Pop culture around the world is influenced by fashion, trends, and music. In the world of music, lyrics and images are composed by artists to become the soundtrack of their generation. A well-known figure who started to blossom in the 90s era is A-Mei, a Taiwanese pop singer/songwriter. She made her big break in 1996 when she released her first debut album, “Sisters,” which was done through her contract with Forest Music. This album skyrocketed to the top of the charts, selling 1.08 million copies around Taiwan. In an attempt to translate the song titles from the “Sisters” album into English from Google Translate, here is the translation.
1 So you do not want anything
8 love to not receive
10 sky dreamer
For some reason, song number five would not translate. Way to go, google.
After recording a number of additional soundtracks, A-Mei’s popularity became so widespread that she began her concert tour around Asia in 1998. That same year, she was awarded as the most popular singer in Asia by Billboard Magazine. During an interview with Billboard, she explained how her interests in music started with her family. “My mother sings, my sisters sings, my father used to sing. It’s a family thing. It’s really something that we do together with our tribe, something important in our culture.”
A-Mei’s career seemed flawless and of impeccable reputation until 2000, when she was asked to sing the National Anthem of the Republic of China at the inauguration of Taiwanese President Chen-Shui bian. Since A-Mei was not of Chinese origin, Chinese leaders were angered and banned her from visiting mainland China, and Taiwanese citizens questioned her patriotism. Because of this, A-Mei’s contracts with Chinese companies were cut, as well as the silencing of her music on Chinese radio stations. In response to this controversy, A-Mei stated, “I had to suffer the consequences of a decision that was not made by me. I should have been more discreet in my behavior, which impacts so many people.”
But that disappointment did not stop A-Mei from pursuing her goal of being a successful entertainer. A couple years later, in 2002, she was given the award of “Favorite Artist – Taiwan,” which she won again in 2004. Along with many other awards and recognitions that A-Mei continued to receive throughout the years, it did not stop her from sweeping the Golden Melody Awards in 2010. Despite her long-time presence in the Asian music industry, A-Mei’s domination is outstanding and incredible. She won Best Female Mandarin Singer, Song of the Year, and Best Mandarin Album. It was then that she was considered “The Pride of Taiwan” once again, despite her controversial political past.
A-Mei’s influence in Chinese pop culture has been tremendous and monumental. Her successes despite her hardships have continued to break through due to her dedication and love for music. A-Mei shows that she can not only conform to the times and remain at the top of the charts, but that she can do it excellently, without letting set backs and failures put her career on the backburner. This is a prime example of an iconic Chinese pop culture leader who affects her fans and the world to this day.