Jay Chou's latest album a hit after 6-year hiatus

01/22/2023 01:52 PM
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A billboard in London promoting "Greatest Works of Art." Photo courtesy of JVR Music
A billboard in London promoting "Greatest Works of Art." Photo courtesy of JVR Music

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) "Greatest Works of Art" (最偉大的作品), the first album by Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou (周杰倫) in six years, remained popular in the market.

According to MyMusic, Chou's latest album took the top spot among the top 10 Mandarin Chinese albums in terms of the click-through rate on the Taiwanese online music platform in 2022.

MyMusic, run by telecom services provider Taiwan Mobile Co., said although the 12-track album was released by Sony Music just six months before the end of last year, it still attracted considerable market attention and won the hearts of many fans in the year.

In addition to its popularity on the virtual music platform, the album also sold 5 million copies in China during the first week after debuting on July 15, smashing the single-region sales records set by English singer and songwriter Adele's "25," which sold 3.38 million copies in its first week in the U.S. in 2015, entertainment business news outlet Variety said.

In his home market Taiwan, Chou's latest album sold 200,000 copies in its debut week, according to Variety.

According to Six Tone, a publication from Shanghai United Media Group, Chou's music video for the album's title track "Greatest Works of Art," represented "a homage to some of the most acclaimed artists and their works in modern art."

The music video, which was filmed in Europe, largely in Paris, transported Chou, who wore a tuxedo and held a magic wand, back to the 1920s, where he met several artists such as Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali, French painter Claude Monet and even Chinese poet Xu Zhimo (徐志摩). Moreover, Chou also battled modern Chinese pianist Lang Lang (郎朗) in the video.

The title track demonstrated Chou's special style combining old and modern music in one song, which was also shown in his previous works, including Qing Hua Ci (青花瓷), or blue-and-white porcelain in ancient China, in his eighth album "On The Run!" (我很忙), released in November 2007.

JVR Music

After the music video of "Greatest Works of Art" made its debut in early July, it earned almost 10 million views on YouTube in just two days, according to the 24-hour global art market newswire Artnet News.

"Greatest Works of Art" is the 15th album by the Taiwanese star following the first self-titled album -- "Jay" -- which hit the market in November 2000.

With the release of "Jay," Chou kicked off his career as a pop singer with his music acclaimed not only in Taiwan and China but also Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, according to wealthypersons.com, which estimated his net worth to hit US$85 million in 2022.

Chou, 44, is also a songwriter, well known for composing songs for himself as well as other popular singers, such as Taiwanese pop diva Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), singer Jody Chiang (江蕙), pop group S.H.E comprised of Selina, Hebe and Ella, and Hong Kong stars Eason Chan (陳奕迅) and Joey Yung (容祖兒), Hong Kong-born American diva CoCo Lee (李玟), and Chinese pop singer Li Yuchun (李宇春).

Currently, Chou has won 15 Golden Melody Awards, the Taiwanese version of the Grammy Awards, including two Best Mandarin Male Singer Awards, and four Best Mandarin Album Awards.

Chou featured in the cover story in Time magazine's Asian edition in March 2003, which was titled "New King of Asian Pop."

The pop king has also built an acting career. In 2005, his acting in the Initial D (頭文字D) landed him the Best New Actor Award in Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards and the Best New Performer Award in the Hong Kong Film Awards.

In 2011, Chou played the role of Kato, an aide to Green Hornet Britt Reid in the Hollywood superhero movie "The Green Hornet" (青峰俠) before participating in another Hollywood film "Now You See Me 2" (出神入化 2) in 2016.

In addition to acting, Chou directed his first film, romantic drama Secret (不能說的秘密), which starred himself and Taiwanese award-winning actress Gwei Lun-mei (桂綸鎂) in 2007. Chou composed most of the music for the movie.

A scene in the music video of "Greatest Works of Art." Photo courtesy of JVR Music
A scene in the music video of "Greatest Works of Art." Photo courtesy of JVR Music

While Chou has built a successful career in the entertainment business, he has also expanded into several other fields, such as the restaurant, electronic gaming, fashion and even the non-fungible token (NFT) businesses.

According to local news media reports, Chou raked in about NT$460 million in income in the first half of last year largely on the back of 11 product endorsement deals, nine in China and two on the global market, despite having released no new albums in six years, becoming the most profitable artist in Taiwan, beating Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), who earned NT$170 million.

Chou has launched a concert tour in Asia and will perform in Sydney in March and Hong Kong in August and September, after concerts in Singapore in December 2022 and Kuala Lumpur in January 2023.

The Taiwanese artist tied the knot with Taiwan-born Australian actress and model Hannah Quinlivan (昆凌) in 2015. The couple have one son and two daughters.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

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