91 Facts About Teresa Teng


Teng Li-chun, commonly known as Teresa Teng, was a Taiwanese singer, actress, musician and philanthropist.


Besides, Teresa Teng was instrumental in bridging the cultural gap across Chinese-speaking nations and was one of the first artists to connect Japan to some of East and Southeast Asia by singing Japanese pop songs, according to Nippon.


Teresa Teng recorded more than 1,700 songs throughout her career, starting when she was 14 years old, not only in Mandarin, but in Hokkien, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Japanese, Indonesian, English, and Italian.


In 2009, in a poll by a Chinese government web portal, Teresa Teng was selected as the "most influential cultural figure in China since 1949" by 8.5 million netizens.


Teresa Teng was inducted into the "Popular Music Hall of Fame" at the Koga Masao Music Museum in Japan in 2007, making her the only non-Japanese national to do so.


Teresa Teng was born to Waishengren parents in Baozhong Township, Yunlin County, Taiwan on January 29,1953.


The only daughter among five children, Teresa Teng was raised in a poverty-stricken family and spent her early childhood in military dependents' villages, first in Yunlin and then in Pingtung.


Teresa Teng's father retired in 1957, and then worked selling cakes to make ends meet.


Teresa Teng received her early education at Luzhou Elementary School in the Luzhou District, Taipei County, Taiwan.


Teresa Teng was exposed to music at an early age through her music-loving parents.


Teresa Teng's father was a Peking opera enthusiast, and her mother appreciated Huangmei opera, often accompanying her daughter to Chinese movie theatres and opera houses.


Teresa Teng was able to support her family with her singing.


Teresa Teng's career commenced in 1967 as a host of the television show One Star a Day, which aired for 20 minutes from Tuesday to Sunday.


Teresa Teng then appeared in television dramas and movies, including a leading role in the 1967 film Thank You, Manager.


At the age of 14, Teresa Teng withdrew from school to focus on music.


Teresa Teng signed with a local company, Yeu Jow Records, and began to release a series of long-playing albums of "a go-go" dance tunes and cover versions of western pop songs as well as local Taiwanese, Chinese, and Southeast Asian folk tunes.


Teresa Teng debuted at Paris Night, an upscale Taipei nightclub, and set a record for performing onstage there for 70 consecutive days, giving a 90-minute performance every single day.


Teresa Teng's albums sold well, and soon she got an opportunity to record a theme song for Jingjing, Taiwan's first televised series and did a promotional tour that attracted quite a bit of attention in the media.


Teresa Teng released several albums within the next few years under the Life Records label in Hong Kong.


Teresa Teng held concerts in Southeast Asia, drawing big crowds throughout the region.


Teresa Teng's popularity boomed in Asia after she released several albums in multiple languages.


Teresa Teng continued to hold large-scale concerts in Hong Kong and the Southeast Asian region almost every year.


Teresa Teng gave many free concerts throughout most of her career to help the less fortunate or raise funds for charities.


Teresa Teng's songs began to trickle into mainland China around 1974 with the availability of radios.


Teresa Teng's songs were blasted from the sea-facing speakers from Kinmen Island to the residents of mainland China at a much higher volume.


In spite of the ban, Teresa Teng's songs defied the censorship and penetrated China's iron curtain.


Teresa Teng's songs continued to be played everywhere, from nightclubs to government buildings, and the ban was lifted.


Teresa Teng became almost as well known in mainland China as the country's leader.


Teresa Teng's fans nicknamed her "Little Deng" because she had the same family name as Deng Xiaoping; there was a saying that, by day, everyone listened to "old Deng" because they had to.


In 1983, Teresa Teng released her most critically acclaimed album, Dandan youqing, translated as Light Exquisite Feeling, which sets 12 poems from the Tang and Song dynasties into music, blending modern and traditional styles.


Teresa Teng apparently felt a deep attachment to the mainland, as she immersed herself in the classics of the Tang and Song periods.


Later, Teresa Teng started working on completing a sequel to the album.


In 1987, Teresa Teng released the Mandarin version of the album I Only Care About You.


Teresa Teng performed in Paris during the 1989 Tiananmen student protests on behalf of the students and expressed her support.


In 1975, Teresa Teng collaborated with Polygram Records of Hong Kong.


In 1976, Teresa Teng held her first Hong Kong concert at Lee Theatre, which was a tremendous success.


Teresa Teng continued performing in concerts for the next 5 years, attracting big crowds throughout this time.


Teresa Teng released her first Cantonese album, Sai Bat Leung Laap, in 1980, which became the best-seller of the year; its single, "Forget Him", became one of the most famous Cantonese pop songs at that time.


Teresa Teng became a household name in Hong Kong and held a concert at Queen Elizabeth Stadium the same year.


Teresa Teng's popularity reached its peak by the end of 1983 with six straight sold-out concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum.


On March 1,1974, Teresa Teng released her first Japanese single "No Matter Tonight or Tomorrow", which marked the beginning of her career in Japan.


Teresa Teng then released a number of successful singles including "The Night Ferry" and "Goodbye, My Love".


Teresa Teng won the top award of 'Singer of the year' from Japan Cable Award.


Teresa Teng won the Japan Cable Award for the third time in a row.


Teresa Teng was invited to perform in Kouhaku Uta Gassen for the second time.


Teresa Teng became the first-ever artist to achieve three consecutive wins of this Grand Prix, known as Japan Cable Award.


Teresa Teng remains the only foreign singer to win this award for three consecutive years in the history of Japanese music.


Teresa Teng gave her last solo concert at the NHK Hall in Tokyo in 1985 before semi-retiring from entertainment circle.


