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Chyi Yu announces final farewell

  • Source: Global Times
  • [00:46 November 20 2009]
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Pop-ballad singer Chyi Yu.

By Xing Daiqi

Chinese pop-ballad sensation Chyi Yu is all set to take the stage for her final solo concerts, five years after she last appeared in Beijing.

Often dubbed "China's Enya," the 51-year-old singer met with the media dressed in her signature Bohemian style.

While most expected to learn the details of her upcoming concerts, Chyi shocked reporters with the announcement that her November performances would be her last solo concerts ever. Then she burst into tears.

"The reason is simple: singers hold solo concerts because they have the ambition to propel their career to a higher level. I'm living a peaceful life now, devoting my time to Buddhism. I think this concert will draw a perfect conclusion to my career," Chyi explained.

Billed as The Voice – No Boundaries, her concert will focus solely on her music, without dancing or visual e. ects. Artistic director Jin Zhaojun said that many concerts these days tend to be over-enhanced by technology, with the music itself marginalized.

"Because of my religion and my major in anthropology, I dislike boundaries," Chyi added. "There are no boundaries in music, from Chinese songs to English, from classical to pop and from past to present. Therefore the title No Boundaries perfectly summarizes the content of this show."

The music diva will present 20 timeless classics in both English and Chinese, including Amazing Grace and Vincent, the Broadway hit Memory, as well as her smash hit The Olive Tree and Swan Lake, a reprise of her collaboration with Russian National Orchestra.

According to Lao Zai, the concert's music producer, most of the songs will be rearranged into orchestral or folk compositions.

As a young singer, Chyi rose to stardom after winning two university folk competitions in Taiwan in the 1970s.

By her own admission, she has never been a prolific performer. The past three decades of her career only saw seven Chinese albums and seven English releases, with a number of chart-topping singles, including The Highheel of September and The Bird and The Fish. "God gave me a goodvoice, but I'm not active enough. I am not a planner and I sing as I like. Singing has always been my hobby, not a means of living," Chyi explained.

She added that the decline of China's pop music industry, the prevalence of piracy and the change in listening trends also impacted her music.

In 2002, Chyi converted to Buddhism. She then released four albums featuring Buddhist chants.

"I got a chance to know Buddhism on a trip to Tibet and I discovered the religious music can benefi t common people as well," Chyi said. "If pop music can sooth people's moods, then spiritual music can comfort our souls."

Nowadays, Chyi lives in Beijing with her rock-star turned pop-singer younger brother Chyi Chin.

"Quitting solo performing doesn't mean my farewell to the stage. I will continue to perform as a guest singer in my friend's concerts or for charity events."

Chyi Yu's farewell solo concert is scheduled for November 28 and 29 at the Beijing Exhibition Theatre.