Few can match Joey when it comes to breaking Cantopop records. Our girl’s been breaking records since her debut. Joey’s debut EP released in 1999 still holds the record for spending the most weeks on IFPI Hong Kong’s sales chart at 23 weeks. A year later at age 20 she broke the then-record of being the youngest female singer to hold a concert at the prestigious Hong Kong Coliseum. Though the record has since been broken twice, it is unlikely anyone will beat Joey’s record crushing 10 JSG ‘Most Popular Female Singer’ and CRHK ‘Ultimate Female Singer Gold’ wins. Say all you want about record company politics, when all four major media outlets bestow their top awards on you for over a decade, you simply cannot deny Joey’s influence and success. And with Joey’s latest extended play, the record breaking diva is adding another round of pop chart records under her name.
Yesterday, Hong Kong internet celebrity and Joey super-fan 高登天后瓊姐 or ‘Kingjer’ posted on social media the above image celebrating the many records Joey’s newest EP broke. The following are the notable pop chart records broken by Me, re-do:
The only album released in the 21st century (2000 and after) to have its singles spend a cumulative 14 weeks (or more) at #1 across Hong Kong’s four major pop charts. (Interesting note: the all-time record holder is Jacky Cheung’s 1995 album 過敏世界, the album containing Cheung’s original version of 這麼近那麼遠, with 19 cumulative weeks)
Most cumulative weeks at #1 across Hong Kong four major singles charts for songs from a single female pop album
The only album in Cantopop history in which all tracks are #1 songs
Most cumulative weeks at #1 on CRHK’s ‘Ultimate Billboard’ radio song chart (4 weeks – tying the record set by the plugs off Eason’s 2005 album U87)
樂觀 is the only song from a female artist to spend two weeks at #1 on CRHK’s ‘Ultimate Billboard’ chart in the 2010s
Apologies for the lack of updates! Real life got a bit busy for my fellow admins and I so we were not able to update the blog. With that in mind, please don’t mistaken the lack of activity on JG Blog as being reflective of Joey’s activity. In fact, the beginning of 2015 has been relatively busy for Joey after what was a quieter year in 2014. Indeed, we have quite a bit to recap…so please bear with us!
The first update we have to cover is of course the release of Joey’s fifth EP, ‘Me, re-do’. The album art is heavily influenced by 1980s Japanese record covers, continuing a theme seen in the plugs released last year. The EP contains four tracks and can be considered a concept album, following the ‘four somethings’ a bride should wear that is considered lucky in western culture.
As the EP’s ‘something new’, Joey enlisted the help of one of Hong Kong’s top up-and-coming musicians Janet Yung (though Janet herself has been a long time writer and bandmate for Joey) to write the first plug, 天然呆. Meanwhile second plug 樂觀, penned by J-pop veteran Mayumi Itsuwa, and her latest plug 飄紅, which stars Hong Kong film icon Petrina Fung – the ‘Shirley Temple of Hong Kong’ – in its music video, is considered the album’s ‘something old’. Despite the already star-studded list of icons associated with this project, the biggest name of course is the ‘god of song’ himself, Jacky Cheung. As the EP’s ‘something borrowed’, Joey sang a cover of Jacky’s 1995 hit 這麼近那麼遠, with the living legend making a cameo himself in the music video. Finally the album shoot’s blue background rounds up the concept as the project’s ‘something blue’
[Hacken Lee & Joey Yung Live in Hong Kong 2015]
The second but equally, if not even bigger, update we have to cover is Joey and good-friend Hacken Lee’s double headlining gig at the Hong Kong Coliseum this September. The two first paired up for what was one of the most memorable ‘Music is Live’ concerts ever back in 2004. Eleven years later, the duo is taking it to the big stage in what is probably the biggest concert event of the year. Last week the poster leaked, a month before the scheduled pre-order date, along with reports of illegal fake ticket sales. Pre-sale tickets will be made available on Joey’s birthday, June 16th, and a new duet is expected to be released around the same time. For now the series will run September 11-18, though additional dates will more than likely be added later.
As mentioned earlier, it is wise to take whatever Joey says about future releases with a grain of salt. Joey revealed on social media yesterday (November 15) that her second ‘proper’ plug of the year will not be the song written by veteran Hong Kong musician Tony Arevalo Jr, a musician known for his ‘J-pop sounding compositions’. However, still expect it to sound like 1980s J-pop, as the next plug will be a song written specifically for Joey by veteran Japanese singer-songwriter, Mayumi Itsuwa.
Joey had met Mayumi Itsuwa at a lunch event earlier this year when the veteran singer came to Hong Kong for her 40th Anniversary concert. At the event, Joey bravely asked Mayumi if she could write a song for her. To Joey’s surprise, Mayumi sent Joey a demo less than a month after her request.
The Oricon chart-topping veteran first rose to fame in Japan with her 1980 hit single, Koibito yo, which was followed by a series of hits that helped solidify her popularity all over Asia throughout the 1980s. In Hong Kong, she is known for being the original singer and composer of a number of covers that became Cantopop classics in their own rights, including Paula Tsui’s 夜風中 and Alan Tam’s 忘不了你 and 雨絲情愁.
