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.
Photo: Taipei Times
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.
Hsu said she was the victim of sexual harassment by the head of the agency, Wu Tzu-wang (吳祖望), and lost a libel countersuit filed by Wu after she tried to sue him. Hsu says she lost her house and car as a result of the countersuit and found herself without work, so she took on a part-time job as a paralegal to pay her bills.
While Legislator Yu called on the government to provide better protection for entertainers and for Hsu and Dragon to settle the dispute “peacefully,” Hsu gave a tearful testimony.
“Because of this situation, my mother has borrowed money from wherever possible. I really have no way of [paying the compensation],” she told reporters. “I’m being forced into a dead end.”
Pop Stop concludes this week on a Hollywood note. Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker was in Taipei last weekend to attend Artistry on Ice, an international ice skating show for which she was a fashion consultant.
As the Apple Daily tells it, the American actress had a fine time in the capital. According to the paper, Parker brought her eight-year-old son, and the two visited Dihua Street (迪化街), Ximending (西門町) and Yongkang Street (永康街). They did their fair share of shopping, according to Apple, spending more than NT$10,000 on clothes, umbrellas and toys.
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