Tribute to Teresa Teng, Jan. 29, 1953 – May 8, 1995

Teresa Teng, Deng Lijun 邓丽君

Teresa Teng, Deng Lijun, 邓丽君

When I arrived in Harbin, China in 2004 to teach English, I wanted to learn at least a little Mandarin. Since music helps me a lot with other languages, I asked my friend Liyi for help. “Who can I listen to who sings Mandarin clearly and also beautifully?” Her immediate response was “Deng Lijun. Her English name was Teresa Teng. She didn’t come from Mainland China though, rather from Taiwan.” Liyi continued, “During the Cultural Revolution when I was growing up, she was banned in China. But we still listened to her music anyway. She brought hope to my family and to lots of other people. Hope that we could be happy again one day. When she died we were all very sad. She was too young and too beautiful to die when she did.”

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller

My curiosity piqued, I set out for a CD/DVD store. The first  song I listened to was called “The Moon Represents My Heart” (Yuèliàng dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn 月亮代表我的心). Talk about heart…I felt mine was melting. Had I ever heard such tender singing before? Well, I guess I’m a romantic, just like millions of others who’ve been touched by this young Chinese woman’s voice. Helen Keller was right: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

The Moon Represents My Heart, 1970’s

A Texan YouTube friend of mine named Larry is unabashed in his sentiments:

What a voice…so pure, beautiful… I just discovered Teresa Teng in summer of 2010, through a Japanese friend, who sent me some Japanese songs she recorded while living in Japan. I was stunned, awed, overwhelmed. As a 62 y/o Caucasian Texas cowboy, I had never heard anything like her matchless, angelic voice. Now, I read and listen to everything I can find about her, mourn her premature passing, and seek to spread her message and music to friends, family, here in Texas and the US.

Many individuals on Youtube have dedicated themselves to creating beautiful videos to share Teresa’s legacy of love with the world. Most notably, I wish to say thank you to both Xin and George in the USA. In the words of George:

Teresa Teng’s aesthetic and excellent singing, modesty, and achievement… shall forever earn the respect and fond memories of all peoples… eternally beautiful more from the inside than on the outside… there is a certain tenderness in her that is absolutely captivating. Like millions of her fans, I am glad that she once lived in my lifetime.

Teresa Teng: The Princess Diana of the East

Teresa Teng and Princess Diana led “tragically romantic” lives. There was something about their beauty, sensitivity and vulnerability that endeared them to millions. The public, touched by the tender essence of these two, exalted them to the ranks of goddess. What must that have been like? What struggles did they undergo in trying to discover their own personal identities while bombarded by the projections of millions? Was theirs a love-hate relationship with the spotlight? Outwardly,  they allowed their natural beauty to be enhanced by the right clothes, jewelry, makeup, etc. Cultivating an elegant and gracious demeanor added to their auras as well.

But inwardly? An Asian superstar and a British princess were not goddesses so much as human beings. Finding their way through a life of personal problems and public pressure must not have been easy. Moving through a series of unsuccessful love affairs, Diana seemed to be finally discovering a role for herself in the “bigger picture.” She appeared to be aligning with her own higher, authentic calling to help the world be a more wholesome place. Then what happened? She died, too young.

Like many others, I have a snapshot memory of exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news of the fatal car crash. Princess Diana was still alive, though unconscious, in a land foreign to her own (France). Unbidden prayers gushed from me for her survival. It was 1997 and Diana was in the company of a man whose lifestyle was not good for her. She was only 38 years old. She was given a state funeral, had commemorative stamps printed by many countries after her passing and was honored with a superstar musician’s refashioning a song just for her. (Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind.”)

Teresa Teng, as well-known as she was by Asians living all over the world, was a complete unknown to me in 1995 when she passed away. It’s crazy for me to consider that Asians know all our Western stars, yet what do we know about theirs? Almost nothing. Like Diana, Teresa was young, only 42 years old. From what I can gather, she was not doing so well, not finding her role as a healthy, happy woman, fulfilled by life.  Like Diana, Teresa was in a land foreign to her own (Thailand) and with a man likely not good for her at all. The “official” cause of death was asthma. She was given a state funeral in Taiwan, had commemorative stamps printed by many countries after her passing and was honored with a group of Asian superstar’s recording a song just for her. Those stars were Jackie Cheung, Qi Qin, Qi Yu, Pan Yue Yun, and Ai Jin (张学友 齐秦 ,齐豫 ,艾敬 ,潘越云). Here is an English translation of the lyrics by my YouTube friend George, whose YouTube channel is dedicated to keeping the memory of Teresa Teng alive and to bringing her legacy to the West. (To visit George’s channel, please click here: HKships4TeresaTeng2.)

English lyrics of "A Star's Wish," the song written in tribute to Teresa Teng after she passed away

The lyrics of this song to honor Teresa apparently incorporate some lines of poetry written by Teresa herself. Poignant, poetic and perfect, “A Star’s Wish” speaks for the loneliness at the heart of Teresa’s fame.

A Star’s Wish

TT138 1995 Teresa Teng 鄧麗君 – 星願 官方MV from i TAIWAN on Vimeo.

Goodbye My Love 1976

What touches my heart about Teresa Teng was her heart, which she was not afraid to reveal. She was refreshingly unpretentious. Her very human heart shone through her exquisite professionalism time and again. Her heart is what endeared her to millions of people around the world and continues to do so to this day.

To understand what I mean, here is a video of Teresa early in her career, in Hong Kong, when she was only 23 years old.

In closing, I’d like to invite you to visit my music page which features more Teresa Teng videos. By the way, if you need a really good cry (and I mean that), scroll down to Bu Liao Qing (“Love without End”), sung by Teresa Teng. Or you can visit: the most tender recording you might ever hear.

I’d love for you to share your thoughts and feelings about Teresa Teng in the comments section below, and I thank you for visiting. Also, would you please share this blog?

[Zhídào xià yīcì (直到下一次 ), wǒ de péngyǒu (我的朋友)…]

Until next time, my friends…

 

 

About the Author:

Ramona McKean is creating a "Bridge of Light" (aka “a Bridge of the Heart”) to promote cross-cultural appreciation and awareness. An author and speaker, she lives in Victoria, BC, Canada.

