Jacky Cheung Hok-yau is a singer, songwriter and actor from Hong Kong. The Chinese language media refers to him, Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau and Leon Lai as the Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings (四大天王). Cheung is also nicknamed "God of Songs" (歌神), but he is the second person to hold this title, after former Cantopop singer Sam Hui. In an interview with Ray Cordeiro (Uncle Ray), Cheung stated that the title was more appropriate for Hui than him, since he actually wrote and popularized songs.
Cheung is known for his rich baritone voice. He is also one of the first Hong Kong singers to add a rock and roll quality to his voice, citing singers such as Elton John, Barry Manilow and Billy Joel as key influences. He has also experimented with different genres of rock, such as alternative rock, light grunge and art rock. Cheung's ancestry includes Tianjin, China, and Cheung has stated that he was raised in a Mandarin-speaking family.
Cheung married Hong Kong actress May Lo Mei-mei on February 15, 1996 in London, with whom he has two daughters.
Template:Seealso Cheung originally started working as a reservation officer for the Cathay Pacific airline. His music career started when he won the Amateur 18-Hong Kong district singing contest in 1984 with the song Fatherland (大地恩情). He ousted more than 10,000 other contestants. After winning the contest, he was signed by the then Polygram Records, now Universal Music Group. Although encouraged by a bright start, he was not able to achieve immediate supremacy in Cantopop, then dominated by Leslie Cheung, Alan Tam, Anita Mui and Danny Chan. In 1985 he won his first two major awards together with the 1985 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards and the 1985 Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards. Template:Listen His recording career got back on track in 1991 when his career took a massive upturn with his song "Loving You More Every Day" (每天愛你多一些), a translated version of the Japanese Southern All Stars hit, "Midsummer's Fruit" (真夏の果実). The album True Love Expression (真情流露) in 1992, as well as the subsequent release, Love Sparks (愛火花) in 1992, became the two most successful CD albums in Hong Kong history, achieving audited sales of over 400,000 copies in Hong Kong alone.
Cheung became an instant superstar, paving the way for himself and his contemporaries, Andy Lau, Leon Lai and Aaron Kwok, to take Cantopop to even greater heights. His subsequent albums such as the 1993 "Me and You" (我與你) and 1994 "Born to be wild" (餓狼傳說) were also big hits. Since then, his career only grew stronger. Cheung managed to garner thousands of fans in Hong Kong and overseas. In the 1994 Billboard Music Awards in the US, he was named the most popular singer in Asia. He received numerous music awards both in Hong Kong and elsewhere, including the best-selling Chinese singer in the World Music Awards for two consecutive years in 1995 and 1996 held at Monaco. Cheung was also elected as one of the world's Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 1999.
Amongst his hit songs, some of his most famous were Amour, "Just want to spend my life with you" (只想一生跟你走) and "Goodbye Kiss" (吻别). The album Goodbye Kiss (吻别) was one of the best-selling albums of all time, achieving more sales in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia than ever attained before, with an astounding 4 million copies sold in 1993 alone. The 4 million sold worldwide allowed him to be the first Asian artist to get on PolyGram's annual Top 10 roster. The album was also instrumental in helping Cheung break into the mandopop market. Due to these great songs and albums, Cheung is generally considered to be the pre-eminent member of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop. He is regarded by some sources as the best singer of the four.
In 1995, Cheung staged his record-breaking 100-show world tour titled "Yau Hok Yau" (友學友), literally a pun of "friendship Jacky Cheung" reusing the same Chinese characters found in his name. The tour started with 34 shows from April 8 to June 9 at the Hong Kong Coliseum. Then the tour continued at Perth Brisbane Australia and returned back to Taipei and mainland China. It then expanded to Madison Square Garden in the US, different parts of Europe, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Japan. He was regarded as the new Michael Jackson by Business Week.
In 1999, he was named one of the 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World by the Junior Chamber International, a worldwide federation of young professionals and entrepreneurs. In 2000 he was awarded by RTHK, the Golden Needle Award. This award, the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award, recognized outstanding contributions to the music industry.
Cheung won the Best Selling Cantonese Album Award in the Hong Kong IFPI Awards of 2005 with his live album, Jacky Live Performance. In the fast-changing scene of canto-pop, Cheung has been able to maintain his popularity and sales power for more than 20 years after his debut, which is unparalleled in the history of Hong Kong pop music.
In 2007, Cheung staged his "Year of Jacky Cheung World Tour 2007". The tour started on 18 February 2007 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. When the tour ended in Hong Kong on 3 February 2008 after touring 58 cities around the world, a total of 105 shows had been given, attracting more than 2 million fans. 105 became the highest number of shows in a tour by a Chinese artist, breaking the previous record of 100, which was also set by Cheung previously.
- Priscilla Chan - "A Pair of Lonely Hearts"
- Faye Wong - "Love's Promise"
- Kelly Chen - "Waiting for Your Love"
- Anita Mui - "Love is Hard" （相愛很難）
- Anita Mui - 祝福 at Classic Moment Live, Anita Mui's farewell concert
A duet with Filipino singer-actress Regine Velasquez on the song "In Love with You" was included in her multi-platinum album "Listen Without Prejudice". In 2008 Cheung and A-Mei, the popular Taiwanese singer, performed Zhu Fu ("Blessing") as a duet in a benefit concert for victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Other duet partners include:
On stage musicalEdit
In 1997 his work on the groundbreaking Cantonese broadway-style musical Snow.Wolf.Lake was enthusiastically received by both audiences and critics. Cheung not only played the male lead, but was also the artistic director for this production. The first female lead was played by Sandy Lam in Hong Kong and Nnadia Chan in Singapore. Kit Chan played the second female lead. They achieved 43 consecutive full-house performances at the gigantic Hung Hom Hong Kong Coliseum which remains the record today. In November 2004, Cheung and his concert manager, Florence Chan Suk-fan, worked on a revised Mandarin version of Snow, Wolf, Lake so as to bring it to a wider audience. The female leads this time were Evonne Hsu and Nnadia Chan respectively. The market budget alone exceeded HK$15 million. The estimated budget for this revised production was HK$100 million and the show premiered on 24 December 2004 in Beijing.
