Sunday, February 19, 2006

Agnes Chan - Forget Yourself

In the old days, Chinese women were not allowed to have an eduation. You know why? Here is the reason: when you allow them to have an education, they make the world a lot better, especially when you let a young girl named Agnes Chan go to Japan and become the biggest idol in Japanese music history. Not only that, she then went on to get an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto and then a few years later a PHD at Standford.

A few days ago, she released her first English Album in the US at the age of 51:
http://www.officialagneschan.com/
http://www.musicremedy.com/audio/4999

In 1987, she made a significant impact on the Japanese society ~ Agnes Controversy:
http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/1999/julaug/departments/onthejob.html

I was never a big fan of hers, but nevertheless have followed news about her for the last 20 years. Apparently, my aunt was supposed to be the one who got that opportunity to go to sing in Japan, but she didn't like singing Japanese songs, so she turned it down.

Performing her debut song, hinageshi no hana(Poppies), at a farewell party before leaving for Toronto:


Same song, first appearance at the Red and White show, I think she was 16 then:

4 Comments:

At 9:28 PM, Blogger James said...

Wow! So, it could have been your aunt instead of Agnes. I only knew her by her Chinese name when I was growing up but then I was surprised when I realised she was selected 3 times in a row for Kohaku (especially when Ouyang Fei Fei and Judy Ongg were only selected twice. Teresa caught up in the end).

I was so shocked when I saw her performance in 1974 and sorry to say, she was terrible. Way too saccharine for my taste and her dress and song ... I could seriously throw up.

My HK friend told me that she was only famous back in HK when she made it big in Japan

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Yeah, it could have been my aunt, she is actually the same age as Agnes, now living in Toronto. Agnes is from a very well "connected" family, esp her older sisters. It's funny as we talked about this "twist of fate" in our family.. our aunt ended up marrying someone who studied photography in Japan. My uncle ended up doing a lot of photo design and cover shoot for photo album for Alan Tam when he was very popular. As for my aunt, she ended up going to school in Germany to study product design. If you do a search a wikipedia, you will find a lot information on Agnes, she is quite an amazing women. Who would have thought a tiny girl like her ends up making such a big impact on Japan? In fact, a lot of idol singers copied her style, such as Kawai Naoko, etc

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck/episodes/01042006

You can listen to her recent interview with NPR on the link above.

I wonder how many people still knew her. I was surprised when NPR mentioned her name.

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger Jack said...

wow, thanks very much for letting me know the link.. it was a very interesting interview

 

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