The innocent-faced Li Yuchun (Chris Lee) was born in 1984. YuChun began her career when she won as a champion in Super Girl (the Chinese version of American idol) in Aug 26,2005. Her performance had landed her 3.52 million votes via SMS and she was able to capture the heart of many Chinese audiences with her LIVE performances.
Today, YuChun is the most popular singer in China and is certainly a jewel in mainland music industry. In addition, she is well known for her expensive concerts and having countless fans which are also referred as YUMI.
Interestingly, her idol journey goes far back when she was in her middle school, where she had been an idol and had huge number of fans. Her LIVE performances started long ago where she gave her very first solo concert and trained her classmates who had volunteered to be the dancers.
YuChun is a mezzo-soprano; which is pretty uncommon in China. Her voice had lead many so-called expert to condemn her as one who does not have any talent for singing, and such biasness still deep rooted in many people’s minds. Her personality is quite complex and quite often confused which are beyond the comprehension of many people. Many believed that Yuchun’s overnight success would not last long and will be forgotten as time pass by. However, glad to say, Yuchun gets more and more outstanding over the 4 years, and her success proves that to be successful, one not only depend solely on talent alone, most of the time hard work, determination and perseverance plays a very important role.
Li Yuchun participated in many event and concerts organized for the Super Girl winners from September to December 2005. During the period, Yuchun showed her astounding music talent. She could always instill the passion and inspiration to her audience and more than half of the audience attended the concerts to support her and they took majority of the VIP seats. Such supports won her the advertisement deal with Coca-cola, crest, swatch and many other Chinese brands.
From year 2006 to year 2008, Yuchun had hold a total of 11 solo concerts.
The 1st was held on March 10, 2006, on her 22nd birthday, in her hometown Chengdu. It was an unplugged show called “Why Me” with an audience of only several hundred people. She chose and sang 18 songs to show her appreciation of the people who loved and helped her. The tickets were free. There were lot of people willing to pay thousands of RMB for one ticket but could not get one. So, to compensate this, her company released a DVD of the concert. (Online video for this concert: http://www.tudou.com/playlist/whyme310/ )
Having seen the popularity amongst her fans of “Why Me”, her company organized another unplugged concert on May 22, 2006 in Shanghai. This time, they sold the tickets. She sang 19 songs. Around 10,000 people watched this concert. They came from all parts of China, including Taiwan, HongKong, and some of them even flew over from Europe or America. (Online video for this concert: http://www.tudou.com/playlist/chris522/ )
In September 2006, Yuchun released her 1st album “The queen and the dreams”. It was one of the best selling albums in China in 2006. 431996 copies (unauthorized copies not included) were sold in the first month. A concert was held to introduce the album to the public in Beijing. It was in a small building with only 3,000 seats, which is too small for her fans. Getting tickets was extremely difficult for many people.
The 2nd “Why Me” concert was given in March 2007 in Beijing to celebrate her 23rd birthday. It was in the same small place, because most of the stadiums in Beijing were being renovated for the Olympic games. From this time, her company decided to hold a “Why Me” concert on her birthday every year, and gave her more freedom on it.
From October 27 to December 8, 2007, she gave 5 weekly solo concerts in 5 different cities for her 2nd album “Mine” (ticket price from 180-1680RMB). None of them were in Beijing or Shanghai, but still full of audience and lot of fans from Beijing or Shanghai went to those cities to watch her show. Since it had not been decided at that time where to hold “Why Me 2008”, fans from Shanghai took lots of flags and posters to her concerts, with “Why Me 2008 belongs to Shanghai” written on them and every time her fans could get close to Yuchun, they chanted this sentence to her.
[two video from the last “Mine” album concert:
These 5 concerts were very successful on both the music and commerce front, which greatly shocked the media in China. More and more people began to accept her and her songs and she was mentioned by Time again.
“Why Me 2008” was held in Shanghai on March 9 (ticket price from 180 to 1680RMB). Around 10,000 people watched it. She chose the songs; designed the procedures, the scene, and some of the outfits. In 2.5 hours, she sang 37 songs, and changed outfits 7 times, each one with a different style. The 10,000 strong audience sang “happy birthday to you” and all waved electrical candles. This was the first time they had ever done this and it was to show their devotion to her.
At this concert, the audience watched her latest MV “Weak Student”, in which she was the actress, the lyric composer, and the director. It was the first time she had ever directed a MV and she did a good job.
Btw: her fans are called “corns”, because in Mandarin “Yu’s fans” sounds a lot like “corns”. So if you travel to China, and hear somebody saying he or she is a corn, don’t be surprised.