On The 20th Anniversary Of Teresa Teng’s Passing

(Comment below was first posted on YouTube in Nov. 2015 .)

Lester Kok 

In memoriam of singing sensation Teresa Teng (1953-’95, aged 42): Her Ten SUPERLATIVES

1. The youngest kid credited to have personally commissioned a studio glamor shot of herself at the tender age of four — without of course first consulting her parents but only to have them later collect and pay for the studio product, thus prefiguring even before her kindergarten days her relish of the limelight that she would eventually score for herself big time down the road. [ https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=teresa+teng+photo+at+4+years+old&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1656kl_PUAhUEr48KHZ3ZB2YQ_AUICigB&biw=1280&bih=612#imgrc=-3iYs8yWvtQQiM: ]

2. The first female foreign diva to culturally conquer Japan all by her lonesome in just a few years during the 70s, and to hold to this day her Japanese currency.

3. The first Chinese singer to headline her own show in Las Vegas as well as in New York’s Lincoln Center in the eighties.

4. The first cross-cultural singer fully at ease performing in more than half a dozen languages at venues in Asia and America.

5. According to the number of Teresa Teng Google search hits, the only singer whose popularity still grows by the year 20 years on after her demise.

6. The only diva with more memorial shrines and museums established in her honor than any expired illustrious entertainers … spanning a couple in her native Taiwan, to several in China (at her ancestral home, as well as in Shanghai and Beijing) and one in Thailand (at the hotel suite she last sojourned).

7. No singer has generated for himself/herself more personal wannabe singing emulators than Teresa — Elvis excepted (his however are merely sartorial look-alikes anyway:-)

8. A diva of superstardom yet so unprima donna-ish in style and deportment, which makes her the most unassuming singing legend of grace, humility and beauty.

9. A mega diva unpossessed of any major personal scandals or skeletons in the closet. Notwithstanding her very early exposure to the glitz and glamor of showbiz, by all accounts, hers was an exemplary, disciplined life, unspoiled by the trappings of her early and continuing successes.

10. Teresa is the consummate spirit of grace and love in songs whose poetic lyrics speak eloquently to life’s romances and heartaches, dreams and reminiscences, to life’s challenges, perseverance and celebrations. Her real-life persona is best encapsulated by a line in her English rendition of Paul Anka’s My Way: “…I faced it all, and I stood tall, and did it my way.” True to the spirit of her many romantic ballads that celebrated love, she eventually found her all-consuming romance outside her familiar culture in Paul, a Frenchman, contrary to the wishes and advice of her tight-knit family. According to Paul who was about 15 years her junior, their 6-year blissful affaire de cœur was to be formalized into matrimony in August of that fateful 1995, missing it just by 3 months had she lived. So any snide characterization of Paul being a mere boytoy of hers, would be disrespectful at best and at worst an insult to Teresa’s unstinted spirit of love and zest for life. In her quiet, low-key manner, this sui generis diva extraordinaire had worked and lived life to the fullest.


April 17, 2017

An interesting exchange as reflected on YouTube website…

Lester Kok  1 year ago  She belongs to the pantheon of the all-time divas of pop…Whitney, Celine, the ABBA girls, Streisand and the like. But more than that, Teresa was a polyglot singer and speaker (Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Japanese, English, French, and then some). Her native country was too small to contain her singing talent; her ambition and drive to share her gifts with humanity landed her in trouble with her fake travel passport as Taiwan lost its UN seat to China in 1971. She could have chosen to retire at her apogee of popularity in the 80s and happily be the pampered ‘tai tai’ (wife) of some hotel magnate in Malaysia. Instead, she tore up the pre-nup and chose to soldier on with her singing passion despite her inborn asthmatic condition. For those who had the privilege to see her perform live, the memory of her mellifluous voice and angelic visage will live forever.

We will never get the full true story of what happened to her in her life. Because of her family. Chinese don’t share anything negative, unlike the Western autobiographies and movies.

Lester Kok Lester Kok responded: ‘Because of her family…don’t share anything negative…’ The paparazzi in the East are no different than those in the West — no skeleton in the closet would remain hidden for long. As for hidden family secrets, don’t we all have some.

DavidRsaid DavidRsaid 2 hours ago (edited) Highlighted reply

+Lester, Her family would have to approve any movie, because they own the rights to her story. That is why it will never show all the negative. She is a legend now, and that will be guarded carefully. You mean all that paparazzi in the East never found out WHO she was seeing (or living with?) in all those years in Japan? You really think she went home alone every night all those YEARS, while learning Japanese language extra fast? As much as I deeply respect her, I don’t think so. He might have even been married, and thus kept secret. Probably some ultra-rich Japanese businessman — would just be my guess. Like I said, we will never know. The paparazzi of the East also did not find out if she was using non-allergy drugs or even illegal drugs at the end, with that Frenchman. No, I am NOT impressed by your idea of aggressive journalists in the East. I don’t think so.

Lester Kok Lester Kok 2 seconds ago responded:

From ‘we will never know’, to coming up with your own wild assumptions — wow, that is quite a quantum leap. Sure anything is possible out there that is not being reported, including Mother Teresa was never alone sleeping by herself surrounded by such a bevy of virginal young nuns in her convent. You are certainly entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own made-up, fantasized facts.

DavidRsaid DavidRsaid 1 hour ago  Do you always live with your head in the sand, like an ostrich? If you think she just stayed home every night in Japan, and went to bed alone, you are off-the-chart naive! She was not living in a convent. According to Jackie Chan, in his own book, she liked to go out and make the party scene at night. Just saying there is an unreported void there, despite all those fantastic Asian investigative journalists. Same with the drugs and that Frenchman.

Lester Kok Lester Kok  27 seconds ago

2 quick points: 1) I shall try avoid descending to name-calling on the Internet — I would refrain from characterizing your puerility in any animalistic terms, and instead stay on point. 2) Let the Internet readers here decide whose post it is that makes more sense…for someone who was not even born when she passed on, and 22 years later after the fact, comes up with various kinds of wild speculations about potential hidden secrets in her personal life, is, to put it mildly, so characteristic of a modern-day Internet troll.

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