90 Comments

  1. Tyler M January 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    WOW such a beautiful voice and entrancing presence
    Good job Ramona 😀

    • Ramona, Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon January 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Tyler!! Was this your first time hearing of Teresa Teng?

  2. Annie Lavack January 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    I was really moved by the words of her poem…and I was thinking how true the sentiment could be for so many of us who are just ‘regular’ people. The need for connectedness, love, companionship and belonging.
    What a sweet heart…thank you for introducing her to me..

    • Ramona, Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon January 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Annie. The song never fails to elicit tears from me, it is so touching. Teresa Teng “had it all”–beauty, fame, money–but she did not have it all, at least not what really matters. She yearned for what many people often forget to cherish, the very things you mention, “connectedness, love, companionship and belonging.” Thank you for your sensitive response.

      • Vlady May 2, 2014 at 11:08 am - Reply

        Every time I listen to her my eyes are full of tears !!!!!

        • Ramona May 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm - Reply

          I truly understand. It’s like Teresa expressed her very soul through her voice. The beauty of her soul touches and awakens the souls of people who listen to her. How can people not be moved? I am thankful she lived and bless her soul now that she has passed on. Thank you for writing and much love to you.

  3. Xin January 31, 2014 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Hi Ramona, thank you for this beautifully written blog about our beloved angel Teresa Teng. I especially like your comparisons between Teresa and Princess Diana. Yes, they were similar in many ways, especially their natural beauty, elegance, kind heart, personal struggles and premature passing. They will forever live in the hearts of millions of people who have been captivated by their angelic qualities that go far beyond their outward beauties and grace. I agree with you that Teresa’s “very human heart shone through her exquisite professionalism time and again.”
    Also thank you for mentioning my name and sharing my YouTube channel link in your blog. This will definitely help more people get to know my YouTube channel. -:)
    Teresa Teng forever!

    • Ramona, Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon January 31, 2014 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome, Xin, and I thank you! You helped me enormously to get to know more about Teresa, especially with my not being able to read Chinese internet accounts of her life and career.

      I would love for this blog to be well visited/circulated and for people to visit and enjoy your youtube channel as well.

      Youtube has got to be one of the most marvelous means of promoting cross-cultural awareness in the world and all in an enjoyable way! It’s also a great way to make new friends from everywhere. It’s how you and I met. 🙂 When it comes to song lyrics, understanding another language means nothing really. MUSIC is truly the language of the soul, crossing any and all boundaries, political and otherwise, created by people. Music can remind us that we are all one.

      Xin, collaborating with you and other open-hearted people in order to remind us all of our essential goodness is a pleasure. Thank you!

  4. Lenie February 9, 2015 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Ramona, I have never heard about Teresa Teng before but this was beautiful. What a clear voice. I will be looking for more of her music. Isn’t it sad that people we think have everything are so often searching for the very things we take for granted – happiness in our everyday lives. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ramona February 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome, Lenie. Thank you for reading and listening.

  5. Jacqueline Gum February 9, 2015 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for the introduction. What a beautiful voice! And there is no mistaking that she left her mark…a beautiful one…in the world. The poem is such a beautiful tribute and so revealing…. They have left this world too early, but they never really leave with tributes like this yes? There is great beauty in that.

    • Ramona February 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      There is great beauty in that, yes, and it’s mixed with sadness and love.

  6. Donna Janke February 9, 2015 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I had not heard of Teresa Tang. She certainly had a beautiful voice.

    • Ramona February 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      She sure did. 🙂

    • Bill Strunk August 12, 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

      An Angel’s Voice that Heals:
      Towards the end of China’s culture revolution which had the whole country depleted of humanity and trust, even among family members, a voice softly and quietly entered China’s slogan-blown ears. The dispirited Chinese who first heard it thought it was a voice from heaven, descending to the spiritually starved land to console and save the souls of the downtrodden.

      The voice spread underground like a wild fire. It was the most pirated of cassette tapes in human history. Yet, even with harsh censorship, the spread of the voice did not (and will) not cease. In the end, almost a billion souls were comforted and rejuvenated. That angel voice belonged to Teresa Teng.

      Years have gone by and this angel has returned to heaven. Teresa’s healing voice, however, still serves the living, and in recent years testimonials and revelations to that effect have come out over the broadcasting media. Some examples:

      1. At Teresa’s grave site in Taipei, Taiwan on the 20th memorial anniversary ceremony, a 35 year old Uygur woman, quadriplegic since birth, showed up in a wheelchair with her parents from Xinjiang, China to pay homage to her “savior” whose voice had sustained her for all her waking hours since birth.

      2. A widower in Beijing relied on Teresa’s songs to assuage his grieving for the passing of a beloved wife of 45 years.

      3. A blind lady in Taiwan sang Teresa’s songs to help lighten up her days and eventually she did them so well she was able to make a modest living from singing her songs at civic events, etc. Another blind woman in Shanghai derives her happiness from listening to Teresa’s voice all day long.

      4. The pacifying effect of Teresa’s voice has been administered to patients in mental hospitals and inmates in prisons by several locales in China.

      5. Last but not least, even Ramona’s friend Larry, the “Texas cowboy,” has chimed in: After a multiple bypass surgery last year, he relied heavily on Teresa’s songs to ease his post-op days of boredom and letdown.

      Could it be because of the heart touching quality of Teresa’s voice that more than 21 years since her passing, new videos of her very, very old songs and performances (1968-1978) still pop up on YouTube, in addition to her more popular works? Teresa’s is truly a voice that will not fade away from this earth with the passing of time. She has become an angel for all peoples.

      • Ramona McKean August 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm - Reply

        Bill, you have expressed your appreciation and love for Teresa Teng in prose so beautiful that I believe you must be a poet! You refer to China’s Cultural Revolution, initiated by Mao (insane by this time), that relatively few Westerners know about. The CR was an unbelievably brutal 10 year period for the people of China. I have friends who survived that horror. Their stories, which they seldom and only reluctantly share because they’re too painful, bring me to tears.

        Indeed, Teresa’s songs were banned in Mainland China for many years. (Teresa was a Chinese born in Taiwan.) It’s crazy to consider that even China’s leaders, who were supposed to uphold the ban, secretly listened to pirated records and CD’s themselves! There was an expression to the effect: “Big Deng by day, Little Deng by night.” Given that Teresa’s family name was Deng (Deng Li Jun) and China’s post-Mao leader’s name was also Deng (Deng Xiao Ping), this meant: “We’ve got to listen to the big boss during the day, but we can listen to our little angel at night.”

