Jane Zhang also known as Zhang Liangying (simplified Chinese: 张靓颖; traditional Chinese: 張靚穎; pinyin: Zhāng Liàngyǐng; born October 11, 1984 in Chengdu, Sichuan) is a Chinese pop singer. She rose to prominence after her third-place performance in the 2005 season of the Super Girl contest, a national all-female singing competition in the People's Republic of China. Throughout the competition, she sang in English, Spanish and Cantonese in addition to Mandarin Chinese. She is particularly known for her signature whistle register.
Zhang's debut album was titled The One and was produced by Craig Williams. Her next album, Update, broke away from the Chinese pop scene by combining elements of R&B and jazz. After the release of Update, Zhang participated in a World Peace One concert that was designed to increase awareness and activism for world peace, and to raise funds for humanitarian relief. Other participating artists included U2, Madonna, Pink Floyd and Green Day.
* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early years
o 1.2 2005: Super Girl competition
+ 1.2.1 Performances in Super Girl competition
o 1.3 2005–2007: The One
o 1.4 2007–2009: Update
o 1.5 2009–present: [email protected]
* 2 Vocal ability
* 3 Discography
o 3.1 Albums
o 3.2 EP's
o 3.3 Charted songs
* 4 References
* 5 External links
 Early years
Her father was an engine attendant for a transportation company in Chengdu, and her mother was a shop assistant. During her childhood, she performed at her parents' workplace on several occasions. However, her parents divorced when she was 13; two years later, Zhang's father died. This forced her to work outside of school; she started to sing at a local public house, where her uncle played the accompaniments.
While performing at the pub, Zhang was exposed to a wide variety of music genres, and developed a taste for American country singers in addition to Western pop singers, such as Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. Because she was unable to afford her own music players, Zhang frequently borrowed walkmans and headphones from her classmates, and skipped lunches to save enough money for cassettes. After graduating from college, she studied at Sichuan University's Foreign Language Department where she was majoring in English; she dropped out soon after to compete in the 2005 Super Girl competition.
 2005: Super Girl competition
Zhang auditioned for the Super Girl contest in 2005. Super Girl (simplified Chinese: 超级女声; traditional Chinese: 超級女聲) is the Chinese equivalent to the popular Idol franchise where only female contestants were allowed to participate. She auditioned in Chengdu, and after progressing through the preliminary rounds, she entered the national competition with Li Yuchun and He Jie (simplified Chinese: 何洁; traditional Chinese: 何潔).
Throughout the series, she had established a fan base whose members called themselves "Liang Fen" (simplified Chinese: 凉粉), a phrase that combined the Chinese pronunciation of her name and the English word "fan." The term "Liang Fen" originated from Hong Kong years ago, but is now used to define a particular type of bean jelly snack in central China.
Zhang demonstrated her ability to sing in foreign languages, with performances of "I Still Believe," "What's Up," "Beautiful," and "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." As such, she was recognized by judges, critics and musicians to be the most talented singer in this competition. Some critics even regarded her as one of China's best artists. Nevertheless, she was not the most popular contestant among young supporters. Her final number of votes by text messaging was 1.3 million. Consequently, she placed third behind Li Yuchun and Zhou Bichang. Her loss did not come as a shock because Li and Zhou had garnered more popularity during the competition. Their creative eccentricity and tomboyish appearances triumphed over Zhang's "old, introverted, [and] pretty-girl" image.
