JJ Lin's top in royalties earnings

JJ Lin's top in royalties earnings
Singer-songwriter JJ Lin.

Local Mandopop singer-songwriter JJ Lin is truly pop royalty, particularly when it comes to, well, royalties.

At Sunday's ceremony for the 19th annual Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (Compass) Awards, which gives out prizes to the musicians who have earned the highest royalties for the past year, he bagged the two top prizes of the night - top local songwriter of the year and top local artiste of the year.

Lin, 33, did not attend the ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa as he was on tour in China. But in a short pre-recorded acceptance speech, he said that he was "really proud to be Singaporean, really proud to be part of the family of Compass and giving, serving through music", and hoped to attend the ceremony next year.

Since winning Young Composer of the Year in 2006, he has bagged one or both of the top two awards every year.

Compass tracks the royalties musicians earn based on how many times their songs are performed live, played on radio and in nightspots and food and beverage outlets.

This year, it gave out awards in 11 categories to the top-earning singers and songwriters in various genres.

Other winners of the night included America- based singer Corrinne May, who picked up the accolade for top local English pop song for Beautiful Life, from her fifth album, Crooked Lines, released in 2012. As she stood in the spotlight and accepted the award, the 41-year-old joked that "I feel like one of those beauty contest contestants", and thanked her husband and daughter.

Dressed in an elegant midnight blue gown, May, who won the 2007 Compass award for Young Composer of the Year, also performed her winning song live on a grand piano.

Another home-grown act who took to the stage was SleeQ, a nine-year-old hip-hop duo comprising cousins Ahmad Syarifullah and Alif Abdullah, both 25. They rocked the ballroom with their catchy hit song Untuk Dia, for which composer and lyricist Alif took home the prize for top Malay pop song. Alif was also named Young Songwriter of the Year, an award given to the highest royalty-earning composer under the age of 35. Accepting the trophy, he paid tribute to those who have come before him,

"Everyone knows the Singapore music scene is very vibrant, with people like Stefanie Sun, Ramli Sarip and all those legends, so give a round of applause to all of them."

SleeQ also clinched the Wings of Excellence award, which recognises acts who have performed well overseas.

Ahmad said, "We're very happy and blessed to be sharing Singaporean music in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia. Hopefully, we can one day go international."

Other winners included Lee Wei Song for his top local Chinese pop song Mo Ban Che, and Huang Yida for the top local soundtrack, Chou Nan Ren.

This article was first published on September 30, 2014.
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