One of Taiwan's most famous cultural exports, Teresa Teng was born to a military family in 1953, her father served as a member of the Republic of China Armed Forces during World War 2.


Teresa Teng was barred for one year from entering the country by Japan's Minister of Justice.


Teresa Teng visited the generals of the army, navy, and air force and sang for them.


Teresa Teng was invited next year by the wife of the then-President of Singapore Yusof Ishak to a charity performance at the Singapore national opera house.


Teresa Teng continued performing for philanthropic causes throughout the 1970s in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.


In January 1982, Teresa Teng held a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong, and the first proceeds were used for charitable donations; in August, she donated NT$160,000 to build a water tower in a village in northern Thailand and introduce a drinking water system.


In 1985, Teresa Teng held a solo concert at the NHK Hall in Tokyo, Japan, proceeds of which were donated to charity.


Teresa Teng made a special trip to Hong Kong in July 1991 to participate in the disaster relief program of ATV's "Love for East China" as a special charity performance guest to raise funds.


Teresa Teng gave her last performance in 1994 in Taiwan, one year before her unexpected death.


Teresa Teng learned Peking opera through her father, while her mother introduced her to Huangmei opera, accompanying her to opera houses and encouraging Teng to sing in that style by purchasing songbooks for her.


Alongside regional and folk styles, Teresa Teng was influenced by shidaiqu and Japanese music.


Teresa Teng was a soprano, according to The New York Times.


In 1987, Teresa Teng recorded the song "Summer Christmas," a cover of the Japanese song "Merry X'mas in Summer," originally recorded by Kuwata Band member Yoshisuke Kuwata.


In 1992, Teresa Teng penned the lyrics for what was later revised into a song, "Star's Wish," after she died.


On May 8,1995, Teresa Teng died unexpectedly while on vacation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the age of 42.


Teresa Teng complained of having respiratory difficulties since the beginning of the year.


Teresa Teng's death produced a unified sense of loss throughout all of Asia, according to Billboard.


Teresa Teng's funeral was broadcast on television stations across many Asian countries, while radio stations in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong devoted their entire programming schedules to her music for two days.


Teresa Teng was posthumously awarded the Ministry of Defense's highest honor for civilians, the KMT's "Hua-hsia Grade One Medal," the Overseas Chinese Affairs' Commission's "Hua Guang Grade One Medal," and the president's commendation.


Teresa Teng was buried in a mountainside tomb at Chin Pao San, a cemetery in Jinshan, New Taipei City overlooking the north coast of Taiwan.


In 1995, a tribute album, A Tribute to Teresa Teng, was released, which contained covers of Teng's songs by prominent Chinese rock bands.


In May 2002, a wax figure of Teresa Teng was unveiled at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.


Teresa Teng was considered to be one of the biggest singers in the world in her heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, with a wide repertoire of multilingual songs.


Teresa Teng is credited by some as an enlightener and a pioneer of Chinese vocal performance art and modern popular music.


Teresa Teng blended traditional Chinese folk music with Western pop and jazz, opening the doors to the musical creations of later generations.


Teresa Teng became the earliest guide for composers on how to arrange music for popular songs, and numerous musicians reproduced their work by imitating her.


Teresa Teng taught that people could sing with another part of their voice, which was later named "popular singing".


Teresa Teng became popular in Japan and Southeast Asia, and to some extent, South Asia, achieving a "cult status" in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and Japan, where she became a "barometer of cross-strait relations" in rising geopolitical tensions at the time, and one of the first artists to break through linguistic and cultural barriers, earning acceptance and acclaim from cultures across much of the region that had previously been confined to national boundaries.


Teresa Teng's songs have been covered by several hundreds of singers all over the world; by artists like Faye Wong, Leslie Cheung, Jon Bon Jovi, Siti Nurhaliza, Shila Amzah, Katherine Jenkins, Im Yoon-ah, David Archuleta, Agnez Mo, Greek singer Nana Mouskouri, English vocal group Libera, Jewish singer Noa, Grammy Award-winning American musician Kenny G, Kiwi pianist Carl Doy, Cuba's leading a cappella musical band Vocal Sampling, among others.


Teresa Teng's songs are featured in various international films, such as Rush Hour 2, The Game, Prison On Fire, Year of the Dragon, Formosa Betrayed, Gomorrah, and Crazy Rich Asians.


In 1974, Teresa Teng entered the Japanese market, two years after Japan severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan.


Teresa Teng was extremely popular in Japan throughout the 1970s and 1980s, having lived off her royalties in the country after semi-retiring in the late '80s.


For Japanese, Teresa Teng was more than just a popular singer.


Teresa Teng taught us about the profundity of Chinese culture, whether in her birthplace of Taiwan, her ancestral home of China, or Hong Kong, which she loved throughout her life.


Teresa Teng, who continues to be loved across national and ethnic boundaries, still shines as a voice uniting Asia through song.


Over 24 million people voted, and Teresa Teng came out as the winner with 8.5 million votes.


Teresa Teng's singing can be heard in every corner of the town.


The city features the "Teresa Teng Hanging Garden" and the "Teresa Teng Art Center", including a statue of the singer.


In 1971, Teresa Teng met her first boyfriend, Lin Zhenfa, a Malaysian paper tycoon, and they soon fell in love.


Later, Teresa Teng, accompanied by her close friends, went to the cemetery to pay homage to her boyfriend, who had just died.


In 1980, while in the USA, Teresa Teng met Jackie Chan, who was filming in Hollywood.


In 1982, Teresa Teng was engaged to Beau Kuok, a Malaysian businessman and the son of multi-billionaire Robert Kuok.


In 1990, Teresa Teng met French photographer Paul Quilery in France.