        I can personally add my own story about the healing quality of Teresa’s voice. In 2005, I was in a serious accident in China, a head-on collision that took the life of the man beside me and left me in serious condition. I was in two Chinese hospitals then managed to get home to Canada where I stayed in hospital for a month. (With the condition I was in, and the fact that I’d taken two flights out of China with multiple rib fractures, every doctor asked me the same question: “How are you alive?”) Music did not heal me physically, at least not directly, but it did help me to heal emotionally. I listened mostly to Teresa Teng CDs. Her voice inspired me with the hope that I would recover. As such, Teresa Teng played a role–both potent and tender–in my overall healing.

        If you click on the “Music” tab above, you can see and enjoy videos of all the songs that I included in my book, Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon. My book recounts some of my amazing time in China before the accident and after. (That accident was an extraordinary experience that helped transform my life.) On the Music page, you can see which of Teresa’s songs, specifically, that played such a beautiful role in my life.

        • Bill Strunk August 15, 2016 at 11:47 am - Reply

          Ramona, the quote “big Deng by day, little Deng by night” tells me that during the post CR era of this ATHEISTIC nation (of over of one billion, including Big Deng himself), Big Deng was de jure the political leader while Little Deng was DE FACTO the spiritual leader. Well, since she is still being revered there, I should say no more lest I get your blog in trouble with the very touchy Chinese censor.

          • Bill Strunk August 15, 2016 at 1:16 pm

            Btw, Elvis Presley also died at age 42, and 40 years later his gospels are still revered in the South undying. Could it be that TT’s songs have been received by the masses in the East just like Elvis’s in the South?

          • Ramona McKean August 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm

            Anything to do with letting their vulnerability (realness) show, do you think?

          • Ramona McKean August 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm

            I agree with you, Bill. May your words go unnoticed by the thing you allude to, not that what you wrote is that big a deal. 😉

  7. Patricia Weber February 9, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

    I’ve never heard of Teresa Teng. But I actually don’t know the names of many of the more current vocal artists in my USA country either. Indeed a lovely voice. I’m going to skip checking out more videos because I don’t need a good cry. But when I do, I KNOW I will go over to listen more.

  8. Edward Reid February 9, 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Such beautiful music and everything you have written shows Teresa Teng as a beautiful soul. When we lose an artist at a young age, the loss stings incredibly. However, the music lives on forever, and we can always go back and listen and enjoy the beauty.

    • Ramona February 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Yes, Teresa’s precious gift lives on and we can feel blessed. Thank you, Edward, for commenting.

  9. Mahal Hudson February 9, 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you Ramona for sharing her authentic spirit to the world. I don’t know her but when you referred to her as the Princess Diana of the East I was enveloped with sadness likewise an inspiration.

    • Ramona February 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome, Mahal.

  10. Ken Dowell February 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Some really beautiful music that I would probably never have come across on my own. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ramona February 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Ken. Thank you.

  11. Susan Cooper February 10, 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Quite lovely music. Thank you for telling us about Teresa Teng. I’m sure most of us would never have heard of her otherwise.

    • Ramona February 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      I am grateful to be able to introduce her to Westerners.

  12. Andy February 10, 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Did Teresa record any traditional Chinese folk/classical/opera music (what we in the West would call “world music”)?

    • Ramona February 10, 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      I don’t believe she recorded any classical/operatic music but she sang many traditional folk songs from China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

      • Jeremy May 9, 2016 at 6:49 am - Reply

        Teresa did perform [交道] or “Country Road” which is from an Operatic Chinese Musical. You may watch it at this link:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBNYPS_EtCw
        This is part 8 of a full concert which I subtitled and uploaded in 16 parts and shared some years ago.

        Hope you enjoy it.

        • Ramona McKean May 9, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

          Great Jeremy! I have just viewed your link. So she did sing some operatic pieces, how splendid! Something else I did not know! What a versatile artist she was, and gorgeous too. Her gown is stunning. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. 🙂

          I notice that the “opera” part starts at about 2:50 minutes. Thank you so much for sharing this with me and others who read my blog. Hope you have a marvellous day. Ramona

    • OriginalFan August 11, 2016 at 7:35 am - Reply

      Yes, she did record a number of traditional Chinese folk/classical and opera in Mandarin. In fact, she became famous and well-liked by older Chinese because of her folk songs (when she was young). And she won her first significant singing contest singing an opera number called “Ying Tai”. Haha, I do not speak Mandarin but this is what I know for certain. Do visit my web site which I created for English-speaking fans like myself: http://www.teresatengblog.com

      • Ramona McKean August 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm - Reply

        Hi, thanks for sharing your website–impressive! 🙂 And thank you for joining this conversation about Teresa Teng.

  13. Erica February 11, 2015 at 7:07 am - Reply

    As I read your article, I was thinking exactly what you eventually said. It is amazing how many parts of the world watch American movies, listen to our music and know about our culture, and yet most of us could not name one foreign star, movie or song (unless it is something in English). Her voice was very beautiful and sweet. It is sad that she passed so young.

    • Ramona February 11, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Hi Erica,
      Something I like about YouTube is being able to find wonderful musicians I’d never have heard of otherwise. After I was introduced personally to Teresa Teng’s music in China, my curiosity led me to YouTube. There I made the acquaintance of people from several countries who had posted her videos and other performers’ videos as well. So, not only do I have some new international friends (one I met in person in NYC 2 years ago), but also I am able to enjoy star talent of people from many lands. Thanks for writing.
      Ramona

  14. William Rusho February 11, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is wonderful that you have a blog about her. I have never listened or even heard of her, but posts like yours keep this star from fading away.

    • Ramona February 11, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

      Teresa’s star burns warmly and brightly in the hearts of many. I am grateful to be able to bring her light to the hearts of many more people, so I thank you, William.

  15. Tim February 12, 2015 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Her voice has a beautiful tone and is very soothing even if the exact translation is lost to me. It is always unfortunate when an untimely death takes someone, but there is always the music, art, words, legacy, that is left behind and in that comfort can often be found and celebrated.

