Sun, May 05, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Jay cleans up at Golden Melodies

The 21-year-old former music student was a strong favorite from the start with no less than 10 nominations

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER IN KAOHSIUNG

Jody Chiang confirms her position as the queen of Taiwanese pop, winning her third consecutive Non-Mandarin Female Singer award.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

Call it a one-man show. Only these words capture how completely Jay Chou (周杰倫) overshadowed his Mando-pop peers at yesterday's 13th Golden Melody Awards in Kaohsiung.

There was little surprise in Jay winning four awards, including the coveted Best Album. After all, either he or his album were nominated in all seven categories that could possibly apply to him, and in one category his album was nominated three times, giving him a total of 10 shots at a prize.

In addition to Best Album, Chou also picked up Best Songwriter and Best Producer, and Vincent Fang(方文山) picked up Best Lyricist for a song included in Chou's album, Fantasy (范特西).

The annual Golden Melody Awards, held in Kaohsiung for the second year running, is the biggest event of its kind to recognize the year's highest achievers in the Chinese-language music industry. The event is typically seen as a chance for the industry's divas to show up in outrageous costumes and dazzle the teenyboppers that show up to scream at them. While female glam and glitz was certainly not in short supply, the 21-year-old former music student Chou stole much of the limelight from the female stars.

It is generally accepted that female singers outsell their male counterparts by two-to-one in the Mando-pop arena. But the last year has been an unusual one in a number of ways, and these were apparent at the show. This year's award ceremony was an obvious attempt to put a festive face on a deeply troubled industry.

Sales of Mando-pop releases have plummeted in the last year, with some blaming the economy but others pointing to a host of internal problems such as high marketing costs, label over-expansion and a perceived lack of creative releases. That didn't stop thousands of dedicated fans from waiting outside the Kaohsiung Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center in the blazing sun through the afternoon to see the arrival of the stars. People started to line up outside the venue the previous night to get an up-close view of the stars. It was estimated that there were around 3,000 people on the scene.

List of Winners

Best Album

Fantasy (周杰倫范特西), Jay Chou (周杰倫)

Best Pop Instrumental Album

Moonlight Frontier (月光邊境), Lin Hai (林海)

Best Video

Fleeting Time (流年) from Fleeting Time (流年) by Faye Wong (王菲)

Best Songwriter

Jay Chou (周杰倫) for Ai Cai Hsi Yuan Chian (愛在西元前) from Fantasy (周杰倫范特西)

Best Lyricist

Vincent Fang(方文山) for Wei Lian Ku Pao (威廉故堡) from Fantasy (周杰倫范特西)

Best Arrangement

Tung Hsing-min (鍾興民) for Shuang Jie Kun (雙截棍) from Fantasy (周杰倫范特西)

Best Producer

Jay Chou (周杰倫) for Fantasy (周杰倫范特西)

Best Mandarin Male Singer

Harlem Yu (庾澄慶), Tidal Wave (海嘯)

Best Non-Mandarin Male Singer

Biung (王宏恩) for Biung (王宏恩)

Best Madarin Female Singer

A-Mei (張惠妹), Truth (真實)

Best Non-Mandarin Female Singer

Jody Chiang (江蕙), Jody Chiang (江蕙)

Best Band

Labor Exchange (交工樂隊), The Night March of the Chrysanthemums (菊花夜行軍)

Best New Artist

Jeffrey Kong (孔令奇), 01


Ironically, one of the most anticipated arrivals were the four members of the group F4, who were not nominated in the awards at all. "I don't care about the rest, I just want to see F4, and maybe A-mei too," said Li Huei-tse, one of the predominately female crowd outside the venue.

The arrival formalities established one of the themes that ran through the ceremony, namely that of Taiwan's rampant CD piracy, that some artists see as a major cause of the music industry's poor performance. Taotse (陶子), the main host of the show, picked up the theme when she hit the stage by saying that "practically all the labels lost money this year," which cast a serious tone over the proceedings. With fewer new artists coming out this year and fewer albums being produced, Jay was able to clean house with probably the best-produced album of the year. His style is slightly cutting-edge without alienating mainstream audiences. "Some people say my music is rough, but that's how I want it. That's why I'm called `Jay,'" he said in his acceptance speech for his Best Producer award.

Struggling for a piece of the limelight were the other male artists like William So (蘇永康), Sky Wu (伍思凱) and Lee Hom Wang (王力宏). But these artists were completely shut out by their rival Chou. Harlem Yu (庾澄慶), who picked up Best Male Singer, was something of a dark horse, especially as he was in a crowded category and facing the evening's megastar Chou.

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