Fri, Aug 25, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ella from girl band S.H.E insists she can beat depression without professional help.

PHOTOS: TAIPEI TIMES

Cashing in on her popularity after the release of the chart-topping Dancing Diva (舞孃), Mando-pop queen Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) looks set to have another album put on record store shelves by the end of next month, just in time to duke it out with her ex Jay Chou (周杰倫), whose new record is slated for release on Sept. 8.

The Double J battle began when Tsai vowed earlier this year to dethrone Chou from his post as the artist who sells the most albums annually.

In response, the Mando-pop king enlisted veteran singer Fei Yu-ching (費玉清), whose heavenly voice provides an interesting contrast to Chou's pedestrian warbling, and is thus a selling point, the king himself believes. It remains to be seen how the now 51-year-old Mr. Bel Canto will capture the hearts of the current hip-hop-crazed generation, who probably care as much about him as they do about life on Mars.

A moral lesson from this story: Don't piss off your ex.

While the leak of photos showing Shu Qi (舒淇) snogging dream lover Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武) during the Hong Kong filming of Behind the Sin (傷城) caused director Andrew Lau (劉偉強) to expel any reporter who dared approach the set, speculation about Shu's real-life romance with pop idol Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) is back in circulation again. This time, the local diva was spotted using the same mobile phone that Wang carries. Gossip observers also believe that Wang, a nonsmoker, is the inspiration behind Shu's determined attempt to kick the habit, even though she's added 2kg to her smack-addict physique.

Only time will tell whether the rumored pairing will turn out to have been just a fling or a serious relationship between the lonely diva and one of the most closeted womanizers in the business.

After years of marriage to local pop music composer Lee Zhong-sheng (李宗盛) ended in heartbreak, Hong Kong pop singer Sandy Lin (林憶蓮) is back in business. But her attempt at a fresh start in Taiwan doesn't seem to be taking off as planned.

Her inability to draw fans to two concerts at Taipei Arena (台北巨蛋) this weekend forced record company Capitol to buy 4,000 tickets and sell them at a bargain price of NT$850, along with copy of Lin's new album thrown in gratis.

The frustrated divorcee can do nothing but promise to give her best at the concerts. Not good enough, apparently, for the more devoted but now enraged fans who bought tickets for NT$2,000 more than the bargain deal and have been refused refunds.

Always the joker in the three-piece girl band S.H.E, Ella last week made an alarming announcement by admitting that she's been suffering from mild depression. It's her second bout with the blues, and according to the other two band members, it's worse than the one she had three years ago.

After breaking down into tears in front of the camera last week, the star insisted that all she needed now was a long vacation, not professional help.

Fortunately for her baby girl's sake, Mando-pop diva Faye Wang (王菲) is seeking professional help.

Not for herself, but for her newborn daughter, who is currently undergoing treatment for a cleft palate in Los Angeles. Wang and husband Li Ya-peng (李亞鵬) reportedly will be calling Orange County, California home for the next few months.

Though the baby is expected to recover in a matter of weeks, Wang's publicist says that the star is becoming more and more inclined to leave showbiz altogether and concentrate on being a fulltime mom.

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