  16. Pamela Chollet February 13, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    She reminds me a bit of Patsy Cline. Her voice is light but it resonates such pure quality and tone. Like Patsy, her vulnerability shows through, as does her grace. Thank you for the introduction. It is true, here in the US we aren’t as aware and in tune with celebrities in other countries. That’s a very interesting observation.

    • Ramona February 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Pamela,
      Thanks for your interesting comments. I live in Canada and we are similar to the US as regards not being exposed much to other countries’ stars. I like your comparing Patsy Cline and Teresa Teng. I’d never considered the similarity before. Yes, they both conveyed a vulnerability and a personal grace. They expressed their very hearts in their singing, which in turn touched the hearts of their listeners. At least, that’s how it’s been for me.
      🙂 Ramona

  17. andleeb February 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    This post is written so beautifully and it shows love and respect for Teresa Teng. She seems to be an amazing lady and it is sad that she died so young. I had never heard about her before.

    • Ramona February 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Andleeb. I’m glad you could see the love and respect.

  18. Jim March 28, 2015 at 2:06 am - Reply

    She sang in English too. I think I read that she lived in San Francisco for a time. I like her version of Charlene’s song from the late 70’s called “I’ve never been to me.” I cannot believe she’s been gone almost 20 years. Like others, I never knew about her until she was gone.

    • Ramona April 1, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      It’s true, so many of us discovered Teresa long after she passed away. I’m just grateful that I did hear of her finally. What a gem she was and still is, through her music. Thanks for writing, Jim.

  19. mike May 10, 2015 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Can you pleeez send me a copy of both the songs you posted for Teresa Teng..I really appreciated

    • Ramona May 10, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike, I am so glad you liked the songs I posted by Teresa Teng. I can only send you the YouTube links. I hope that works for you. Here is “The Moon Represents My Heart“. And here is the tribute to Teresa Teng with her own poem set to music: A Star’s Wish.

  20. Sabrina July 13, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    OMG I love her songs so much. I heard her songs before, but I didn’t know who the singer was. I found out later and searched for her songs. I’m amazed by how many languages she can sing. She has such a great personality and heart. I read on wiki, there it said that her ex-fiance’s family gave her a contract to sign, saying that she will quit her music career and she won’t have any connection to the music or entertainment industry when she marries. That is really sad. But I’m glad that Teresa Teng chose her music rather then her ex-fiance. It is really sad how she had everything in life: fame, money, friends, etc but not a successful love. Hopefully, many people in the West will recognize her more.

    • Ramona July 14, 2015 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Sabrina, I am so happy you found my blog post on Teresa! I didn’t know about that contract. I am pretty sure that Chinese media sources have far more information on Teresa than any English media. There is much material I miss out on. It’s another reason I wish I was fluent in Mandarin.

      Maybe Teresa did quit her musical career after getting together with her ex? (Was his name Paul? I know he was from France.) As far as I can tell, she stopped all performances and recording sessions after they became engaged. From what I can gather, it was a very unhealthy relationship. Sadly, her way out, finally, was death.

      Yes, I really would like more people in the West to be acquainted with Teresa Teng! Perhaps you could share my blog with your Western friends? 🙂 My being a Westerner (Canadian), I believe I write in such a way as to make Teresa’s story extra accessible (understandable) to Western readers; Western listeners too, given what I say about the music I’ve included.

      Thank you so much for writing, Sabrina! It’s really lovely to connect with you.

      • Raymond January 12, 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

        Her ex-fiance’s mother asked Teresa Teng to make a pledge before she could be accepted into the family. The pledge comprised three parts:

        1. to quit her music career,
        2. to sever all ties with and stop seeing any of her male friends in the entertainment industry, and
        3. to reveal all her past love relationships. (Her ex-fiance’s father, Robert Kuok, was and is a tycoon.)

        It was TT’s own intention to quit her music career after getting married, and for a while, she did stop all performances and recording sessions. But when she was asked to make the pledge, she found it so insulting that she broke off the engagement. All of this happened in the early eighties. In a way, we must be grateful to her ex-fiance’s mother because TT’s career soared to new heights after that.

        Paul was her French boyfriend that she met in 1990 or 1991, and they remained together until her unfortunate death in Thailand in 1995. Paul was never forgiven by TT’s family members, who accused him of failing to take good care of her.

        • Ramona January 13, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

          Dear Raymond,
          Thank you so much for helping me out with this info. The pre-nuptial agreement sounds most insulting. Yes, we should be grateful, given the wonderful songs Teresa sang in the following years, songs that will touch people’s hearts for a long long time.

          Teresa’s French boyfriend Paul has received such bad press. A scapegoat for people’s anger and grief, perhaps? That he was accused of “failing to take good care of her” I can readily believe. I was in a car accident in China and the Chinese friend with me, a young man, was blamed severely for not looking after me. It was like my injuries were his fault. Is this part of the Chinese mindset, that a man who is with a woman must protect her from harm or he is to blame?

          Once again, Raymond, I truly appreciate your taking the time to leave this comment!
          Ramona

          • Bill Strunk July 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm

            I believe Paul got a nasty bum rap for Teresa’s death. My western view is that Teresa was very smart in picking Paul to be her companion at that stage of her life – a 37 year old well-established lady. She didn’t think she would be married and having children any time soon or ever at all. So she was looking for a companion that she could feel comfortable with. When she met Paul he was 21, single and freelancing without any worries. Yes, he was happy to be “hired” by Teresa to be her personal photographer. This way they could afford to be together 24/7 and go wherever and whenever at a moment’s notice.

            They had spent 5 fun years together in France, and traveled to places no one would be critical of their age difference. They stayed away from the gossiping motherland as long as there were no obligatory charity engagements there. This arrangement gave Teresa a taste of a quiet personal life with a person who actually loved her for herself, not her wealth, fame or connections.

            Had Teresa stuck to her Chinese tradition which called for matching age and status just like she did at age 30, then at 37 she would have an even tougher time finding a single guy with a successful career somewhat like hers. But even if she had, this guy would be so busy that he wouldn’t be able to be with her 24/7 like Paul was; therefore, this guy would be bound to be accused of “failing to take of her” should any ill happen to her. Her family owed her a lot and they unloaded their own guilt onto Paul unfairly. This is only my own personal opinion and no has to agree.

