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2008-10-19 Leehom Wang
    2008-10-19 10:22:19     CRIENGLISH.com

Hello and welcome to another edition of  China Beat here on "China Radio International". This is Zhong Qiu. 

Wang Lihong, or Leehom Wang has had a lot of success in the Mando-pop scene.[Photo: baidu.com]

Wang Lihong, or Leehom Wang has had a lot of success in the Mando-pop scene. Entered the music world in 1995, this diligent singer has made over 25 albums. In addition to his music, Leehom has worked in several films and won critical acclaim. He is also an environmental activist, and was invited to be one of the first torchbearers for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, carrying the torch in Olympia.

This Saturday, Leehom held a solo concert in Shanghai. So for rest of the show, we will revisit some great hits by Leehom Wong and trace his musical evolution over the past years.

(Song track Miss You)

Born in the U.S., Leehom received professional musical training since a young age. While he was still in college, he had signed his contract with a Taiwanese recording label and released his debut album, Love Rival Beethoven in 1995, which received little limelight. The song you are listening to is from his early album, Miss you.

(Song track 1 Miss You)

After graduating from college, Leehom was able to devote his full attention to his music career. He signed with Sony BMG Taiwan and released his fifth album, Revolution in 1998. The album became a huge success and won him numerous awards. At age 22, he was dubbed by the media and fans as "excellent quality idol", which means an artist with dashing good looks, professional musical background as well as positive public image. The title song Revolution also became one of his signature songs.

(Song track2 Revolution)

Leehom's sixth album Impossible to Miss You was released 10 months later. It was just as successful as the previous one. He began to incorporate different styles of music in his album from old school pop to R&B to a quirky style of dance pop.

(Song track3 Impossible to Miss You)

Although raised in New York, Leehom always closely connected to his Chinese heritage. He started to incorporate Chinese sounds into his music. In his seventh album, Forever's First Day, he remade a popular Chinese song "Descendants of the Dragon", injecting some Rap and R&B elements into this well-known melody. The song struck a chord with young Chinese generation, and soon became a staple song at all his concerts.

(Song track4 Descendants of the Dragon)

Leehom's following album, The One and Only, established him as one of the most influential and prolific artists in Chinese music. He continued to invent and experiment with new sounds and voices. In his tenth album, Shangri-La released in 2004, Leehom incorporated the often unheard music of Chinese aboriginal music into mainstream hip hop and coined the style "chinked-out", which involves modern "western" music like R&B, Hip Hop, rap, and dance, along with "eastern" music elements such as Chinese instruments. He experimented with the tribal sounds of Tibet, and Mongolia, traveled to remote villages. The album received wide appraisal and became a commercial success. The song you are listening now is the title song Shangri-La.

(Song track5 Shangri-La)

Leehom continued the "chinked-out spirit" by infusing elements of Beijing opera and Kunqu into the songs of his following albums. His eleventh album, Change Me once again surprised his fans because it carried the message of environmental protection. The CD was packaged with recycled paper and contained no plastic. Leehom believes that small changes made by every person can bring about positive change in the world. Bearing in mind this theme, he composed the song Change Me.

(Song track6 Change Me)

Judging from the musical arrangement, it's not difficult to figure out that Leehom will try out rock 'n' roll next. In his forthcoming album What's Up Rock, Leehom will continue to enthral fans with his Chink-out style blending with Rock'n roll.

(Song track 7 What's up Rock)

With this passionate track, we come to the end of this edition of China Beat. If you have any comments and suggestions, email us at Chinabeat@cri.com.cn or log on to our Web site at crienglish.com, find China Beat and leave your message. This is Zhong Qiu in Beijing. Bye for now.

(Song track 7 What's up Rock)



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