Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Michael Keane
Chapter 21: From ‘Nothing to My Name’ to ‘I Am a Singer’: market, capital, and politics in the Chinese music industry
Mainland China is becoming more important as a source of artists and repertoire for us. I think that in coming years the popularity of artists from mainland China could be the same as those performers from Taiwan who currently dominate the Mandarin music scene. Sunny Chang, chairman and CEO Greater China, Universal Music (IFPI 2014a: 11) I am a singer (wo shi geshou) is a Chinese talent show broadcast by Hunan Satellite TV, based on a Korean format. In the third season broadcast in 2015 the winner of the show, Han Hong, a well-known singer from a Tibetan background, won by performing a duet with Hong Kong pop idol Eason Chan. Renowned for the wide range of her voice, Han previously performed in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Among other contestants she also ended up in front of Sitar Tan (or Tan Weiwei), who performed together with the godfather of Chinese rock, Cui Jian – singer of the by now legendary song from the 1980s titled ‘Nothing to My Name.’ This song is generally considered to mark the start of China’s rock culture.
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