Monday, November 09, 2009


A beloved singer who once had a million-selling album ("I Can Never Understand Your Love" in 1993), Chen Lin died after a fall from the ninth floor of an apartment in Beijing. It was the home of a friend. She had a bandage on her neck (caused, friends said, by a recent failed suicide attempt), and the corpse was wearing a mask, which might be ceremonial.

I doubt that Halloween is celebrated in China. Her masked pavement surfing on October 31st probably had nothing to do with pumpkins and black cats, and everything to do with that date being her ex-husband's birthday. He's not likely to celebrate his birthday quite so cheerfully for many years to come, which was no doubt her intent.

He's Zhu Shu Entertainment's powerful CEO Shen Yongge. They were married twelve years and it was for his record label that Chen Lin scored her biggest hits. She was newly married (in July to singer Zhang Chaofeng), but that was also the last time she posted anything on her blog. She put out a new EP in August, but the next few months were apparently full of disappointment and woe.

The death of Chen Lin (January 31, 1970-October 31, 2009) is the third major suicide of an Asian superstar in only a few years. This blog previously reported on the beautiful, irreplaceable actress-singer Eun-ju Lee, and the pop idol U-Nee. Those with long memories can add Jun Zi and Xie Jin, whose names, together when Chen Lin, Eun-ju Lee and U-Nee would form quite a grim eye-chart.

Chen Lin tried to do some good with her fame, as long as it lasted. In 2000, she used her popularity to become the "Green Ambassador" for the China Environmental Protection Foundation. Sadly, her new EP apparently didn't bring her much buzz, and her equally new marriage didn't fulfill her expectations. She wasn't about to cover Graham Parker's tune "Life Gets Better."

Chen Lin, like Jack Benny, will always be 39.

"Yu-Ye" is as timeless as a pop ballad can be, unmarred by the synths or dance beats or other production quirks that tend to render a song out of date. The other sample, another good one for Chen, is "Confiscate Your Love." Instant downloads or listen on line. No creepy captcha codes, no prurient porno ads, no time-waits from download "services" that want you to pay them for music they don't pay the artists to distribute.


1 comment:

~Chow Wo Man~ said...

yu-ye is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard