songs, some of which were later adapted into Mandarin

Teng was born into a poor family in Baojhong, Yunlin County, Taiwan, on January 29, 1953. Her father was a soldier in the Chinese Army, she had 3 older and 1 younger brother. From a very young age, a friend of her father who played the violin, distinguished the quality of her voice and became her first teacher, cultivating her passion for singing. Growing up, Teng took part in music competitions, winning many awards. With the approval of her father, she left school to pursue a career in singing and from adolescence she found herself caring for her family.

Her career began in 1967 as a presenter on a television show, the same year she starred in a television drama and in a film. The following year she was spotted by a record company and made her first album; very soon, she became famous all over China and in 1973 she was very successful in Japan with the recording of Japanese songs. In addition to singing and touring, Teng learned languages, she could sing in Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian, English, Italian and also spoke French and Thai. Her fame spread throughout Asia in the 1970s after its success in Japan. She gave many concerts to help raise money for charities.

In the early 1980s, a continuing political tensions between mainland China and Taiwan led to a ban on her music in mainland China, as well as other singers from Taiwan and Hong Kong, with Chinese authorities describing her music as very " bourgeois ”and‘ corrupt ’. Despite the ban, her music was played everywhere and the ban was soon lifted.

In the 1980s Teng reached the pinnacle of her career and gave large-scale concerts in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. In 1983, she performed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where she was a huge success. The same year she released the album "Dandan youqing", most critically acclaimed album, translated as Light Exquisite Feeling, in which she combined modern and traditional styles on 12 poems from the Tang and Song dynasties

During her career, Teng recorded more than 1,500 songs, released 25 albums selling over 22 million copies worldwide, Of the huge profits she donated a large portion to charity. To this day, her songs are performed by hundreds of singers around the world.

On May 8, 1995, at the age of 42, Teng died of a severe asthma attack while on holiday in Thailand.