Template:Seealso While Cheung is known for his singing, he has also acted in many films. He received the Best Supporting Actor award in the 8th Hong Kong Film Awards for his work in As Tears Go By (1988) as well as the Best Supporting Actor Golden Horse Award for his work in Swordsman (1990). That same year he also collaborated with John Woo and Tony Leung in the film Bullet in the Head. For his work in July Rhapsody, he also received the Best Actor Award at the New Delhi Film Festival for his portrayal of the protagonist role. His song Perhaps Love, which serves as the theme song for the multi-award-winning film Perhaps Love, also won the Best Song Award at the 2005 Hong Kong Film Award and the CASH Best Song Award at the 2005/2006 CASH Gold Sail Music Awards. He also starred in Taiwanese mini-series called Love Scar with F4 member Jerry Yan and Karen Mok, where he acted as Jerry Yan's older brother.
In the 2004 released and Wong Ching-po directed triads drama film, Jiang Hu, Cheung played the role of Lefty, the best friend and right hand man of a crime boss, Hung Yan Chau, who is played by Andy Lau. The film includes several actors from the cast of Infernal Affairs.
Ceremonies and spokespersonEdit
Cheung was named the spokesperson for Hong Kong Disneyland in 2004. He took part in a number of large-scale marketing events organized by The Walt Disney Company and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, beginning with the hosting of a TV program, Magical World of Disneyland. He recorded a multi-lingual song for Hong Kong Disneyland, entitled One. The music video for One was filmed at Hong Kong Disneyland. He also recorded for the Hong Kong Disneyland: The Grand Opening Celebration Album.
In December 2006, Cheung performed live the theme song "Together Now" at the Opening Ceremony of the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. He was introduced as "the most popular Asian performer in the world".
In March 2009 he became the first Cantopop / Mandopop artist to contribute items to the Hard Rock franchise memorabilia collection. Items are to be exhibited at the Hard Rock hotel in Macau. A joint donation is also made to donate HK$600,000 to the Children's Cancer Foundation and ORBIS Macau. In Sept 2009, Cheung, as one of the super ambassadors of End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation (ECSAF) founded by Josephine Siao, attended the charity fund raising event for celebrating ECSAF’s 10th anniversary in Hong Kong.
Foreign domestic helper incidentEdit
In November 2006 Cheung reported to the police acts of theft committed by one of his maidservants, Preslyn-saga Catacutan. The report accused Ms. Catacutan of stealing three photographs and a letter belonging to him as well as pursuing suspicious activities in Cheung's home, including attempts to unlock his secret telephone code.
Local newspaper reports described friends and co-workers as having complained to Cheung many times about the loss of personal effects after the servant was hired. Cheung decided he was better off terminating the servant's employment contract with compensation in respect of Hong Kong employment law.
On the day of the dismissal, Catacutan Preslyn-saga allowed her employer to perform a customary check of the content of her purse. Cheung found one of his personal letters, with his name and address, in the bag. Concerned that other personal items may have been taken, Cheung called the police. The police escorted both Cheung and the maid to the police station. Three photos of Cheung were later found in the possession of his former servant. Cheung said he had not wanted to alert the police, but felt he had to do so out of concern for the safety of his family, as his address may have been leaked to unknown persons.
The Hearing Magistrate, Winston Leung, described Cheung as "courageous" for bringing the matter before the court and consenting to appear as prosecution witness. Ms. Catacutan was subsequently found guilty of theft, aggravated by a serious breach of faith, and sentenced to six months in jail. An appeal against the conviction is pending.
Controversy ensued when some agencies for domestic servants in Hong Kong argued that Cheung overreacted in alerting the police and that the sentence was disproportionate to the crime. They interpreted the episode as an example of unfair discrimination against Hong Kong's ethnic minorities. Other agencies supported the action.
Actions by the Philippines consulate in Hong Kong fueled further public debate. The consulate announced that his country had placed Cheung on a 'blacklist' that would prevent him from taking on anyone of Filipino nationality as an employee. After Cheung's former servant was sentenced the consulate remarked that Cheung's family had employed 21 different maids in a three-year period.
IFPI Awards (partial list)Edit
IFPI Gold Disc Award
- 1989 87'演唱會 Polygram
- 1990 絲絲記憶精選 Polygram
IFPI Platinum Disc Award
- 1985 Smile Polygram
- 1986 遙遠的她 Polygram
- 1987 相愛 Polygram
- 1987 Jacky Polygram
- 1988 昨夜夢魂中 Polygram
- 1990 給我親愛的 Polygram
- 1990 祇願一生愛一人 Polygram
IFPI Top 10 Sales Album
- 2003 Where is he 他在那裡 What's Music
- 2004 Black & White What's Music
- 2005 活出生命 Live 演唱會 What's Music
IFPI Top 10 Sales Artist
IFPI Top Sales Album
- 2005 活出生命 Live 演唱會 What's Music