          • Ramona McKean August 1, 2016 at 10:39 pm

            You may well be right that Paul was scapegoated by Teresa’s family, who “needed someone to blame” for their loss. I imagine they disapproved of Paul greatly, which would make the unloading/targeting easier. Thanks for sharing your thought-provoking opinion.

          • OriginalFan August 11, 2016 at 8:25 am

            My view is that Teresa was aware that it would be almost impossible for her to find a Chinese husband owing to tradition – meaning few Chinese man would want her to continue singing as a singer (except perhaps George and perhaps myself! Haha!), which was, during that era, not regarded as a “respected” profession. Also, Teresa can be considered “modern” compared to Chinese in Taiwan, SE Asia and China at that time. We know that her favourite singer was Diana Ross and her favourite actor was Robert Redford. Her idol was Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa (this is where she got her English name, it was suggested ). And her favourite movie was Dr Zhivago! She was torn between staying faithful to her Chinese heritage, which she never failed to convey and display on stage, and yet, she wanted the freedom of expression that came with western artistic philosophy. Rock music appealed to her a great deal but she had to stick to what the Asia audience expected of her, she said. You can find out more about her here: http://www.teresatengblog.com

          • Ramona McKean August 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm

            Dear “Original Fan,”
            You have certainly contributed to my greater appreciation of Teresa as a person. In some ways she had to be a tightrope artist, balancing her own desires with the huge expectations of not only her family but also her fans. Sure, she did venture into some rock and did sing and perform Western songs a la a “Western” style. More often than not, though, she tipped the balance away from her own desires. She was a generous soul and wanted to please others, as is obvious, but relinquishing her own needs came at a cost. Her heart and soul, beneath the fame, grieved. Part of her brilliance lay in her ability to share/convey genuine feeling in song. People resonated with her singing, as she gave expression to deep feelings that they may not have been able to express for themselves. This generosity, I believe, is what endeared her to millions of people, and it’s an “endearing” that continues.

            I love your website and it will be my pleasure to help promote it! I especially love the title on one of your pages: “The Voice That Unites A Billion People”: http://teresatengblog.com/personality/.

            🙂 Not an “original” but a true fan too,
            Ramona

        • Jeremy May 8, 2016 at 6:25 am - Reply

          Raymond, it was not her fiance’s mother, but his grandmother who insisted on those conditions.
          Thanks,
          Jeremy

          • Ramona McKean May 8, 2016 at 9:03 pm

            I truly appreciate your correction, Jeremy.

          • Bill Strunk August 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm

            Teresa’s response to the indignity and snobbish belittlement she was accorded by Kuok’s matriarch in 1982 was the legend that no one will or should ever forget.

            Teresa published in 1983 her magnificent album “Light Exquisite Feeling” which propelled her to super artist status. Then January 1984, in Taipei, Taiwan she gave a concert dubbed “One Billion Applause” which was broadcast live to the whole of China – an unprecedented endeavor by the Taiwanese government and amazingly not blocked by China. Teresa became national heroine.

            In subsequent years she captured all Japan’s top music awards three years in a row, a new record in Japan’s history which made her a goddess in the eyes of most Japanese, and which accorded her the title “Asia’s singing princess.” She commanded such high respect in Japan and other Asian countries that the snobbish Kuok matriarch looked so very petty and mean. I call it Teresa’s deflection. So, through her own conduct and achievement, Teresa blazed a trail of excellence and from then on made singing a respectable career for young girls to follow. It is such a respectable profession now that an investment banker with an MBA from Hamburg University quit her job and turned to singing Teresa’s songs professionally in China, also in south east Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and the US. This is another of Teresa’s contributions–breaking down the stereotyping and prejudice against female singers.

            Our sensitive and understanding Teresa once told her brother that with her fame whatever partner she might have, temporary or life long, would be subject to intense scrutiny and gossip by the media and paparazzi. The pressure on this man would be tremendous. It wouldn’t be a happy situation that most men would like to deal with. At age 30 she practically forsook marriage. When a modern woman at age 37, she decided that what’s good for the gander is what’s good for the goose, and she chose Paul to be her companion.

            Oh boy! Did Paul ever suffer discrimination and prejudice from the Chinese community. Most people viewed him as unfit and not good for Teresa and treated him accordingly. Teresa’s little brother related a story that he, while having dinner with Teresa and Paul in a Hong Kong restaurant, saw first hand a waiter serve Paul by “throwing” the dish he ordered in front of him rudely. To which Paul told the brother that this was not the first time he got treated that way. When you’re in love you put up with this sort of thing just to make peace. But Teresa felt indignant and sorry for Paul being treated badly by her own people. That’s why they spent most of their personal time in France or Thailand, away from cameras and narrow-mindedness.

            Upon death, Teresa was given a pseudo-state funeral with national flag draped over her casket, the highest honor no other artist will ever receive. A statue of Teresa Teng has joined other acclaimed Chinese heroes in Shanghai’s Well Being and Longevity Garden. Her full-sized wax figures are exhibited at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museums in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. She, 17 years after death, by 8.54 million votes, was proclaimed the most influential person in New China’s culture where her songs were once censored as being decadent.

            What does one say about respectability? That has everything to do with one’s character, and nothing to do with one’s wealth. What does one say about Karma? Maybe, just maybe that Kuok’s matriarch was a god-sent angel-maker for the world.

          • Ramona McKean August 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm

            Bill, I find your stories of Teresa fascinating! Many I’d not heard before, and I expect that they are all true. I had certainly heard of Madam Kwok! Have you ever entertained the idea that perhaps people (souls) plan their lives with others before coming to earth? I’ve thought about this. Who knows? If yes, then maybe Teresa and the matriarch planned the nasty rejection that led to Teresa’s fulfilling a precious life purpose–to bring love to the world through the medium of her voice. In this way, Mme Kwok could certainly be viewed as “a god-sent angel-maker for the world”! How splendid–karma, destiny and all!

          • Ramona McKean August 13, 2016 at 12:27 am

            “Light Exquisite Feeling” was truly a magnificent album. On it, as I’m sure you are aware, are Chinese classical poems put to melody specifically for Teresa herself to sing. The poetry is SO SO beautiful, even in translation, and the lovely melodies fit perfectly. Here is the complete album in a video compiled and created by our friend, George, who has painstakingly added translations and additional notes to help us be able to appreciate the album more fully: Light Exquisite Feeling, the complete album. (Thank you, George, for your loving dedication to sharing Teresa and her legacy with us all.)

