|Height:||174 cm (5' 9'')|
|Birth Day:||August 8, 1969|
|Birth Place:||Beijing, China|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|174 cm (5' 9'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
She produced and released six albums of cover songs while in high school, all in cassette tape form.
In 1987, after being accepted to Xiamen University for college, she migrated to Hong Kong to join her father, who had been working there for a few years. The plan was for her to stay there for a year to fulfill the permanent residency requirement, and go to a university abroad thereafter. However, since Wong did not know a word of Cantonese, the language spoken in the British colony, she experienced great loneliness. Following a brief modeling stint, she began singing lessons with Tai See-Chung (戴思聰), who was also from Mainland China and had previously tutored Hong Kong superstars Anita Mui, Andy Lau, Leon Lai and Aaron Kwok. Under Tai's tutelage, the 19-year-old signed with Cinepoly Records after winning third place in an ABU singing contest in 1988. It was a risky move on the part of Chan Siu-Bo, Cinepoly's general manager, since Mainlanders were stereotyped as "backwards" in Hong Kong.
As a result, Cinepoly asked Wong to change her "Mainland-sounding" name to a "sophisticated" stage name Wong Jing Man. (Her English name was to be "Shirley".) In 1989, her debut album Shirley Wong sold over 30,000 copies and helped her win bronze at the "Chik Chak New Artist Award". Two more albums (Everything and You're the Only One) followed, similarly featuring many cover songs by artists from the US and Japan. However, they sold worse than her debut album, despite relentless promotions by the company. Many in Hong Kong perceived her to be "backwards", lacking personality.
Frustrated with her career decision, in 1991 she travelled to New York City for vocal studies and cultural exchange. Because it was a hurried decision, she also ended up missing the registration deadline for her classes in New York. Faye Wong explained in 1996,
The 1992 album Coming Home incorporated R&B influences and was a change in musical direction from the more traditional Cantopop fare of her earlier albums. One song by her of this time was "Fragile Woman", a cover of a Japanese song "Rouge" originally composed by Miyuki Nakajima and sung by Naomi Chiaki. (Thanks to Wong's cover, this 1972 song–in different language versions–would in the early 1990s become a huge regional hit in Thailand, Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia and even Turkey; the most popular English version was titled "Broken-Hearted Woman".) Coming Home also included her first English-language number, "Kisses in the Wind". Wong stated in a 1994 concert that she very much liked this song, after which various websites listed it as her personal favourite; however, in a 1998 CNN interview she declined to name one favourite song, saying that there were too many, and in 2003 she stated that she no longer liked her old songs.
In 1993, she wrote the Mandarin lyrics for her ballad "No Regrets" (執迷不悔) which led many to praise her as a gifted lyricist. In February, it became the title track to her album No Regrets. No Regrets features soft contemporary numbers, a few dance tracks and two versions of the title ballad: Wong's Mandarin version, and a Cantonese version (lyrics by Chen Shao Qi).
From 1993 to 1995, Cinepoly released an EP of Wong's songs each year: Like Wind (如風), Faye Disc (菲碟), and One Person, Two Roles (一人分飾兩角). Then in 1996–97, she recorded ten original songs in Cantonese all written by lyricist Lin Xi (林夕) and various composers, such as Wong Ka Keung, Adrian Chan, and Chan Xiao Xia, before her departure from Cinepoly. After her contract with Cinepoly expired, the company released eight of these songs in the two subsequent EPs entitled Toy (玩具) and Helping Yourself (自便). Although the EPs contained new songs—ballad hits like "Undercurrent" (暗湧), "Date" (約定), and "On Time" (守時)—and were welcomed by fans, they received lukewarm critical responses. The other two songs were included in later compilations; the last to be released was "Scary" (心驚膽顫) in 2002.
Besides two Cantonese albums in 1994, Wong released two other albums in Mandarin in Taiwan, Mystery (迷) and Sky (天空). The runaway hit "I'm Willing" (我願意) in Mystery became her trademark hit in the Mandarin-speaking communities for years, and has been covered by other singers such as Gigi Leung, Sammi Cheng and Jay Chou. Sky was seen by fans as a successful amalgam of artistic experimentation and commercialism.
Another trademark is her unconventional fashion on stage. Her 1994 concerts were memorable for dreadlocks and extremely long sleeves, as well as for the silver-painted tears. She later said "I wore long sleeves because usually I don't have choreography; I don't know what to do with my hands." Her 1998 concerts saw her sporting the "burnt" cheek makeup, the "Indian chief" look, and the soleless strap-on boots. At the start of her 2003 concerts her headgear was topped by an inverted shoe supporting a very long feather, and her makeup for that concert went through several changes of painted eye-shades.
