By: Joy Fang
EVERGREEN singer Tsai Chin has certainly had her share of hard knocks - the biggest being a lag in her career in the mid-1990s.
Then, the 51-year-old Taiwanese found herself in an industry that was seeking fresh talent and refusing to make records with veterans.
"I was on the blacklist of every major record company," said the artiste who will be in Singapore for a show next Saturday, in a recent teleconference with the local media.
"Nobody wanted to produce my records. I didn't know what to do," she recalled.
But she does not hold it against the record companies for shunning her then.
"I mean, it's not like they are nursing homes," she said, laughing.
In fact, the challenge helped her grow. The determined crooner continued honing her craft by studying musical theatre.
"I wanted to learn something difficult. I thought that if I could master it, it would show that not only could I sing, but that I could also act," said the Kaohsiung native.
It proved to be a good move for her career. She went on to releaseseveral greatest-hits albums and concert DVDs between 2002 and 2005. And two years ago, she proved with a world tour that she is not a has-been.
Then, she performed to large crowds in places such as Beijing, Taipei and Genting Highlands.
Her show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium then saw an audience of 6,000.
More than 70 per cent of 7,000 seats have been sold for her concert at the Indoor Stadium next Saturday. Now, the pop survivor, who is signed to Universal Music, is planning a new album for August.
She says the concert - titled Tsai Chin 2009 The New Endless Love - will be a personal one. "I want to let the audience understand my life," she said.
Songs, culled from the 1970s to the present day, will reflect four major periods in her life - her rise to fame, her golden days, a dark period and the present.
Asked if she has any expectations in love, following her failed 10-year marriage to the late Taiwanese film-maker Edward Yang, she quipped: "At my age, do you think I can still have any grand expectations of love?"
She added: "I'm not the kind of woman where just having love is enough to feel fulfilled. And now at work, I still get to interact with a lot of men. Life actually seems much better now."
The pair split in 1995 and she has not been publicly linked with anyone else since then.
One last thing: What advice does the veteran have for young starlets who make headlines with drug and sex scandals?
"No matter how painful it is, don't bow down to vices...because it will pass," she said firmly.
Wise words indeed from the diva.
Tsai Chin 2009 The New Endless Love is on at the Singapore Indoor Stadium next Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $78, $98, $128, $148 and $168. To book, call Sistic on 6348-5555.
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