  21. David Kelley-Wood January 21, 2016 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Hi, Ramona.

    Thanks for the lovely tribute to Teresa. She became my all-time favorite vocalist shortly after discovering her five years ago. As we’re only a few days away from what would have been her 63rd birthday, it seems fitting to be talking about her.

    I came to China fairly late in life (62) in the summer of 2011 as an already retired person, primarily for adventure, and secondarily to teach English, and have remained here. I’m currently in Wuhan, Hubei following three years in various Jiangsu province locations. Before coming over, I wanted to get a sense of the culture, and being a bit of a music fanatic anyway, decided to see what I could find.

    Well, I imagine that almost anyone who starts down the road of checking out Chinese music on the internet pretty quickly stumbles across Xiao Deng. One song impresses, and that leads to a few more, and so on until, if you’re borderline obsessive-compulsive like I am, you may find that you’ve listened to several hundred of her songs (I read somewhere that she recorded around 1,400 singles).

    Along the way, you will realize that she is (she’ll always be present tense for me) an absolutely awesome vocalist. In my opinion, she’s the very best. You’ll discover that, besides having nice range and tonal qualities, she possesses an unparalleled mastery of nuance. But, beyond her technical skill, even more importantly, Teresa will most assuredly capture your heart. Many singers impress, as do many songs. But, only very rarely can a singer actually steal your heart away. She is literally loved throughout all of Asia. People don’t really talk about her being a great vocalist. They talk about loving her.

    Anyway, thanks again!

    • Ramona February 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      Hi David,
      Wow, I thank you for this wonderful response! I agree: People talk about LOVING Teresa. She sure knew how to touch hearts, and she still does, even after all the years that have gone by since her passing.

      I was in Wuhan in October 2014 and very much enjoyed the city. I can understand your staying in China. For me, China is a second home! I’ve just returned from almost a month away in Tanzania. (Hence my late reply to your comment.) I’ve got to say, Tanzania is my third home.

      Your responsiveness to my blog is gratifying. Thank you again.
      🙂 Ramona

  22. Wei Wang April 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I am very interested to read your point of view about Teresa Teng. I love it.

  23. Jeremy May 8, 2016 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Dear Ramona,

    I came upon this tribute because of a comment and link you left on my youtube upload. Thank you.

    Today is the 21st anniversary of Teresa Teng’s passing. I grew up listening to her songs on the radio, seeing her in newspapers, magazines and on TV. She was so much a part of my life.

    Sincerely,
    Jeremy

    • Ramona McKean May 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Jeremy, your YouTube upload is so tender, sad and beautiful. You matched the most perfect song to the visuals. And I thank you again, as I did on your upload.

  24. Jeremy May 8, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Dear Ramona,

    Thank you for writing and sharing this article. I’m honoured you have included my youtube upload, “A star’s wish.” For your information, Bu Liao Qing was a very old song, featured in an old Chinese movie. The singer, Ku Mei is still living in Canada, but the actress Lin Dai took her own life at the peak of her career.
    This song was NOT played during Teresa Teng’s funeral but rather her popular hits. In addition, one of her back-up singers sang “A Stars Wish” which was quickly put to music by the top musicians in Taiwan at that time for this purpose. The recording of Teresa’s Bu Liao Qing was found in her French residence among her belongings. Her family members were too heartbroken and depressed to do anything about the recordings. It was 6 years after her passing that her brother was able to come to terms with her death and decided to share those songs with the rest of the world. I remember I was at the mechanic’s reading the papers while waiting for my car to be serviced. When I read about this posthumous album release, I rushed to Tower Records and bought the CD.
    Thank you sincerely,
    Jeremy

    • Ramona McKean May 8, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Jeremy, new YouTube friends, if I may call you that, help me to learn and understand many things. I really appreciate your correcting my mistake about Bu Liao Qing‘s being played at her funeral. I had researched the song so was aware that it wasn’t “Teresa’s song.” Maybe it “should have been,” though. Why? Because she captured its essence exquisitely, not so much by the words or melody but rather by her heart and soul. That she was able to do that and to deeply touch millions of people listening to her is what made her great and so well-loved. It was like she was giving voice to the ache and yearning in their hearts and souls as she sang. She was touching the soul of humanity. A divine gift.

      I didn’t know the story behind Teresa’s recording of Bu Liao Qing. Interesting that it was released several years after her death. Your learning of her passing was so meaningful that it became a “snapshot memory,” with your remembering exactly where you were and what you were doing. I bet the same can be said for millions of others when they heard the news. It was like that for me when Princess Diana was dying. I remember driving from my father’s birthday on the #1 Highway in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia when I heard the news on the radio. She was still alive but unconscious, her boyfriend and the driver already dead. I started crying and praying. When word came not too long after that she was gone, I was grief struck. I bawled my eyes out when I watched her funeral on television.

      It’s remarkable how every long now and then, certain individuals have the gift to enter the hearts of just about “everyone.” Those dear souls do it through their essence, their beingness. May God bless them always.

  25. Erwin May 26, 2016 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Ramona,

    Thank you for Teresa Teng’s tribute page. I am amazed there are more and more western people who fall in love with Teresa.

    I was born in Indonesia in 1970. When I was little, Chinese language was banned in Indonesia. However, I managed to hear Teresa’s songs through the tape that people purchased from the black market in the 70s. I was too little to appreciate her songs, but in my mind there is always a memory of someone who sings Chinese songs with a very beautiful voice.

    I migrated in Australia in early 2000s by myself and I was lonely. At one stage, I saw her DVDs and CDs sold at a shop in China Town. I bought the DVDs and I fell in love instantly with her angelic voice. Since then, I listen to her songs nearly every day. I am so happy that I have re-discovered her. Her voice soothes me and calms the inner side of me. I researched her personal life and I found her songs other than those in Chinese on youtube. I am amazed that she sings in many different languages. She is a very amazing person. Her English songs that I really like are Feelings, Bridge over Troubled Water and Careless Whisper.

    I am so glad I have visited her final resting place in Jinbaoshan, Taiwan in May 2015 and attended her 20th passing anniversary. I have also been to her hologram concert in Taipei at the same time, which is her first concert to me.