In addition, Faye Wong is seen and thus idolised by many as a woman willing to sacrifice for love. In 1994, on one of the many trips to Beijing to see Dou Wei, Hong Kong paparazzi from Next Magazine followed her and tracked her down. The photographs taken, showing her entering an unhygienic community toilet in a narrow hutong to dump urine – in sharp contrast to the modern and glamorous lives Hong Kong celebrities led – caused quite a stir, with some in Cinepoly fearing that her diva image would be tarnished. But many were impressed. As Taiwanese lyricist Yao Chien, who initially declined to write lyrics for Wong because he never met and knew very little about her, recalled in 2012,
In 1995, she released Decadent Sounds of Faye (菲靡靡之音), a cover album of songs originally recorded by her idol Teresa Teng, one of the most revered Chinese singers of the 20th century. A duet with Teng was planned for the album, but unfortunately she died before this could be recorded. Decadent Sounds sold well despite initial negative criticism, and has come to be recognised as an example of imaginative covering by recent critics.
1996 saw the release of what many would consider her boldest and most artistically coherent effort to date, Fuzao (浮躁), usually translated as Restless or Impatience. This was her last album with Cinepoly, and Wong felt she could take more artistic risks. The album contains mainly her own compositions, with an aesthetic inspired by the Cocteau Twins, who penned two original songs for the album, "Fracture" (分裂) and "Repressing Happiness" (掃興). As Wong had covered their work in 1994, she had established a remote working relationship with them—even laying down vocals for a special duet version of "Serpentskirt" on the Asian release of the group's 1996 album, Milk And Kisses.
In the early 1990s, Wong began a relationship with Dou Wei, a Beijing rocker of the band "Black Panther" who was much more famous in Mainland China. In June 1996, the couple married. Their daughter, Dou Jingtong (竇靖童, meaning "child of Dou and Jing" [from Wong's given name Jingwen]) was born on 3 January 1997. The baby's voice appears in the song "Tong" on the 1998 album Sing and Play (唱遊), as well as the title track of the album Lovers & Strangers (只愛陌生人) released in 1999. They divorced in late 1999 with Wong claiming the rights to the daughter and waiving child support.
Wong signed for the recording giant EMI in 1997 after her first daughter was born, in a contract worth HK$60 million (approx. US$7.7 million), to release 55 songs in five albums. While most of her earlier albums were sung in Cantonese, Wong has since sung almost exclusively in Mandarin, her mother tongue, although she recorded Cantonese versions of a couple of songs in each of her last four albums with EMI to please her Hong Kong audience. Having gone through a period of experimentation, Wong stated that she wished to make "music that I like. I do not care if others don't, though I would be delighted if they do".
Her first album with EMI was Faye Wong (王菲), released in autumn 1997. Critics expecting another artistic breakthrough after 1996's Restlessness found – much to their dismay – a much more inoffensive and commercially oriented musical album. Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins wrote two original compositions for the album, but only one, "The Amusement Park" (娛樂場), was used. This release included an acoustic cover of the Cocteau Twins' "Rilkean Heart", renamed "Nostalgia" (懷念).
This album is filled with feelings of lethargy, languor and disengagement, yet most of the tracks sound warm and sweet, as opposed to those piquant self-centered ones before her motherhood. Reporters noticed that she began to smile more often in public and was not as icy or aloof as before. However, the album was released during the Asian financial crisis which swept East and Southeast Asia. Wong's old company Cinepoly, which retains the copyright on her previous records, released a Mandarin compilation at the same time in 1997 to counteract her new EMI album (and indeed outperformed it). Later, Cinepoly would release two compilations each year to compete with Faye's new releases, a tactic which has come under fire from her international fans. Faye Wong did not sell well in Hong Kong, but did quite well in Taiwan and mainland China. Although Wong had garnered some popularity with her 4 previous Mandarin albums, it was really this sweet yet slightly alternative album which had the Mainland Chinese audience listening. Her profile began to rise sharply in Asia.
In 1997 singer Na Ying signed with EMI and struck a lasting friendship with Wong. Na had been a regular at the annual CCTV New Year's Gala, the highest-watched TV show in Mainland China, and she invited Wong to do a duet with her on the upcoming show in 1998. The collaboration by the "Mainland Diva" and "Hong Kong Diva", titled "Let's Meet in 1998", became an instant hit and arguably the most played song in Mainland China that year. Thanks to this exposure, in late 1998 Wong finally held her first concert in her native Mainland China, and continued her tour in 9 cities.
She does not perform encores, and usually exits by sinking below the stage via a platform. After her release of Miyuki Nakajima's "Mortal World" (人間) in 1997, she ended her concerts for the next few years with this song while shaking hands with the audience, then taking a deep bow to a horizontal position before leaving the stage. However, during her recent Comeback Tour from 2010 to 2012, she ended with "Flower of Paradise" (彼岸花), a song from the album Fable (2000).