 Performances in Super Girl competition
Date Round Song Original Artist
May 26, 2005 Preliminary Round Contigo En La Distancia Christina Aguilera
Each Time When I Miss You (simplified Chinese: 每一次想你) CoCo Lee
June 4, 2005 Round I
I Turn to You Christina Aguilera
June 10, 2005 Round II
Any Man of Mine Shania Twain
June 17, 2005 Round III
The Best Tina Turner
June 24, 2005 Round IV
Country Love (simplified Chinese: 乡恋) Guyi Li (Chinese: 李谷一)
Passionate Desert (simplified Chinese: 热情的沙漠) Feifei Auyeung (simplified Chinese: 欧阳菲菲)
July 1, 2005 Chengdu Final I Still Believe Brenda K. Starr
Writing A Song (simplified Chinese: 写一首歌) Shunza
July 15, 2005 National Round I
Long Live Journey (Chinese: 漫步人生路) Teresa Teng
Beautiful Christina Aguilera
You're the Most Precious (with Li Yuchun) (simplified Chinese: 你最珍贵) Jacky Cheung and Francesca Gao (simplified Chinese: 张学友/高慧君)
July 22, 2005 National Round II
Top 12 Remember Me Beverley Knight
How Can You Let Me Be Upset (simplified Chinese: 你怎么舍得我难过) Victor Wong
July 29, 2005 National Round III
Vision of Love Mariah Carey
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) Hank Williams
Liu Yanghe (simplified Chinese: 浏阳河) Hunan Folk Song
August 5, 2005 National Round IV
Don't Cry for Me, Argentina Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice
Your Appearance (simplified Chinese: 你的样子) Lo Ta-yu
Bella ciao (simplified Chinese: 啊朋友再见) Unknown
Storm (simplified Chinese: 风暴) Unknown
August 12, 2005 National Round V
Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now Jefferson Starship
Such a Big Tree (simplified Chinese: 好大一棵树) Tian Zhen
Sincere Heroes (simplified Chinese: 真心英雄) Jackie Chan
August 19, 2005 National Round VI
The Fisherman's Song of Ussuri River (simplified Chinese: 乌苏里船歌) Nanai traditional song
Lovin' You Minnie Riperton
Old Straw Hat (Japanese: 人間の証明のテーマ; Chinese: 草帽歌) Joe Yamanaka (Japanese: 山中ジョー; Chinese: 山中玖易)
Make the World Full of Love (simplified Chinese: 让世界充满爱) Wei Wei etc.
Story about a Small City (Chinese: 小城故事) Teresa Teng
August 26, 2005 National Final Gathering Areca (simplified Chinese: 采槟榔)
What's Up 4 Non Blondes
My Beloved Country and I (simplified Chinese: 我和我的祖国 Guyi Li (Chinese: 李谷一)
 2005–2007: The One
Jane Zhang being interviewed by the Sohu newspaper on August 23, 2006.
After the competition ended, Zhang was invited to visit Sichuan University, her alma mater, during its orientation week celebration in early September. She performed her own rendition of Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" there. On September 26, 2005, she became the first Super Girl contestant to hold a personal music show for her fans. Numerous celebrities attended the show, including Huang Jianxiang, a host on CCTV's football shows, Phoenix TV host Zeng Zimo, and Taiwanese singer Sky Wu. Zhang also signed a contract with CCTV to play the supporting role in The Song of the Movie, a stage music show produced by Taiwan pop musician Jonathan Lee. Harlem Yu and Yuan Quan also starred in the musical, which opened in Beijing in December 2005 and later in Hong Kong.
In January 9, 2006, her first EP, Jane·Love (simplified Chinese: Jane·爱; traditional Chinese: Jane·愛) was released. The EP, which cost 2 million yuan to produce, contains six tracks in total: 3 songs and 3 instrumentals. In China alone, over 210,000 copies of the EP have been sold. On Forbes' list of Top 100 Richest Celebrities from China, Zhang was placed 55th.
Her debut album, The One, was released on October 11, 2006, her 22nd birthday. During the production of the album, Zhang visited the United States to collaborate with music producers Craig Williams and Peter Hyams, the latter of whom had worked with Celine Dion and R. Kelly. The One contains ten songs, three of which are in English; the three English songs were produced by Williams.
