Here's why Stefanie Sun's a Singapore icon

Even those who live under a rock know of Stefanie Sun, one of the reigning queens of Mandopop and Singapore's pride and joy.

The songstress has conquered not just in her home nation, but has also made waves on mainland China, and in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

The singer-songwriter and multiple award-winner has released 13 albums, selling over 30 million copies worldwide.

As she turns 40, we take a look at the milestones of her 18-year career.

Here's to you, Ms Sun.

1. Breakthrough debut

Stefanie's debut album Yan Zi (孙燕姿) was an instant success, with more than 15,000 copies sold in Singapore alone, shooting to platinum status in just 3 months of its release. It was also a smash hit in Taiwan, where the album topped the bestseller's chart for five weeks, and where more than 400,000 copies were sold within 3 months.

2. Leading lady

Breaking into the 'biz is a feat on its own, but Stefanie took her big break to a whole new level in 2001. Nominated in six categories at the 12th Taiwan Golden Melody Awards, Stefanie was definitely the leading lady that night. She ended up edging out superstars like Jay Chou and Karen Mok to taking home a total of 3 awards - Best Newcomer, Best Composer and Best Composition.

By the end of 2001, she was one of the top-selling female artists in the region, and had garnered a whopping 20 awards in total from shows in various countries.

3. Sold-out tours

Powerful album sales led to hugely successful live shows. She became the first Singaporean to perform at the Zhongzheng Memorial Hall (中正纪念堂) - just 6 months after her debut in 2000. And in 2002, her first proper concert in Taiwan, with 20,000 seats available, sold out.

Her first world tour included Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and the United States. On that tour, she also played to a sold-out crowd here, with 8,000 fans attending her show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

4. National pride

Having established herself as one of the most iconic Singaporean singers, Stefanie was invited to sing the National Day Parade theme songs for two consecutive years. She wrote and sang "We Will Get There" in 2002 and "One United People" in 2003.

5. Girlboss

In 2003, Stefanie announced that she would take a break from the showbiz scene. But she was far from idle - she founded Make Music, an entertainment production and talent management company.

6. Second iconic win

In 2004, Stefanie dropped her self-titled eighth studio album, Stefanie, which landed her another trophy at the Golden Melody Awards. This time, it was for the coveted title of Best Mandarin Female Singer.

7. Voice of the anthem

In 2008, Stefanie recorded "Light the Passion, Share the Dream", the theme song for the Beijing Olympic Games - together with other notable singers like Wang Feng, Jane Zhang and Wang Leehom.

8. Local honours

For her years in the entertainment industry and achievements, Stefanie is hailed as a true-blue Singapore icon. In 2006, she became the first local celebrity to have an orchid (the Dendrobium Stefanie Sun) named after her.

In 2014, she was also honoured by Madame Tussauds Singapore, as the museum placed a wax figure of the singer in its collection here.

This article was first published on Her World Online.