June 30, 2022

S2-E18 - Teresa Teng 鄧麗君 - "Asia's Eternal Queen of Pop"

S2-E18 - Teresa Teng 鄧麗君 -

Teresa Teng (Deng Lijun 鄧麗君) was arguably Asia's first pop superstar, a singer from Taiwan who won hearts across the continent and the world. Teng got so famous in behind-the-bamboo-curtain China that PLA air force defectors to the Republic of China (Taiwan) cited her music as an inspiration for literally flying to freedom. Teresa Teng recorded more than 1,500 songs in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Japanese, English, Indonesian and Italian -- and is credited with laying the foundations of popular Chinese music.

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Cover image: A 1996 Russian postage stamp commemorating Taiwan Mandopop star Teresa Teng

(All pictures used are via Wikimedia Commons)

SONG LINK: The Moon Represents My Heart - Teresa Teng

Below: A photo said to show the very first performance by Teresa Teng at the age of 7 in 1960. 

(1) Teresa performing in 1969. 

(3) Teng in the United States, after temporarily being banned from Japan due to a passport controversy (1979)

(4) Teng died in Thailand in 1995. Her funeral in Taiwan became the largest state-sponsored funeral in the country's history, second only to that of ROC leader Chiang Kai-shek. Image shows a bronze statue of Teresa Teng near Luzhou MRT Station in New Taipei.


Suggested Reading:

Prodigy of Taiwan, Diva of Asia: Teresa Teng

Defectors from the PRC to Taiwan, 1960-1989
The Anti-Communist Righteous Warriors

By Andrew D. Morris