(First posted on YouTube in November 2015)
Ten superlatives of Teresa Teng:
1) The youngest kid that is credited to have personally commissioned a studio glamor shot of herself at the tender age of four — without first consulting her parents, only later to have them collect and pay for the finished product in her behalf, thus prefiguring even before she got into kindergarten her relish of the limelight down the road that she would eventually score for herself big time.
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 80s.
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 entertainer … 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 love 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 14 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 toy boy 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, the sui generis diva extraordinaire had worked and lived life to the fullest.
An exchange as reflected on YouTube website…