There are few people who can truly claim to have changed the world of music, but Hong Kong singer and actor Jacky Cheung Hok-yau seems to have achieved it. He is known the world over for his incredible vocals and his enormously lengthy live tours. Although he hasn’t quite reached the end of his career, we thought it might be nice to take a look back at what he has achieved so far.
While Cheung is known for more than just music, this is the industry in which he has made the biggest waves. He got his big break when he took some time off his job working for an airline to enter a singing competition.
The Amateur 18 Hong Kong district singing contest was the one that would change the trajectory of his life. He fought off 10,000 other contestants to be crowned the winner in 1984. The song that he chose to perform during the final was Fatherland, originally by Michael Kwan, and after watching his performance, you’re guaranteed to get goosebumps.
It took a few years after his win for Cheung to gain wider recognition, but in 1991 his hit song Loving You More Every Day helped to get him there. The single was the first release from his 1992 album True Love Expression, an album that finally caught the attention of the Chinese public and sold an incredible 400,000 copies in Hong Kong alone. This marked the start of Cheung’s rise to stardom, but he had no plans of slowing down.
In 1993 he released the album Me and You, and then the following year, Born to Be Wild. These albums were so well received in Asia that news reached the United States, where he was awarded the title of the most popular Asian singer at the Billboard Music Awards. Hits that people will recognize from these albums are Goodbye Kiss and Amour, both beautiful love songs.
Cheung has broken many records over the years, but one of the accolades he is most proud of relates to his album Goodbye Kiss. This anthology remains one of the best-selling Chinese albums of all time, with more than 5 million copies sold in its first year alone.
He also broke records with his 2007 world tour, when he played over 100 shows in 58 cities. Fascinatingly, this feat even saw him break his own record, which he first set for playing the highest number of shows in a single tour by any Chinese artist.
Cheung’s most notable release is the single Everyday is Christmas, a canto-jazz song that reached international heights. It was the 10th most downloaded Christmas song in the world in 2010, making Cheung the only Chinese language singer to ever make it into the top ten.
Though Cheung is best known and most decorated for his career in music, he’s also had a glittering career on the screen too. He won an award for his part in noted Chinese auteur Wong Kar Wai’s As Tears Go By in 1988 and in The Swordsman in 1990 as well.
Casino-themed movies are often a hit with viewing audiences, especially now that more people than ever before are able to actually play casino games thanks to the advent of iGaming. One of the films that many Jacky Cheung fans still adore is Poker King. Although the movie rarely makes it onto lists of the best poker movies, it definitely deserves a spot on the list of the best movies with musicians as actors. Cheung gives a stellar performance in this film, so much so that if he wasn’t so recognizable, you’d think he’d been acting all his life.
One of Cheung’s greatest feats in the film industry was when he brought his passion for film and music together, writing the theme tune for Perhaps Love. This track won him the Best Song Award at the Hong Kong Film Festival in 2005, and he also snagged the trophy for best song at the CASH Gold Sail Awards.
Featured image: Jacky Cheung has had a surprising career in film as well as music, source
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