    May Teresa’s legacy will last forever …

    • Ramona McKean May 27, 2016 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Erwin, this response to my post is, in itself, a beautiful tribute to Teresa! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart your personal experience. Isn’t it profound the effect Teresa Teng has had on millions upon millions of people, both during her lifetime and now all these years since her passing? Yes, may her legacy last forever…

      By the way, Erwin, you mention that you are now in Australia. I realize you are not originally from China, but I’d like to share the name of a 2015 Chinese movie that I watched last night. I was deeply moved by the sensitive direction of Jia Zhongke (贾樟柯). “Mountains May Depart” takes place mostly in China and also in Australia. (The English translation is a poor one. The original title is Shānhé gùrén, 山河故人.) I wonder if you’d like this movie. Let me know if you see it, okay?

      • Erwin August 2, 2016 at 12:13 am - Reply

        Hi Ramona,

        Good to hear from you.

        Apologize, I haven’t had a chance to watch “Mountains May Depart”.

        Regards,
        Erwin

        • Ramona McKean August 2, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

          Hi Erwin,
          If you know of any Chinese movies that you’d recommend, please let me know, okay? It doesn’t matter how old they are.
          🙂 Ramona

          • Erwin August 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm

            Hi Ramona,

            I am actually into old Chinese movies that are produced during the golden era of Hong Kong and Taiwanese movies in the seventies to the nineties. My favourite actress is Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia. Most of them are available on youtube, but without English subtitle. My recommendations are The Dream of The Red Chamber, Peking Opera Blues, Swordsman II, The New Dragon Gate Inn, The Bride with White Hair and Chungking Express.

            Other than that, I like the Taiwanese melodrama that are based on Chiung Yau’s novels. My recommendations are Outside the Window, Cloud of Romance, Love under the Rosy Sky, Moon Fascinating Bird Sweet, The Heart with Million Knots, Yen Shui Han (I don’t know what the English title is), Posterity and Perplexity, Errant Love, Burn Phoenix Burn and many others.

          • Ramona McKean August 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm

            Erwin, I am mostly interested in older Chinese movies, so suggestions are fantastic! Thank you!

    • Bill Strunk July 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      Teresa had recorded 80 Indonesian songs in her early years but all the original master tapes were destroyed in a building fire. But fortunately some of these precious songs can still be heard through various uploads on the YouTube. People owning her early Indonesian records are sitting on a pot of gold for they are collector’s items now.

      • Ramona McKean July 27, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

        Bill, wouldn’t it be remarkable if someone, after reading your comment, were to discover that they indeed had some of those original Indonesian recordings in their possession? Oftentimes people inherit boxes of items, old records included, that they know nothing about. Sure, the riches you refer to (the “pot of gold”) could be money; but those riches could also be the songs themselves, which very few people these days would ever have known existed. Wouldn’t that be something!

        Btw, I really appreciate your wealth of knowledge about Teresa that you so willingly share. 🙂 Thanks, Bill.

        • Bill Strunk July 28, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

          Stories about Teresa Teng blazing trails with confidence and humility:

          July 1980 (she was enrolled as part time student at USC in Southern California) Teresa Teng held solo concerts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, B.C. and Lincoln Center in New York City. No Chinese had ever performed solo concerts at these prestigious music halls before. Teresa Teng blazed the trail in her own way.

          The band/orchestra was a hodge-podge of musicians Teresa herself ASSEMBLED from US, Japan, and Hong Kong and the conductor was a Japanese who couldn’t speak Cantonese or English. So, Teresa, who had no professional managerial help other than her younger brother, had to be the “coordinator” for the band at hand. The stage manager of the Lincoln Center was astounded to witness this 27 year old performer who herself had not only to attend to her own rehearsal but also to stop and coordinate among the orchestra when the unexpected rough spots occurred. She filled the seats at these halls and captivated local audiences. That same year in October, she for the 4th time held 7 solo concerts in 5 days at the Hong Kong’s top notch Lee Theater, all with sold out attendance. Talking about east-west exchange, Teresa for the first time brought to Hong Kong a dance troupe accompanying her singing and dancing as a choreographed unit on stage. Another trail blazing endeavor.

          If one happened to vacation in Los Vegas during the summer of 1982 one would see Teresa Teng and Wayne Newton shared the same billing at Caesar’s Palace. She was the first Chinese performer ever to be invited to perform to a packed house, and extra seats had to be added to accommodate the overflowing crowd without violating the fire code. Teresa’s trail blazing to the mecca of American entertainment for the first time.

          1984 saw Teresa shock the highly competitive Japan’s radio broadcast world with her capturing of the two most prestigious awards simultaneously – the double crown. She had also won the gold medal of the most records sold but the medal was withheld from her because it was supposed to be given only to Japanese nationals which Teresa was not. Teresa in the following year repeated the feat of winning the double crown and the gold medal, but once again the gold medal was denied her. When asked how she felt about this treatment, she said “I respect Japanese tradition. As you know there is a Chinese saying that the most prolific, the most mature of the grain stalk bends it head the lowest, almost touching the ground.” In 1986 the indomitable Teresa won, for the third time in a row, the double crown and the gold medal award. This time due to public out-cry the organization changed its stance and awarded her the gold medal at last. Teresa blazed the trail once more and softly changed the discriminating attitude towards foreigners in Japan for the better. She was the first person, Japanese or not, to win the double crown trice in a row. That was a very tough act to follow.

          • Ramona McKean August 1, 2016 at 10:28 pm

            Bill, simply marvellous! I am amazed at your finding these stories that are not in any media in the English language of which I’m aware. Do you read the original versions of these stories in Chinese, or do you have a friend who can help you with finding all this info?

            Teresa the trail blazer–what a remarkable soul she was, and still is as souls are eternal. Her essence lives on as love in the hearts of millions.

    • Bill Strunk July 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Erwin, I am also amazed why more and more of us Westerners are falling in love with Teresa. For me it was the human stories associated with her that I am most interested in following. What was Teresa’s magic or magnetism that attracted so many devotees after 21 years of passing? I once watched a video of a TV interview in which Ms. Wong, the founder of Teresa Teng fan club in Taiwan, said that on every New Year’s Eve for 21 years she would go up to Yun-Yuen, Teresa’s grave site on Jinbaoshan. She went to keep Teresa company for she knew there would be few visitors coming to visit on this last day of the year, and she didn’t want see Teresa being alone on this day. What a sentiment.

