Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by David Chen  /  Staff Reporter

The big time might be proving too much for Jeremy Liu to handle.

Photo: Taipei Times

The nation’s obsession with Nian Ni (唸你) continues. The corny pop ballad, which translates roughly as “thinking of you,” has elicited so much vitriol that dissing the video and the singer, Jeremy Liu (劉子千), has practically become a sport for Chinese-speaking Netizens on YouTube.

Yet Gandong (感動), the album containing Liu’s annoyingly catchy single, is selling like hotcakes after debuting at No. 1 on G-Music’s pop chart last week.

The sudden fame has resulted in a media melodrama for Liu, who’s already suffered his first bout of exhaustion. The 25-year-old checked into the emergency room at Songshan Armed Forces General Hospital (國軍松山總醫院) on Monday after vomiting and experiencing chest pains following a marathon run of TV interviews to promote the new album.

Liu was put on an IV drip and told by doctors to spend the night at the hospital, but the singer decided that the show must go on and insisted on going home after the drip was finished. He first refused and then obliged a request to meet with reporters at the hospital. With an assistant in tow to push his IV stand on wheels, Liu apologized for having had to cancel TV appearances scheduled for the following day.

Though he looked tired and run down, according to the Apple Daily, Liu cracked an opportune joke at the hospital. He recited the opening line from Nian Ni, which goes “My dictionary doesn’t have the words ‘give up’ because I’m set on you” (我的字典裡沒有放棄,因為已鎖定你) — but changed it to “My dictionary doesn’t have the words ‘give up,’ now there’s only an IV drip,” (我的字典裡沒有放棄,現在只有點滴), which rhymes in Mandarin.

If that made your eyes roll, you’re not alone — Liu’s hospital escapade was generally met with more suspicion than sympathy. Our sister paper, the Liberty Times, reported that Liu was set to return to the talk show circuit on Wednesday to continue promoting the album, just two days after he was first admitted to the hospital.

The consensus on Internet forums, according to the Liberty Times, was that Liu was pulling a publicity stunt a la Ken Yu (余祥銓). Yu, a one-time aspiring singer and son of entertainer and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Tien (余天), was accused of feigning several nervous breakdowns after being ruthlessly criticized by a jurist on a TV talent show.

And there has been further scrutiny regarding Liu’s overnight success. His label, Linfair Records (福茂唱片), has been accused of rigging the charts by buying Liu’s album from record stores in mass quantities, a charge the company denies. Also, Liu is widely perceived as riding on the coattails of his father Liu Chia-chang (劉家昌), a renowned singer and songwriter best known for penning tunes for the likes of Teresa Teng (鄧麗君), Ouyang Fei-fei (歐陽菲菲) and Bobby Chen (陳昇). The elder Liu also wrote Nian Ni.

Former pop idol and actress Yuki Hsu (徐懷鈺) is back in the spotlight, but not in the way she would like to be. Hsu, whose music career peaked in the late 1990s, has lost a legal battle with her management company over contractual issues, and was ordered to pay NT$2 million in compensation to her former employer, Dragon Imperium International Film Corp (龍縯經紀公司).

In a press conference earlier this week presided over by the aforementioned entertainer-turned-lawmaker Yu Tien, Hsu described her life as hard since signing with Dragon in 2009.

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