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April 18, 2010

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Zhang whistles up a new style on her latest album

AFTER finishing third in the hit Chinese TV talent show "Super Girl" in 2005, Zhang Liangying gained a strong mainland pop fan following.

Last year, Zhang appeared on the syndicated Oprah Winfrey talk show, the only Asian female singer to be invited. She was introduced as the "Dolphin Princess." The spinto soprano is famous for singing in whistle register since her performance of Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" on "Super Girl."

The whistle register is usually referred to as the dolphin vocal sound and Zhang's skill has seen her categorized with the likes of Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Sarah Brightman.

A native of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Zhang's talent and courage during the "Super Girl" show touched thousands of Chinese TV viewers' hearts and they dubbed themselves as "liangfen" (a nickname for Zhang's fans).

The grassroots star has released several popular albums since the show, including "The One," "Update" and her latest effort "Believe In Jane."Q: Since many "Super Girl" winners like Li Yuchun and Zhou Bichang have developed successful singing careers into acting and dubbing, will you pursue it as a lifelong career?

A: Singing is where my passion and dreams lie. Even if there is a limit to my ability, I won't give up. In my eyes, there is no better art form than singing to express deep and personal emotions so well. Singing also conveys an attitude to life and mine is to "live a happy life and dream impossible dreams."

Q: What's the highlight of your latest album "Believe In Jane?"

A: I made a name for myself as a singer adept at performing slow and melancholy songs. But I want to change, showing people my abilities in other genres like fast rockish/rapping dance songs. The songs in the new album include modern rhythms and tunes. I have also written lyrics and I dance in some of the music videos.

Q: Your fame came from a televised talent show but this concept has also spread to the Internet. What's your opinion of it?

A: I believe that TV talent shows are still one of the best methods to discover and support young people who share and want to pursue a music dream.

Q: Are there any obvious changes to your life since becoming a famous celebrity?

A: I used to be a sporty person, jogging every day around the neighborhood. However, after becoming a professional singer, I have to use the running machine in my office to limit my public exposure. At first I felt isolated and lonely and have taken a long time getting used to it.

Q: To many people, you present a mysterious and melancholy charm. What do you think of yourself?

A: I think I have two very opposing personality aspects. On one hand, I am a perceptual person living in my own fantasy world and waiting for a handsome guy to find me. On the other hand, I am also rational which is reflected in my career planning and development.

Q: You're also known as an environmentalist so how do you believe we should protect it?

A: What we can do is never waste resources even if it is tissue paper or disposable chopsticks.


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