Kelly Chen biography
Kelly Chen (Cantonese: Chen Wai-Lam / 陳慧琳) is a popular singer from Hong Kong.
Born in Hong Kong on 13 Sep 1973, Kelly grew up with an elder sister and younger brother to support her. She went to school at a young age in Hong Kong before her father transferred her to Japan to "pick up Japanese". Having attended high school at Japan's Kobe Canadian Academy, Kelly learned a good deal of Japanese. After she was done with high school, Kelly continued her education in the United States, specifically at the Parsons School of Design in New York City, specializing in Graphic Design. Kelly is among such alumis of the school such as Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs.
After Kelly graduated from school, she returned to her homeland of Hong Kong to be with family. At this time Kelly caught the attention of an agent soon after her return. Kelly got her first big break in the film "Whatever Will Be, Will Be" (仙樂飄飄) in 1995, and was featured as a singer on the soundtrack to the film. Later that year, Kelly released her first Cantonese album, "Dedicated Lover" (醉迷情人). The album was a success in her homeland and furthered her acting and musical careers.
In May of 1996, Kelly released her first Mandarin language album, "I Don't Think So" (我不以為), in mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Kelly followed the album's success with another Cantonese CD in October of 1996, "Wind, Flower, Snow" (風花雪). She also starred in two feature films in 1996 with budding stars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Michael Wong. 1996 also saw Kelly's first stint as a Japanese singer when she released two Japanese singles.
In 1997, Kelly performed her first ever concert, "Starry Dream of Love" (星夢情真) and released the partner CD in June. In July, she released "Morning", another Japanese single and her first Japan-based hit. Kelly also provided the voice of Madame Trunk in the animated movie "A Chinese Ghost Story". In the course of five months, Kelly would release four albums. With the releases of her 2nd Mandarin album, "Insight" (體會), the compilation "Kelly's Best Collection 97", the live CD "Starring Dream of Love Live in Concert", and her next Cantonese CD "A Movie" (一齣戲), Kelly had established herself.
In 1998, Kelly embarked on a World Tour, starting in in Australia. Besides the world tour, Kelly also performed 10 concerts for school children in Taiwan. Also in 1998, Kelly was appointed as not only a Hong Kong Goodwill Ambassador, but as the Hong Kong Ambassador of Environment to promote enviornmental protection, the Ambassador of the Red Cross to promote the donation of blood to blood banks, and an ambassador for the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). In Setember of 1998, Kelly filmed her first music video for the song "Love Me Or Not" in Taiwan which soon aired on televisions around the world.
Starring in the television drama "Don't be a Cry Baby" with Japanese star Kyoko Fukada and performing two concerts in Fukuoka, Japan in 1999, Kelly gained the notice of even more Japanese fans. Besides her singing and acting career, Kelly was soon appointed by UNICEF as the Honorable China Childrens Health Ambassador. Kelly was later appointed by The Hong Kong Girl Guides Association as "Girl Guides Millennium Goodwill Ambassador", which led her to visit inner Mongolia to investigate the way young children were living and the health and food services they were receiving.
In 2001, Kelly added yet another title to her growing list as The Volunteer Ambassador 2001 as appointed by the Social Welfare Department. After the release of her remix album "Kelly BPM Collection" in March of 2001, Kelly embarked on yet another world tour, the "Paisley Galaxy World Tour", which started out in Singapore. In May, Kelly came to North America where she performed concerts in Chicago, Atlantic City, Los Angeles and Toronto all as a part of her world tour. She later returns to China for her tour where she performed in Guangzhou, Huizhou and Zhongshan. She was later appointed by UNICEF (again) as The Ambassador Of The Hong Kong Committee For UNICEF.
In a survey conducted in early 2002 by the City University of Hong Kong, Kelly was named the "The Most Popular Idol" among young people. In April, she was appointed by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) as the "Ambassador of The Workplace English Campaign" to cncourage the working people to keep studying the English language as Kelly herself had done. After years of serving other funds, Kelly finally started her own fund to help children called the "Kelly Chen Children Education Fund" to raise money to help needy children. Besides performing her Dynacarnival concert in Hong Kong, Kelly travelled to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia to perform her concert there. Kelly was soon appointed by the The Hong Kong Correctional Services Department as the "Ambassador of The Rehabilitation". Kelly was also awarded with two honors: first, she was chosen as one of Hong Kong's Ten Outstanding Young Persons 2002. That same year, she was invited to represent Hong Kong to attend the ABU Prizes – Presentation & Special Concert in the NHK Hall in Tokyo. She also receieved the 13th Annual Best Dressed Award in Japan, becoming the first foreigner to ever receive the award. She was later invited by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and HKSAR Government Health Department to film the publicity campaigns for promoting the respect of personal privacy and organ donation throughout China and Hong Kong.
March 2003 brought even more titles Kelly's way: she was appointed The Philatelic Ambassador by the Hong Kong Post, as well as "The Love And Peace Ambassador" by City Junior Chamber. Kelly soon took her "Dynacarnival" to North America by performing in Atlantic City, Toronto and San Francisco. She also began to release DSD versions of her earlier albums, including "Dedicated Lover". She was later appointed as Star of "Hong Kong Outstanding Students Award" by Lion & Globe Educational Trust, furthering her push for better education. In June of 2003, Kelly's wax figure for Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum was ready and was put on display. She was later invited to be the "Love Ambassador" of "World Children's Day at McDonald's 2003" by McDonald's Restaurants in Hong Kong, and was also appointed as the "Pass-it-On" Ambassador by the Hong Kong Red Cross and attend its Christmas campaign to visit the John. F. Kennedy Center.
Kelly's charitable work continued into 2004 as she was appointed as the star representative to attend the "5th HK Outstanding Teenagers" election press conference held by Hong Kong Playground Association and RTHK. In February, Kelly was appointed as both "Road Safety Vision Ambassador" by the Road Safety Council to promote road safety, and as the "Reading Ambassador" by The Boys' & Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong. May 2004 brought the title of "Hospital Play Ambassador" to Kelly, as well as the title of "Japanese Promotional Ambassador" by The Japan Society of HK, Consulate General of Japan and RTHK to encourage Hong Kong to learn Japanese. Another award was soon bestowed upon Kelly when she was named "The Outstanding Young Persons Of The World 2004", becoming the first Hong Kong celebrity to be honored with the award.
In 2005, her song "Hope" from the Korean TV serial Dae Jang Geum earned Kelly a high place in the Cantopop music industry. "Hope" was very popular in both Hong Kong and Mainland China. This song also improved her earnings and also that of her record company. At the TVB 8 Awards Presentation Kelly took home 3 awards for the song "Hope" including the Song Award, World's Most Popular Cantonese Song, and Most Well-Liked Female Singer in Mainland China. "Hope" was also the top song of charts for 20 radio stations in China and had even set a high record for ringtone downloads. A month after the initial launch, there were a total of over 3 million downloads and to date, the accumulated figure is over 6 million. As such, her record company had earned $5 million after deductions. Universal Music's managing director had called Kelly to inform her of the good news. Kelly had promised that if the number of downloads were to go over 10 million, she will distribute the earnings to the staff.
Kelly has also wrapped up her tour, "Lost in Paradise" in 2005 in Asia and 2006 in the United States. "Lost in Paradise" lasted three hours and contained 35 songs from Kelly's lengthy 10-year music career. Such popular hits included "Phone Kill Order", "Shake Shake", and "Care About You Too Much".