9 S’porean Singers Who Went Overseas & Made It Big Internationally

Ever wanted to pursue your dreams but is stopped by reality?

Yes, we all know, it’s harsh.

Here’s 9 Singaporean singers who made it big overseas, so start quoting them instead of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg!

1.Stefanie Sun

Image: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore

The 40-year-old singer debuted in 2000 and clinched the Best New Artist award at the Golden Melody Awards with her first album, Yan Zi.

Her eighth studio album, Stefanie, landed her the Best Mandarin Female Singer award.

Not sure if you noticed, both albums are named after herself!

Sun attended at Nanyang Primary School, St. Margaret’s Secondary School, Raffles Girls’ School, Saint Andrew’s Junior College, and Nanyang Technological University, where she studied Marketing.

In 2011, the singer married a Dutch-Indonesian. Just a few days ago, she announced that she is pregnant with her second child!

2.Olivia Ong

Image: Her World

The 33-year-old singer started her career by doing jazz covers, before moving on to Mandarin Pop.

She studied at Damai Secondary School. After her O Levels, she moved to Japan to further her studies and career as a solo artist.

At the age of 15, she was signed to a Japanese recording company after winning a singing contest.

She formed a J-pop group Mirai here in Singapore with two other Singaporean girls.

Their first single “Open Up Your Mind”, was used as a theme song in a Japanese anime “Gensoumaden Saiyuki”.

In 2009, Ong signed with Taiwanese record company HIM Music and sang the theme song of The Little Nonya, which brought her career to another peak.

She also sang a duet “最后一眼 (Just One Look)” with fellow label mate Aaron Yan and the song was featured in his EP The Next Me.

In 2012, Ong was appointed as Music Ambassador of the Global Chinese Music Awards, the second Singaporean artiste to receive this honour after Joi Chua.

3.Kit Chan

Image: AsiaOne

The 46-year-old singer studied in Fairfield Methodist School (Primary), Raffles Girls’ School, Raffles Junior College and Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts.

During Chan’s six-year hiatus from the music scene from 2004 to 2010, she returned to LaSalle as a mature student. She wrote a thesis on the psychology of performance and graduated with first-class honors.

In 1994, Chan released her album “心痛 (Heartache)” into the Taiwanese market. The song of the same name became one of her most famous hits.

4.JJ Lin

Image: Pinterest

Need I say more?

The 37-year-old singer is known for being one of the best singer-songwriter in the Mandopop industry.

Lin studied at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Saint Andrew’s Junior College, before completing his National Service.

There is no denying to his success overseas, everyone knows how well he’s doing.

But here’s one interesting fact: In July 2007, JJ broke a world record by signing 3,052 CDs in 2.5 hours. Without drinking nor eating, the singer signed a CD every 2.7 seconds on average.

He’s also making a pit-stop in Singapore soon in his 2018 world tour “Sanctuary”.

5.Tanya Chua

Image: AsiaOne

The 43-year-old singer holds four trophies from the Golden Melody Awards.

She attended CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls’ School, and achieved a diploma in business administration at Singapore Polytechnic in 1996.

She started out in 1997 as an English singer, before venturing out into the Mandopop industry in 2003.

Up till here, did you notice anything in common between the singers?

Not only did all of them develop their career in Taiwan, they also sang our NDP songs!

Stefanie Sun-We Will Get There, 2002

Olivia Ong-Love at First Light, 2012

Kit Chan-Home, 1998

There’s No Place I’d Rather Be, 2007

JJ Lin-Our Singapore, 2015

Tanya Chua– Where I Belong, 2001

6.Wiltay (Willie Tay)

Image: Twitter

The Spain-based singer was rejected by Chinese and Taiwanese record labels for his height, which is at 1.7m.

But that didn’t stop the 29-year-old singer from pursuing his dreams.

He eventually won Best Pop Album Of The Year for his debut English album WTF at the Hollywood F.A.M.E Awards in 2014.

Wiltay was nominated in three other categories: Best Pop Artist Male, Best International Artist and Best Music Video for his single Less Is More.

7.BY2

Image: YOLO

The twins joined the Ocean Butterflies’ Music Forest’s V Singer (“非常歌手”) training course when they were 13.

They graduated from the course clinching a “Best Costume Design” award.

They signed a 10-year contract with the company and were sent to other countries such as Japan, China and Taiwan to gain exposure.

In 2010, their third studio album Grown Up paved the path of success for the 26-year-olds.

The album topped Taiwan’s music chart, “G-Music” and several music charts in China. It was responsible for 33% sales of albums in the Chinese market and 18% of albums in Taiwan in a week.

8.Ling Kai

Image: Yahoo News Singapore

Having studied poetry in Victoria Junior College,  Ling was inspired to compose her first original song when she was 21.

“Larkin Step” reached more than one million views on Youtube.

She went on to study at Nanyang Technological University Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and worked for DDB on graduation.

Ling Kai won the Red Bull Singer-songwriter contest in 2013 and got to shoot and release her first official music video “一个人”.

Ling Kai released her first English language EP “Honestly” in 2009 with Australian indie label Lempicka Records and even toured around Brisbane.

In 2014, Ling Kai participated in Chinese reality TV singing show Sing My Song (中国好歌曲).

She was the only Singaporean and the only female singer-songwriter candidate who made it to the finals.

She was mentored by local singer-songwriter Tanya Chua.

In 2014, Ling Kai attended YinYueTai 2nd Annual V Chart Awards, in which she won Best Singer-Songwriter 2013.

She performed with Chinese artistes Li Rong Hao (李荣浩).

9.Wong Jinglun

Image: Esplanade

The 35-year-old started out on local talent show Project Superstar (绝对Superstar).

He also contested on season 3 of One Million Star (超級星光大道).

He auditioned in Singapore and was one of the five lucky contestants to get the golden ticket to compete in Taiwan.

Wong got the sixth position and was voted as the most popular contestant.

He performed five songs in a One Million Star concert show in LA and received high praises for his performance.

Wong’s debut album, Jing’s Note, was released in Taiwan in 2008. His album was a great success in Taiwan selling over 44,000 copies.

He was the guest artist for most of Jolin Tsai’s Butterfly School Concert Tour.

In 2009, he starred in his first Taiwanese drama, Momo Love (as Chen Yu Yi).

Image: Amino Apps

From 2011, he branched out into TV presenting and hosted several variety shows, mostly based in Taiwan.

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