      Erwin, on May 8 2015 when you attended her 20th memorial event, you might have seen two of Teresa’s very close friends there as well: her long time Japanese boss attending from Japan and her Hong Kong’s house keeper coming from Hong Kong just for this occasion. As of last year they had been coming every memorial day of hers for the past 20 years. This year her Japanese boss at 83 was not able to make it due to poor health, but her house keeper again flew in from Hong Kong to commemorate her with other loyal fans from all over. I was deeply touched by these good folks’ unwavering devotion and unfading love for Teresa. But, there is another, most amazing vicarious story I want to share with you.

      Mr. Shui, a 74 year old Taiwanese with not a single personal connection to Teresa whatsoever, has spent over 3,000 days at Teresa’s grave, providing free joss sticks to all visitors who cared to light up a few as a gesture of sending their well wishes to Teresa in Heaven. What inspired him to start doing this? According to various articles and TV interviews, I deduced the following: Shortly after his retirement in 2008 Mr. Shui, who lives in Jeelung, a city not too far from Teresa Teng Memorial Park on Jinbaoshan, paid his first visit to Yun-Yuen, Teresa’s grave. He wasn’t happy with what he saw on that day – fallen leaves strewn all over the grounds and no place to buy joss sticks for paying respect to Teresa. So, from that day on he volunteered himself to be Teresa’s grave grounds keeper, joss stick provider, and docent in Mandarin, Japanese, and Taiwanese. And he also offered help take individual or family pictures. He goes there everyday from 9 to 4, rain or shine, without time off for vacations or anything else. And I believe even this day he is on “duty” at Yun-Yuen.

      About two months ago, I saw a short Japanese video panning a deserted Yun-Yuen on a gloomy, rainy day. Not a single person in view for the first 4 minutes. But toward the end, on a corner of the screen, appeared a man in a light jacket holding an unfurled umbrella while carrying a big bundle in the other hand. Sure enough, that person was no other than Mr. Shui whom I had spotted in numerous videos made over the years by fans from Hong Kong, Japan, and China. Here stood a lonely person in the rain, holding a bundle of joss sticks for the taking, but no one came. Yet he would do this day after day, week after week, year after year for 8 years now, regardless of typhoon or earthquake. In an interview by a local TV station on May 8th of this year, Mr. Shui was asked “why?” He thought for a moment and said, “She kept me going for all these years and therefore she is worth all my devotion.” It seemed like just a quiet heart-to-heart communion between Teresa and Mr. Shui. But I also sensed that there is a give-and-take relationship coming from Mr. Shui. Once a year pilgrimage is one thing, going to “work” day in day out is quite another. I still don’t know exactly what it is to effect this kind of dedication, but I sense – unconditional selfless love, respect, and admiration. Human stories such as these happening two decades after her passing deserve to be told.

      • Ramona McKean August 1, 2016 at 10:54 pm - Reply

        Bill, thank you for sharing these stories from your treasure house of knowledge about Teresa. I learn a lot from you. 🙂

      • Erwin August 2, 2016 at 12:17 am - Reply

        Hi Bill,

        When I was at the 20th memorial, I did see Teresa’s ex Japanese manager and the ex Hong Kong house keeper. I have the photos of them on my facebook. I didn’t notice Mr. Shui as they were so many people at the memorial.

        Thank you for sharing the story.

        Regards,
        Erwin

      • Bill Strunk August 10, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

        Here is very nice “photo album” of Teresa’s memorial park in a long video where @25:00 one can see Mr. Shui standing on one side all by himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de0UFZXRNCM

        • Ramona McKean August 10, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

          This is great, Bill! In an earlier comment (July 29, in response to Erwin), you mentioned, ” Mr. Shui, a 74 year old Taiwanese with not a single personal connection to Teresa whatsoever, has spent over 3,000 days at Teresa’s grave…” Dedication such as his is the epitome of heart-centeredness. Thank you for providing a video link so we can see this gentleman.

  26. Bill Strunk July 27, 2016 at 11:26 am - Reply

    The sensation wheedled by her voice and style of singing in a listener’s heart will remain for a long time. Like Larry, about the same time (2010) I “discovered” her through an advertising clip for a New Chinese Broadway-style musical “Love You Teresa” and did the same things – searching her videos, tributes, and news articles all over the internet. I am now a diehard TT fan and will always support the wide effort of promoting and preserving her legacy. Her courageous support of 1989 student protest for democracy in Ten An Mun square earned my respect. But the massacre on June 4th, 1989, which shocked the whole world, drove Teresa into deep depression for it saddened her heart to no end. Before this tragedy happened she had been invited to perform in China by Chinese high officials despite the political censorship. But thoroughly disgusted, she walked away from that huge, lucrative Chinese market and went gradually into retirement in France. She died two years before Princess D. Humanity lost two wonderful human beings to avoidable tragedies. Go figure.

    • Ramona McKean July 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Bill,

      As you may well know, Teresa was born into a Taiwanese military family that had left China in the wake of Mao. As such, she was highly critical of the Communist government. Due her to great popularity, the Chinese government saw her as undesirable and may even have thought of her as a spy. At least that’s the rationale I’ve read about her being denied entry into China for such a long time. But whether from Taiwan or the Mainland or Indonesia or anywhere else where Chinese people live, they are all still united by common roots and culture. (All “Descendants of the Dragon.”) I believe this is why George [HKships4TeresaTeng2] calls Teresa “the great daughter of the Chinese people.”

      It’s understandable that the atrocity of Tiananmen square in early June 1989 sickened and disheartened her so much that she chose not to accept the government’s invitation. “She died two years before Princess D. Humanity lost two wonderful human beings to avoidable tragedies.” Yes, avoidable. So sad. It makes me wonder about the purpose they each came to earth to fulfill. If it was to bring a sense of grace and hope to a benighted world and to open the hearts of millions, they both succeeded beyond measure.

      Ramona

  27. william low October 13, 2016 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Dear Ramona,

    Thx 4 d blog n all d heart-warming and heart-wrenching comments. Everything else seems insignificant after reading these.

    William from Malaysia.

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