Fri, Jan 16, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Who is rigging the music charts and mocking those who play fair and square?

The story so far: Pop idol Alan Luo (羅志祥), also known as Little Pig (小豬), beats ABT heartthrob Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) and secures the top spot in G-music’s sales charts. Wang’s label, Sony BMG, strikes back and accuses Luo’s label, Gold Typhoon (金牌大風), of cheating on the sales figures. To maximize the news value of its barb, Sony held a press conference calling for an “honesty movement” to eradicate corrupt practices from the music chart industry.

What intrigues gossip journos more, however, is Wang’s conspicuous absence from the event that was held under his name. According to dirt dug up by Next magazine, Sony is far from the innocent bystander it claims to be. Facing the prospect of losing Wang’s contract should his album not triumph, the label’s alleged attempt at buying off record retailers failed, and the sore loser put on a show of bravado in a desperate move.

Wang’s no-show at the press conference was interpreted as a refusal to get involved in the “war of words.”

Those who did attend couldn’t be blamed if they felt used, especially Jay Chou (周杰倫). The Mando-pop king was the center of the attention at the confab. A couple of years ago he implied that Chen Tse-shan (陳澤杉), the celebrated music impresario, had knowingly manipulated the charts for his clients who include Jolin Tsai (蔡依林).

In other star-studded news, actress Jessie Chang (張本渝) is proving to be highly sought-after in the singles market following her split with B-list star Ben Pai (白吉勝), also known as A-Ben (阿Ben). Having recovered from an aliment that last month prompted two concerned males to offer their TLC services, the belle was spotted having lunch with top-drawer bachelor Niu Chien-chiao (牛建喬).

Born to an affluent family that made its fortune in the textile industry, the 46-year-old businessman and designer is, apparently, a big player in the dating game. He reportedly had a short affair with former Mando-pop queen Coco Lee (李玟) and was one of local sweetheart Patty Hou’s (侯佩岑) rumored boyfriends.

Niu is said to have had his eyes on Chang for a long time, and decided to make his move when the void left by A-Ben opened up.

Another celebrity who has a void to fill is Jack Sun (孫道存), the former chairman of Pacific Electric Wire and Cable. The practiced Casanova got beaten at his own game by Chiu I-lin (邱羿霖). Previously a young model of little import, Chiu rose to the dizzy heights of the tabloid front pages after she was romantically linked with the gray-haired tycoon who is old enough to be her father.

As fame and job offers came her way, the fair maiden wasted no time in ditching her sugar daddy, saying she has no feelings for Sun.

Will she return the NT$200,000 Cartier watch Sun gave her as a gift? “I wanted to, but was afraid that he might feel hurt if I did,” Chiu was quoted as saying in the Apple Daily. Pop Stop thinks that sounds about as genuine as a NT$3,000 “Rolex” procured in the back alley of a night market.

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