It was the best selling Chinese album in Singapore in 1999. Together with Lovers & Strangers and the compilation album Wishing We Last Forever, it gave Faye Wong 3 albums in the Singapore top 10 selling Chinese albums of 1999, making her one of the best selling artists in Singapore in 1999.
The video game Final Fantasy VIII was released in Japan in February 1999, for which Faye Wong recorded the ballad "Eyes on Me" in English. It was the first time that a Japanese video game featured a Chinese singer for its theme. The "Eyes on Me" single sold over 335,620 copies in Japan and 500,000 worldwide, making it the best-selling video game music disc to that date, and winning "Song of the Year (Western Music)" at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards. When the game was released in North America later that year, the theme song became very popular among gamers in the West; while it was not a mainstream hit there (as Wong had no desire to explore these markets), she gained many fans who were not previously familiar with her music.
For her Sony album To Love (將愛), released in November 2003, she recorded 13 tracks, 10 in Mandarin and 3 in Cantonese. She wrote the music and lyrics for 3 songs, the title track "To Love", "Leave Nothing" (不留), "Sunshine Dearest" (陽寶), as well as the music for "April Snow" (四月雪). Before the album's release, her Cantonese song "The Name of Love" (假愛之名), with lyrics by Lin Xi, was banned in some areas such as mainland China because the lyrics mentioned opium. According to interviews, she said that she preferred the Mandarin version of the song (the title track); she had penned these lyrics herself, and they made no reference to drugs. She also recorded "Passenger" (乘客), a cover of Sophie Zelmani's "Going Home". The album became more successful than her previous self-titled album, both financially and critically. Afterwards, she held numerous successful concerts for over a year. At the 2004 Golden Melody Awards, she was awarded Best Female Artist after being nominated many times. Her acceptance speech, in which she quipped "I've known that I can sing, therefore I will also confirm this panel's decision," was controversial to the local Taiwanese media.
Her 2003 concerts set a Hong Kong record, selling 30,000 tickets within three days.
While she was under contract with EMI and later Sony, she performed in the ensemble movie 2046 which had been in production since 1999 and finally wrapped in 2004. She performed at fund-raising concerts to benefit various charities, including ones that helped those who suffered from AIDS and SARS. She sang on tracks with other celebrities such as Tony Leung, Anita Mui, and Aaron Kwok. She also starred in a Japanese TV serial, Usokoi, and the film Leaving Me Loving You with Leon Lai.
Wong began dating Mainland television actor Li Yapeng in 2004 in Beijing; their wedding took place in July 2005. Around the time of her wedding, her manager confirmed that she might take an indefinite break from the entertainment business. Their daughter, Li Yan (李嫣), was born on 27 May 2006. In January 2011, appearing for the first time with her husband on a talk show, Wong told host Yang Lan that the past 5 years of her married life has been "very steady, very satisfying". On 13 September 2013, Wong and Li announced that they had divorced.
In 2004 and 2005 Faye Wong was ranked in the top 5 on the Forbes China Celebrity 100, as well as in 2011 and 2012 after her hiatus. In a 2011 "most popular celebrity in China" marketing study she was also ranked in the top 5. In 2008, Wong was voted Asia's sexiest vegetarian Woman in a poll run by animal right group PETA. In 2009, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, a government web portal conducted an online poll on The Most Influential Chinese Cultural Celebrity in the Past 60 Years; out of 192 candidates, Wong received over 7 million votes, second only to the deceased Teresa Teng from Taiwan, Wong's own personal idol. In 2014, she was named one of 10 most admired female singers in Asia by RHA media. Chen Tao, a China Radio International DJ, compares Wong's influence in the Sinophone world to Madonna's in America: "She represents a certain era of pop music, a certain trend, and a vision of being unique."
In January 2005, during the last concert of her tour, the usually reticent Faye Wong left a quote that left her fans wondering: "If I ever retire from showbiz, I hope you all forget about me." In May 2005 her agent Katie Chan (陳家瑛) confirmed to press that Wong was "resting indefinitely". Two months later she wed actor Li Yapeng, and their daughter was born in the following year.
In August 2006, Li Yapeng published a thousand-word public online letter, "Gratitude (感謝)", on his Sina.com blog. The letter served as an outlet for their gratitude towards all concerned parties, and confirmed rumours their daughter was born with a congenital cleft lip. He expressed their reason for seeking medical treatment in California: due to the severity of Li Yan's cleft, the special reconstructive surgeries she needed were not available in China. Citing a South American folk tale, Li described his daughter as a special child and her cleft as a mark of an angel. The couple has since established the Smile Angel Foundation to assist children with clefts.
