Childhood & Early Years
Faye Wong was born as Xia Lin on 8 August 1969 in Beijing, China. Her father, Wang Youlin, was a mining engineer while her mother, Xia Guiying, was a music soprano in the Migrant Workers’ Group. Faye has an elder brother named Wang Yi.
Her talent in music was recognized early in her life and she participated in various school productions. By the time she reached her high school, she began attracting the attention of the publishers.
In 1985, she released her first album, 'Where the Wind Comes', in the form of low cost cassette. It was followed by 'Magic Carillon' (1985), 'Remember Me' (1985), 'Teresa Teng's Hometown Love' (1986), 'Dancing Queen' (1987) and 'Miss Charm — Wang Fei Collection' (1987).
In 1987, she moved with her family to Hong Kong, intending to stay there for at least one year to complete the permanent residency formalities. Her ultimate plan was to move abroad to study in a foreign university.
As she did not know Cantonese, she initially felt very lonely in Hong Kong. Eventually, she started modeling, but shortly abandoned it to start singing lessons with Tai See-Chung, reputed singing coach from Mainland China. Faye Wong won Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) singing contest under Tai See-Chung’s tutelage in 1988.
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In 1988, after winning the ABU contest, Faye Wong signed a contract with Cinepoly Records. Because her name was "Mainland-sounding", which was deemed backward by many in Hong Kong, the company gave her a new stage name, Wong Jing Man.
In November 1989, she had her debut album ‘Shirley Wong’ released. It was followed in 1990 by ‘Everything’ and ‘You Are the Only One’. Then in 1991, she debuted in films with ‘Beyond’s Diary’ and on television with ‘Traces of the Heart’. However, their outcome did not meet her expectation.
In 1991, unsatisfied with her career, she left for the USA to study music and literature, but missed the deadline for admission. However, moving around, she realized that she had allowed others to shape her personality and music. Thereafter, she returned to Hong Kong to take charge of her life.
Her next album, ‘Coming Home’, released on August 13, 1992, had her name ‘Faye’ written prominently on the cover. One of its numbers, ‘Fragile Woman’, became No 1 hit, and instantly turned her into a star. Also in 1992, she returned to the television with ‘The File of Justice’.
In 1993, she her two albums, ‘No Regrets’ and ‘100,000 Whys’ were released. Also in the same year, she appeared as Hoi Tong in the television miniseries, ‘The Legendry Ranger’ and as Bou Ging-hung in ‘Eternity’.
In April 1994, she had her first Mandarin album, ‘Mystery’, released. It was followed by ‘Random Thoughts’, a Cantonese album, which released in June and confirmed her move to alternate music. Next in November, she released her second Mandarin album ‘Sky’ and in December her eighth Cantonese album ‘Please Myself’.
In 1994, she appeared as Wun-gwan in the television production of ‘Modern Love Story IV: Three Equals One Love’ and starred in the comedy drama film, 'Chungking Express'. In December, she set off on her first tour, ‘Faye Wong Live in Concert’ and performed 29 concerts on both sides of the Pacific.
In December 1995, her last mostly-Cantonese album, ‘Di-Dar’, released. It was followed in 1996 by her fourth Mandarin album, 'Fúzào' (Restless), which was also her last album with Cinepoly. After that, she sung mostly in Mandarin.
In 1997, Faye Wong signed a HK$60 million contract for 55 songs in five albums with EMI, releasing ‘Faye Wong’, a self-titled album in the same year. It was followed by ‘Sing and Play’ (1998), ‘Lovers and Strangers’ (1999), ‘Fable’ (2000) and ‘Fay Wong’ (2001).
After the expiry of her contract with EMI, she signed a contract with Sonny, releasing ‘To Love’ with them in November 2003. It was her 19th studio album and sold one million copies within a week of its release. In December, she went on ‘No Faye! No Live! Tour’.
In 2000s, concurrently with releasing albums, she starred in four films; 'Okinawa Rendez-vous' (2000), 'Chinese Odyssey 2002' (2002), '2046' (2004) and 'Leaving Me, Loving You' (2004). Thereafter, she temporarily retired from show business; she returned in 2010 with ‘Come Back Tour’ and gave 46 performances till 2012.
Her last album, ‘Be Perfunctory', was released in 2015. However, the songs were recorded in 1996, while she was under contract with Cinepoly and released separately. In 2015, Faye Wong’s fan purchased the publishing rights from the company and published the 10 tracks together in the album.
Family & Personal Life
In June 1996, Wong married, Dou Wei, a well-known musician, singer-songwriter and composer belonging to the hard rock group, Hēi Bào (Black Panther). Their daughter, Dou Jingtong, was born in January 1997. The couple divorced in late 1999.
In July 2005, Wong married Mainland television actor Li Yapeng and had a daughter, Li Yan (Born May 2006) with him. After the marriage, she retired from show business. The couple divorced in September 2013.