Faye Wong

Faye Wong (王菲), born as Xia Lin on August 8, 1969, is a singer-songwriter and actress from Hong Kong.

1969–1987: Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born on August 8, 1969, at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, Faye Wong (王菲), originally named Xia Lin, embarked on her musical journey early in life. The daughter of a mining engineer and a revolutionary music soprano, she released six low-cost cover albums during high school, showcasing her admiration for Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng. Wong’s move to Hong Kong in 1987 marked a pivotal moment in her career. Despite initial challenges due to language barriers, she emerged in the Hong Kong music scene under the guidance of Tai See-Chung (戴思聰).

1989–1991: Shirley Wong, Early Albums, and New York

Faye Wong’s debut album Shirley Wong in 1989 opened doors to recognition. However, dissatisfied with the direction of her career, Wong traveled to New York in 1991 for vocal studies. This period was crucial for her artistic development, shaping her into an independent and rebellious artist. Returning to Hong Kong, she found new representation under Katie Chan and embraced the stage name “Faye”, alluding to her Chinese name and her native city, Beijing.

1992–1995: Artistic Evolution and Recognition

Wong’s musical style evolved significantly in the early 1990s. Albums like Coming Home and Regrets showcased a blend of R&B and traditional Cantopop. Her cover of the Japanese song “Rouge” and collaboration with Scottish band Cocteau Twins in the album Random Thoughts were notable. Her work in films like Chungking Express also contributed to her growing fame. The release of Decadent Sounds of Faye, a tribute to Teresa Teng, further solidified her status in the music industry.

1996: Fuzao and Cinepoly EPs

Fuzao, released in 1996, marked a bold step in Wong’s career. Though the album received mixed reactions, it showcased her willingness to experiment with alternative music styles. Post-Fuzao, Wong continued to release EPs, expanding her musical repertoire and maintaining her status in the industry.

1997-1998: Faye Wong and Sing and Play

Joining EMI in 1997, Wong released the album Faye Wong (王菲 1997), a blend of commercial appeal and artistic expression. Her collaboration with Na Ying on “Let’s Meet in 1998” gained massive popularity in Mainland China. Sing and Play in 1998 featured Wong’s compositions, showing her growth as an artist.

1999: “Eyes on Me” and Lovers & Strangers

“Eyes on Me”, the theme for Final Fantasy VIII, catapulted Wong to international fame. The album Lovers & Strangers, released the same year, was a commercial success, showcasing Wong’s evolving musical style.

2000–2004: Fable, Faye Wong, and To Love

The new millennium saw Wong experimenting with new musical styles in albums like Fable and Faye Wong (王菲 2001). Her involvement in film and charity events continued to grow during this period. To Love, released in 2003, was a critical and commercial success.

2005–2009: Hiatus

Wong took a hiatus from the music industry post-2005, focusing on her personal life and charity work. Despite her absence from the music scene, her influence remained strong.

2010 to 2012: Comeback Tour

Faye Wong returned to the stage with a successful concert tour across Asia from 2010 to 2012. Her comeback was marked by overwhelming public interest, showcasing her enduring popularity.

2016: Faye’s Moments Live

In 2016, Wong performed in the concert “Faye’s Moments Live 2016” in Shanghai, further cementing her status as a leading figure in Asian pop music.

Personal Life

Faye Wong’s personal life has been as eventful as her career. Her marriage to Beijing rocker Dou Wei in the 1990s and subsequent marriage to actor Li Yapeng were widely covered by the media. Her relationships, motherhood, and philanthropic efforts through the Smile Angel Foundation have been integral parts of her public persona.

Charities and Smile Angel Foundation

The Smile Angel Foundation, established by Wong and Li Yapeng, focuses on assisting children with cleft lips. The foundation has raised significant funds and awareness for this cause, reflecting Wong’s commitment to philanthropy.

Microblog

Wong’s presence on Sina Weibo under the account “veggieg” revealed a more open and engaging side of her personality, attracting millions of followers.

Artistry and Legacy

Faye Wong is celebrated for her unique artistry, distinctive voice, and her ability to blend traditional and contemporary music styles. Her concerts are known for their focus on vocal performance and minimalistic staging. Wong’s influence extends beyond the music industry, impacting fashion, film, and pop culture in Asia and beyond.

Poster for the movie "Okinawa Rendez-vous"

Okinawa Rendez-vous

Jimmy Tong (Leslie Cheung) is an expert blackmailer and thief who specialises in white-collar crimes. With his side-kick (Vincent Kok), Jimmy steals a personal diary belonging to a Yakuza leader Ken Sato (Masaya Kato) intending to use its details as a platform for blackmailing and to extort money. Sato agreed to the uneasy deal and made preparations to pay Jimmy his exorbitant demands only for Sato’s girlfriend Jenny (Faye Wong) to betray him and make … Read more

Poster for the movie "Okinawa Rendez-vous"

Okinawa Rendez-vous

Jimmy Tong (Leslie Cheung) is an expert blackmailer and thief who specialises in white-collar crimes. With his side-kick (Vincent Kok), Jimmy steals a personal diary belonging to a Yakuza leader Ken Sato (Masaya Kato) intending to use its details as a platform for blackmailing and to extort money. Sato agreed to the uneasy deal and made preparations to pay Jimmy his exorbitant demands only for Sato’s girlfriend Jenny (Faye Wong) to betray him and make … Read more

Poster for the movie "Chungking Express"

Chungking Express

Every day, Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro) buys a can of pineapple with an expiration date of May 1, symbolizing the day he’ll get over his lost love. He’s also got his eye on a mysterious woman in a blond wig (Brigitte Lin), oblivious of the fact she’s a drug dealer. Cop 663 (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) is distraught with heartbreak over a breakup. But when his ex drops a spare set of his keys at … Read more

Poster for the movie "2046"

2046

2046 is the sequel to Wong Kar-Wais’ successful box-office hit In The Mood For Love. A film about affairs, ending relationships, and a shared love for Kung-Fu novels as the main character, Chow, writes his own novel and reflects back on his favorite love Su.