Pop diva Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) may not exactly have come back from the dead to perform in a widely hyped concert, but a computer-generated likeness of the legendary singer left that impression among many of the 15,000 fans packing a Taipei arena on Friday night.
Teng, who died 18 years ago, “appeared” onstage with Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou (周杰倫) to perform three duets that enraptured the crowd.
Her virtual presence was the result of a detailed recreation of Teng’s mannerisms and expressions, put together by Digital Domain 3.0, a Californian company specializing in digital imagery for the entertainment industry.
Dressed in an ethereal-looking white gown, the virtual Teng joined Chou in her own wildly popular What Have You to Say, along with two well-known Chou standards — Red Tavern and Thousand Miles Away.
The crispness of the renditions and the stunning reality of Teng’s appearance had many in the crowd shaking their heads in wonder.
Teng, best known for folk songs and romantic ballads, had legions of fans throughout the world when she died at age 42 of a respiratory attack in 1995.
Selected by Time magazine as one of the world’s top seven female vocalists in 1986, she was celebrated for her sincere and simple style that made her voice instantly recognizable, not only when she sang in her native Mandarin, but also in Japanese and English.
Her songs were used in the soundtrack of Wayne Wang’s (王穎) acclaimed film, The Joy Luck Club, which came out just two years before her death.