Golden Melody's best artist prizes go to Mok, Chan

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sun, Aug 03, 2003 - Page 2

Karen Mok (莫文蔚) and Eason Chan (陳奕迅) won the Female and Male Artist of the Year Awards last night at the 14th Golden Melody Awards, the most prestigious awards in Chinese-language music, making them the current reigning queen and king of Mando-pop.

The awards recognize the highest achievements in dozens of categories of popular, as well as classical, religious, traditional and Aboriginal music, as judged by a panel of judges drawn from all fields in the music business. Despite the inclusion of non-pop acts, the event is the most important award in the Chinese-language pop music world with entrants from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere.

Originally scheduled to take place in May, the ceremony was finally held after a three-month delay caused by the SARS epidemic. Last night's event went off without further delays and almost barely a mention of the sickness that forced it to be held in August instead of in spring.

There were few surprises among the winners, with Mok and Chan taking the singer honors and Texas native eVonne winning the Newcomer of the Year Award and SHE taking home the best Best New Singing Group Award. Chan was a double winner last night, taking home the best album award along with his singer of the year award. Chan and Mok, both from Hong Kong, are among the most prolific stars in Mando-pop but faced tough competition from long-time favorites like Jackie Cheung (張學友) and A-mei.

The one unexpected moment of the evening came when President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), making a special appearance at the awards ceremony to announce the award for best group, found himself handing the award to the extravagantly dressed winners Chthonic. The band members were done up in their full Gothic regalia, making for a humorous juxtaposition and for the band a unique photo op with the president.

The Golden Melody Awards is an invitation-only event attended mostly by industry insiders, so for thousands of music fans the main draw of the event is the red carpet entrance that all the attending stars walk down. Under yesterday's beating sun, fans began crowding the walkway outside of Taiwan National University's new gymnasium at about 3pm for the best view.

The awards last year were dominated by Jay Chou, but this year awards were distributed more evenly to different artists and their producers, lyricists and songwriters. He didnt seem too bothered to be passed up at this years event. Arriving at the venue, when asked what he expected at the ceremony, he simply said "it'll be alright."