Happily ever after until the divorce

Updated: 2013-09-16 08:05

By Cui Jia, He Na and Wu Wencong in Beijing (China Daily)

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Happily ever after until the divorce

Faye Wong sings at a fundraising concert for the Smile Angel Foundation in 2012. The charity helps Chinese children with cleft palates and lips. Xinhua

The undisputed queen of the Canto-pop scene

Faye Wong is probably the most popular female Chinese pop singer of the past two decades, often simply referred to as "The Diva" by the media and her fans. She featured alongside seven other world-famous female pop singers, including Celine Dion and Maria Carey, in a Time magazine cover story, "The Divas of Pop", in October 1996.

The daughter of a mining engineer and a soprano, Wong was born in Beijing in 1969 and moved to Hong Kong in 1987. Her grandfather, Wang Youlin, was a national legislator in the 1940s.

Wong showed her distinctive vocal talent at an early age and released six albums between 1985 and 1987 while still in high school. The albums mostly consisted of songs by her personal idol, Taiwan's iconic singer Teresa Teng.

Wang rose to fame a few years after she moved to Hong Kong. She started off singing in Cantonese, but later switched to her native Mandarin. In 2000, Guinness World Records recognized her as the highest-selling female Canto-pop singer.

In addition to massive followings in China, Singapore and Malaysia, Wong is also immensely popular in Japan and is the only Chinese artist to have performed at Tokyo's renowned Budokan arena four times.

She has also starred in a number of movies and in 1994 won the Best Actress Award at the Stockholm Film Festival for her role in Chungking Express, directed by Wong Kar-wai.

She married her first husband, Beijing rock star Dou Wei, in 1996. Their daughter, Dou Jingtong, was born the following year. The couple divorced in 1999.

Wong kept a lower profile after she married actor Li Yapeng in 2005. She gave birth to their daughter, Li Yan, in 2006. The child was born with a severely cleft lip and the couple founded the Smile Angel Foundation, a charity for Chinese children with cleft palates and lips.

In 2010, in confirmation of her star status, Wong was invited to perform at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the most viewed TV show in China.

- Tang Yue

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