12-05-2008 15:36

On November 10, Chinese musician Jay Chou won his fourth World Music Award, an international award given to musicians based on album sales. Chou won this honor because sales of his album On the Run, released in November 2007, ranked first in the Asian region, selling 1.07 million copies. Chou also won the award in 2004, 2006 and 2007, breaking the record of Chinese pop singer Jacky Cheung, who had previously won two years in a row.

Jay Chou is a Chinese fashion icon [Chen Jiali] 
Jay Chou is a Chinese fashion icon [Chen Jiali] 

Triple threat

Born in 1979 in Taiwan, Chou is undoubtedly the most popular musician in Taiwan and on the mainland of China, especially among young people.

Famous for his songwriting talent, Chou has been praised as a music genius by the media. He writes the music and lyrics for most of the songs on his albums himself, and he has also written songs for other Chinese singers.

Chou became known for his avant-garde music style soon after he released his first album in November 2000. His first two albums contain genres ranging from rap and rock to traditional Chinese music, while his songs touch on themes including urbanization, violence and Chinese kungfu.

His creative ideas in music seemed to have no limits and he quickly became a rising star in Chinese music. Although some older listeners could not accept his new style of music-some prestigious artists have publicly said they could not hear his lyrics clearly-millions of young Chinese welcomed it.

In eight years, Chou has won more than 200 major music awards, including best singer, best album and best single.

Each album has maintained a strong Chinese flavor, which is an important element in Chou's music. Working with lyricist Vincent Fang, who wrote more than half the lyrics on Chou's albums, Chou infused many of his melodies and lyrics with a strong traditional Chinese feeling.

One example is A Thousand Miles Away on the album Still Fantasy released in September 2006. Chou and famous Taiwanese singer Fei Yu-Ching, 53, sang the song together in totally different ways-Fei sings with a soulful style while Chou persists with his trademark R&B. The creative combination captivated both teenagers and their parents. Chou and Fei performed the song in 2007 during CCTV's Spring Festival Gala, a prominent variety show featuring the most popular songs of the past year.