She has also sung many popular theme songs for various films and series, including "Only for Love" (simplified Chinese: 我用所有报答爱; traditional Chinese: 我用所有報答愛) for the film The Banquet and "Unparalled in the World" (simplified Chinese: 天下无双; traditional Chinese: 天下無雙) for the TV series The Return of the Condor Heroes. The popularity of both songs was reflected on numerous Chinese music charts. "Only for Love", which was a collaboration with Chinese pianist Lang Lang, was nominated for Best Original Film Song at the 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards.
 2007–2009: Update
In February 2007, she was invited by World Peace One (WP1) to join a hundred world-renowned singers and bands to record a song called "Give Your Love". This was aimed to bring attention to all cultures of the globe. This project aims to promote awareness of the poverty of third-world countries. Zhang was the only Asian female singer who received an invitation to participate and it was reported that Craig Williams recommended Zhang to the organiser of the event.
Gavin Christopher and Jane Zhang performing I Will Be There in Pasadena, California.
Zhang performed her first North American concert on March 31, 2007 in Pasadena, California. Famous Japanese musician Kitarō and Gavin Christopher also attended the concert, in which Gavin Christopher and Zhang sang I Will Be There together. On April 8, 2007, she was awarded the Best Singer Award in the 2007 Music Chart Awards ceremony was held in Beijing Exhibition Centre Theater.
Her July 28, 2007 concert in Beijing also set a record for the most expensive VIP seating for a mainland Chinese artist. She performed live versions of hit songs from The One, new songs from her second album Update, which was released in August 2007, as well as Richard Marx's signature ballad "Right Here Waiting" and Beyoncé Knowles's "Listen" from the award-winning Broadway musical Dreamgirls.
On August 2, 2007, her second album, Update was released. When asked about the album's name, Zhang explained that the album is an upgraded step from The One. The songs broke away from the Chinese pop scene by combining elements of R&B and jazz. One of her tracks, "We Are Together" (simplified Chinese: 我们在一起; traditional Chinese: 我們在一起), was produced for a project by the United Nations Children's Fund.
Zhang was invited, along with 130 other renowned Chinese performers such as Elva Hsiao, Joey Yung, Alan Tam, Wang Feng, Eason Chan, Hacken Lee and Jackie Chan to record "We Are Ready" in July 2007 for the countdown to the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was released on August 2. "We Are Ready" was composed by Peter Kam and Keith Chan, at the request of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), for the celebration of the one-year countdown to the start of the 2008 Olympics. On August 8, the artists who recorded the song gathered at Tiananmen Square, and performed the song live for the first time. In addition, Zhang, along with Wang Leehom, Stefanie Sun, and Wang Feng, recorded the theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay, "Light the Passion, Share the Dream" (simplified Chinese: 点燃激情，传递梦想; traditional Chinese: 點燃激情 傳遞夢想).
On December 8, 2007, Zhang performed a live concert in her hometown, Chengdu. She performed most hit songs from her two albums, The One and Update, together with songs from her newly released EP, Dear Jane.
Additionally, she also sang a promotional tourism song for Chengdu & Hangzhou, titled "I Love This City".
 2009–present: [email protected]
[email protected], Zhang's third album, was released in January 2009. She also accompanied Taiwan-based artist Leehom Wang in a duet in Wang's album Heart Beat.
Zhang made her American television singing debut on The Oprah Winfrey Show on May 11, 2009.
 Vocal ability
Zhang, a spinto soprano, has been compared with other whistle register masters such as Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Sarah Brightman. Her vocal ability ranges from the D below middle C to the G# above soprano C that was demonstrated in a duet song called "Another Heaven" (simplified Chinese: 另一个天堂; traditional Chinese: 另一個天堂) in Leehom Wang's album Heart Beat. She has been famous for singing in whistle register since her rendition of Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" when she was performing on Super Girl. As such, she has been given the nickname "The Dolphin Princess" as Chinese musicians refer to the whistle register as the dolphin vocal sound (simplified Chinese: 海豚音).
* 2006: The One
* 2007: Update
* 2009: [email protected]
* 2010: Believe in Jane
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