On 26 December 2006 Wong made her first public appearance since 2005 at the foundation's inaugural fundraising ball. She opted not to speak or sing, but her new composition "Cheerful Angel" (愛笑的天使) debuted at the event as the official theme song of the charity. At the second fundraising ball on 8 December 2007, Wong mentioned that although she would not return to her music career in 2008, she would consider it afterwards. However, she sang and produced an electronica-infused version of the Diamond Sutra for the event. For the foundation's publicity event on 27–28 November 2008, Wong and her husband visited children in Tibet who are in various stages of recovery after being cured with the help of the charity. To date, the foundation has raised over 35 million renminbi, including over 29.5 million from auctions during the three December fundraisers, and helped more than 2008 children.
China's 2007 spacecraft Chang'e 1 played Faye Wong's version of "Wishing We Last Forever".
In the four years that followed, Faye Wong would not return, ignoring Live Nation's offer of 100m-HKD, and even rejecting the 3m-yuan offer for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on her birthday – the Beijing native was the unanimous choice of netizens, receiving over 63% of the tens of millions of votes cast in a CCTV online poll. The honour eventually went to Liu Huan.) She did, however, voluntarily perform for causes she truly cared about: she sang "Wishing We Last Forever" in May 2008 at a CCTV fundraising event for Sichuan earthquake victims, and "Heart Sutra" in May 2009 for a Buddhist ceremony at the Famen Temple.
Faye Wong is a vegetarian. In 2008, Wong was voted "Asia's sexiest vegetarian woman" in the poll conducted among members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and was again nominated for the award in 2010.
In May 2008, following the disastrous earthquake in Sichuan, the couple accepted a local girl who lost a leg trying to save her classmates, to their family as she underwent recuperation and treatments in Beijing. The middle school student returned to her hometown a year later but help would not stop; the Lis agreed to continue paying for her medical needs until she turns 22 and visit her at least once a year. In March 2012, the Smile Angel Foundation donated 15 million Japanese yen to ChildFund Japan to help needy children after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
In May 2009, Wong appeared in an ad for "Royal Wind" shampoo, sparking speculation that it would be the first step in her comeback.
In June 2009, a compilation of 3 CDs and 1 DVD was released by Universal Music and sold very well in the public.
Her return was clearly marked in February 2010, when she performed at the CCTV New Year's Gala watched by over 700 million people, covering Li Jian's ballad "Legend". Later in July 2010, she first announced a series of comeback concerts starting from 29 October 2010 onwards, namely 5 in Beijing and another 5 in Shanghai. To satisfy huge overseas market demand, she declared to have more concerts in other cities of Mainland China, Taipei in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and also Singapore. The tour began in October 2010 and concluded in June 2012.
In April 2010, the China Social Sciences Press recognised Wong as one of the 13 "richest souls" in China. In May 2013, Wong and Li topped the inaugural "China Celebrity Philanthropist List" compiled by the China Philanthropist magazine, which used a methodology designed to measure a celebrity's positive influence on charitable donations.
In 2010, Sina Weibo users discovered Wong's microblog under the account "veggieg (in Chinese)", and unveiled a Faye Wong who is open, talkative and surprisingly funny with her use of cyberlanguage and puns. As of April 2014, the account has over 23 million followers.
In 2012, Smile Angel Foundation established China's first charity paediatric hospital. The Beijing-based hospital is expected to offer free surgery to 600 children with cleft lips each year and will start operations in June.
On 19 May 2013, Faye sang four songs in a memorial concert celebrating Teresa Teng's 60th birthday, with a portion of the concert proceeds going to the charity. The concert is notable in that Wong's first song in the concert, Li Bai's "清平調", is a duet with Teng planned 18 years prior, using vocals from Teng released posthumously for the first time.
The female protagonist in the 2013 Chinese film Beijing Flickers was prototyped after Wong, according to director Zhang Yuan. Zhang remembered when he shot his 1993 hit Beijing Bastards with Dou Wei, Wong as Dou's girlfriend would visit the set every day. Japanese director Shunji Iwai had explained that the titular pop-star character of his 2001 film All About Lily Chou-Chou was conceived after attending a Faye Wong concert. Wong's name was also mentioned in the 2003 Japanese film The Blue Light as one of the protagonist's favourites.
In 2014, rumours surfaced that Wong was back together with Nicholas Tse, whom she had dated in a high-profile relationship in 2000. The duo were photographed in Wong's apartment in Beijing in September 2014. They were seen doing housework, watching television and kissing.
"Faye’s Moments Live 2016” was a concert which was held in Shanghai’s 8,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Cultural Centre on 30 December 2016. The concert was notable in that fans were able to watch a free live webcast via the Tencent Video website.
Currently, Faye Wong is 53 years, 0 months and 8 days old. Faye Wong will celebrate 54th birthday on a Tuesday 8th of August 2023.
Find out about Faye Wong birthday activities in timeline view here.