With more than its fair share of tawdry scandals and uplifting newcomer achievements, 2004 was a banner year in the Chinese pop world. So, as the year draws to a close, Pop Stop pauses this week to reminisce about the moments and trends that caught our attention in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China and that made this year so much fun.
1) In one of those odd, unexplainable pop phenomena, some time in the early summer, seemingly out of the blue, everyone in Taiwan began talking about supermodel Lin Chi-ling
2) With his antics, it was clear that TV show host Jacky Wu (
3) Chinese director Zhang Yi-mou (張藝謀) this year released his two epic martial-arts movies Hero (英雄) and House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) in Europe and North America to almost universally rave reviews. The films were both panned in China for being gimmicky and untrue to the martial-arts tradition, but in the US, Flying Daggers picked up a nomination for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. Hero, meanwhile, shattered US box-office records for a Chinese film, bringing in almost US$55 million.
4) Another TV variety show host who made his way into the news this year with an eyebrow-raising sensational story was Peng Chia-chia (
5) Still riding the crest of the Infernal Affairs wave that started last year, Andy Lau (劉德華) was finally given a Best Actor Golden Horse Award for his role in the series third installment in November. Up against Hong Kong buddy Tony Leung (梁朝偉) for the award, Lau beat the odds and rest of the competition for his first ever Golden Horse trophy.
6) The honors for strangest scandal this year go hands-down to actress Candy Lee (
7) Though he may not be Chinese, Sir Elton John certainly earned his place in this year's Top Ten for his dramatic arrival at CKS International Airport in September. After stepping out of an elevator to begin immigration procedures, John was hounded by Taiwan's notorious media mob and promptly began telling them to "fuck off, pigs!"