The song is now being finished with the help of lyricist Wyman ‘YY’ Wong, producer for the ‘JYYY’ side project that this song will be a part of along with 天然呆 and the Arevalo song; as well as Leo Chan, ‘Ho Bing’, and Joey’s longtime producer Schumann. The new song is expected to hit the airwaves November 18, 2014.
That’s right, Joey is coming to Las Vegas! The news previously indicated that there would be a stop in Atlantic City too, but only Las Vegas has been confirmed for now. The last time she held a solo concert there was in 2006 at the Mirage casino. She also performed in 2009 at the White Dragon Charity Remembrance concert at the MGM, which will be the venue for her upcoming concert.
To the Canadian fans outside of Toronto, depending on where you live, it could be cheaper to fly to Las Vegas. Plus, you could also book the same hotel as Joey! Just kidding. If anyone is considering going to Las Vegas and would like travel advice, please leave a comment. It would be a great opportunity to travel during the holidays and see Joey at the same time!
The CASH Golden Sail Awards is presented every year by the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong (CASH). While not the most high profile music awards ceremony in Hong Kong, it is noted for being the only popular music awards voted purely by musicians and music professionals. It is in that sense Hong Kong’s only pop music awards based purely on ‘music’ and ‘quality’, and is generally well regarded within the industry.
This year Joey is nominated for two awards: Best Female Singer Performance for ‘續集'; and Best Vocal Collaboration/Group Performance for ‘愛情也有生命’ with Leo Ku.
Throughout her career, Joey has won two Golden Sail Awards, both times for Best Female Singer Performance (the two times being in 2003 for ‘爭氣’ and last year for ‘天窗’). In addition, lyricist Chow Yiu Fai won Best Lyrics for his work in Joey’s 2012 song ‘蜉蝣’, and Chan Kwong Wing won Best Melody in 2003 for Joey’s iconic hit, ‘我的驕傲’. Joey is one of only three female singers to have won the Best Female Singer Performance award more than once, after Kay Tse (four wins) and Stefanie Sun (three wins).
The winners will be announced November 3rd. See the full final nominations list here.
After nine months of waiting, Joey finally releases her first ‘proper’ plug of the year and the first plug from her next CD release! As revealed earlier on Instagram, the song’s title is 天然呆, which refers to when someone thinks about nothing/stares into blankness. In an interview at CR2 (903), Joey reveals that the idea to do this song came from Wyman Wong. This song will be released as part of a concept EP, in which Wyman will act for the first time as the album producer. The concept behind the EP is to release something ‘just for fun’, and in this case a song that Wyman feels best reflects Joey’s true, silly self. Aside from lyrics by Wyman and composition by Janet Yung, Harris Ho (何秉舜, aka. Hobing@goomusic) also helped with the arrangement and the production.
In the same interview, Joey revealed that the second plug will be written by 盧東尼 (Tony Arevalo Jr), a well known Hong Kong songwriter from the 1970s and 80s who has not been active for years. Tony is famous for the Japanese-style songs he wrote for many of the biggest stars of the 70s and 80s including Alan Tam, Paula Tsui, Roman Tam, Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui, etc. He is also responsible for the arrangement of Teresa Teng’s classic, 月亮代表我的心. Joey also reveals that she is concurrently working on two other albums, confirming that there will be a full length Cantonese album with Alex Fung as producer, as well as a Mandarin greatest hits album.
As with most of Joey’s new releases, this song is available for download on iTunes as a commercial single, along with KTV and background music versions, and a commentary from Joey.
Joey takes a picture with Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative and chief executive officer of Burberry
Earlier, Joey was invited to attend the Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 show in London. As one of the biggest shows during London’s Fashion Week, Joey sat front row alongside fashion icon and heavyweight Anna Wintour, and other big name guests like photographer Mario Testino; actors Naomie Harris, Dakota Johnson, Vicki Zhao, Ko So Young, Gala Gordon, Jamie Campbell Bower, Anushka Sharma and Araya A. Hargate; musicians Paloma Faith, Rae Morris, Rhodes; model Amber Le Bon, media personalities Cat Deeley, Donna Air, Olivia Palermo, Raya Abirached, Elena Perminova and Harvey Weinstein.
Watch Joey’s interview (in English!) below (starting at 0:51)
Last night Joey performed at ‘Father of Concerts’ Cheung Yiu-wing‘s Tribute concert. Cheung Yiu-wing was a pioneer of Hong Kong’s concert industry, helping many artists and legendary stars step on the stage of the Hong Kong Coliseum, once Hong Kong’s largest indoor area which has since become one of Asia’s most prestigious large-scale pop concert venue.
Last night was the first of two consecutive shows, featuring a star-studdied list of performers including Jacky Cheung, May Day, Sammi Cheng, Sally Yeh, Grasshoppers, Jenny Tseng, Kelly Chen, and more. Joey performed two songs; 越唱越強 and 痛愛.
Earlier this year, shortly after his death in March, Cheung Yiu-wing’s family invited Joey to sing a tribute song for him, composed by AGA with lyrics by Riley (林若寧).