JJ Lin dedicates award to granny

Singers JJ Lin and Penny Tai with their top Golden Melody awards.

Taipei - A jubilant JJ Lin dedicated his Best Mandarin Male Singer prize to his late grandmother at the Golden Melody Awards held in Taipei last Saturday night.

The Singapore singer-songwriter said: "I want to give this to granny. She taught me family is worth protecting."

He won the award, his first in the category, after being nominated in it four times. His grandmother died last year.

"I want to thank my parents for giving me musical talents... I want to thank my fans," he added.

The win for Lin, for his 10th studio album Stories Untold, came 10 years after he won the Best New Artist prize at the same awards, Taiwan's version of the American Grammys.

"Yes! So this is how it feels to win the Best Male Singer award!" the 33-year-old said after ascending the stage at the Taipei Arena.

He saw off veteran Hong Kong singer Wakin Chau, Taiwan rocker Chang Chen-yue and rapper Soft Lipa, as well as China's Li Ronghao, becoming the first Singaporean to win the coveted award.

Also taking top honours was Malaysian singer-producer Penny Tai, who was crowned Best Mandarin Female Singer for her album Unexpected.

"I am very lucky as I didn't have any formal musical training. I couldn't have got this far today without the help of many people," Agence France-Presse quoted Tai as saying.

She also won on her fourth nomination for the award, beating Singapore's Tanya Chua, who has a record three titles in the category, Hong Kong's Denise Ho and Taiwan's Faith Yang and Jia Jia.

Tai, 36, also bagged the Best Producer award for Je T'embrasse, the first album she produced for Chinese singer Koala Liu.

She thanked her "future husband" and boyfriend of five years, Sidney Lu, who is not in show business.

"I definitely have marriage plans for this year... This is what I will do this year when I take a break," she said.

China's Li, 28, walked away with the Best New Artist award for his first album Model, which was named for a leading five nominations.

The Best Album of the Year accolade went to Chang for the album I Am Ayal Komod.

"There were so many people who supported me in making this album and I can only repay them by making more efforts in life and in writing music," Chang said, according to Agence France-Presse. His aboriginal name is Ayal Komod.

Veteran Taiwanese producer and singer Jonathan Lee's song and album, Hill, took awards for Best Song of the Year, Best Lyricist and Best Album Packaging.

A touching moment came when veteran TV host Chang Hsiao-yen accepted a special contribution award bestowed on her music producer-husband Peng Kuo-hua, who died of liver cancer in 2002.

"My happiest times were spent being Mrs Peng," said Chang, choking with emotion, who took a hiatus from work following his death.

Singers, songwriters and composers from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia competed in more than 20 categories at the 25th annual ceremony, which featured a performance by JJ Lin and American singer Jason Mraz.

Taiwanese pop diva Jolin Tsai, known for her hit See My 72 Changes, also rocked the audience, presenting a breath-taking series of songs with 72 dancers.

This article was first published on June 30, 2014.
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