Teresa Teng – The greatest vocal icon of Asia


By Justin Choo

Teresa Teng is widely regarded as the greatest vocal icon in Asia. The majority of Chinese people will have heard of her songs; with an equal amount of admirers. She captivated hundreds of millions of people and would melt every heart that her voice touched. Teresa Teng was so popular that she was regarded as little Deng in China. The big Deng being Deng Xiaoping, the man who opened China to the free world.

Teresa Teng was from Taiwan. She lived a fascinating life traversing the East Asian countries from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, The Phillipines, to as far east as Korea and Japan. It is a true fact that wherever there are Chinese people, the songs of Teresa Teng can be heard.

Songwriter Tsuo Hung-yun said: “Teresa Teng’s voice was seven parts sweetness, three parts tears. With her terrific voice, it was ironic that she was suffering from asthma throughout her adult life. Tragically she succumbed to a severe asthma attack while holidaying in Chiangmai, Thailand on 8 May 1995 at a young age of 42. It was a devastating blow to all her millions of fans throughout Asia. It was so sudden. I too was very saddened by the event.”

Teresa Teng : The Greatest vocal icon of Asia

Teresa Teng was born on 29 January 1953. When she was just 15 years old, in 1968, she had her first recording contract and released several albums subsequently. Not satisfied with her early successes, she went to Japan in 1973 with her mind set to conquer the lucrative Japanese music scene, singing in Japanese. At the end of a very competitive year-long singing competition amongst the local Japanese singers, Teresa Teng emerged as the “Best New Singing Star”. Following this, Teresa Teng took the Japan music world by storm with a wave of Japanese songs labels.

From then on Teresa Teng performed in numerous stage shows all across Asia. She subsequently proved her versatility in languages by singing in other languages including Indonesian, Korean and not surpsingly, English, apart from the three main Chinese dialects of Mandarin, Hokkien (for her Taiwanese fans), and Cantonese (for her Hongkong fans).

Despite her appearances around the world, Teresa Teng did not have the opportunity to perform in Mainland China. During the peak of her fame, Mainland China was still closed to outsiders, especially Taiwanese. However, Teresa Teng’s voice was so captivating that she had millions of secret followers in China. That was when the “secret” code name “Little Deng” was coined. However, in the 1990s the Chinese Government eventually invited Teresa Teng to perform in Mainland China, but alas, as fate would have it, she passed away before this gigantic and historic event could materialise.

By the way, in 1983, Teresa Teng became the first Chinese ever to perform at Ceaser’s Palace in Las Vegas

Teresa Teng honoured by the Taiwanese Government

Teresa Teng was no ordinary pop singer. She was the Asian singing icon and the undisputed Asian pop diva of all time. The Taiwanese Government gave Teresa Teng a state honor with the flag of Taiwan draped over her casket, with President Lee Teng-hui in attendance.

Teresa Teng was buried in the high ground of Chin Pao San cemetery in Taipei, Taiwan. Befitting a great diva, Teresa Teng’s sprawling grave features a statue of herself and a large electronic piano keyboard embedded on the ground where her millions of fans can play her unforgetable melodies by stepping on the keys.

In Madame Tussauds, Hong Kong, there is a wax figure of her, a fitting tribute to the greatest Asian pop diva and singing icon.

 The Moon Represents My Heart


You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you…
My affection is real.
My love is real.
The moon represents my heart.
You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you…
My affection does not waver,
My love will not change.
The moon represents my heart.
Just one soft kiss
is enough to move my heart.
A period of time when our affection was deep,
Has made me miss you until now.
You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you.
Go think about it.
Go and have a look [at the moon],
The moon represents my heart.


ni wen wo ai ni you duo shen
wo ai ni you ji fen
wo de qing ye zhen
wo de ai ye zhen
yue liang dai biao wo de xin
ni wen wo ai ni you duo shen
wo ai ni you ji fen
wo de qing bu yi
wo de ai bu bian
yue liang dai biao wo de xin
qing qing de yi ge wen
yi jin da dong wo de xin
shen shen de yi duan qing
jiao wo si nian dao ru jin
ni wen wo ai ni you duo shen
wo ai ni you ji fen
ni qu xiang yi xiang
ni qu kan yi kan
yue liang dai biao wo de xin

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