Recorded across continents, the Winter Olympics theme song Together for a Shared Future features more than 200 artists from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The lighthearted lyrics of the uptempo number talk about love, togetherness and collaboration, in tune with the Olympic spirit.
More than 150,000 interpretations of the song can be found on the internet. The intergenerational cast is easily recognisable, but some new faces are standing out more than others. Read on to find out a little more about the breakout stars, their international backgrounds and their connection to the Games.
Tia Ray (Yuan Yawei)
The Hunan-born chanteuse was one of the two singers on the original version of the tune released in September, extending her connection with the Games since performing on the 2008 soundtrack.
Ray's version was also played at the Opening Ceremony on Friday (Feb 11).
Ray was professionally trained as a singer in Japan before joining The Voice of China, a televised singing competition through which she received mainstream attention and success. Now recognised as one of the country's most influential R&B musicians, she has performed twice at CCTV's Spring Festival Gala, China's largest televised event.
Ray had her international breakthrough in 2018 with the hit Be Apart, which became the seventh bestselling single in the world and the only one by a singer of Asian descent, alongside Western artists Drake, Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5. She has since continued her international pursuit, collaborating with the likes of Jason Derulo, Kehlani, Gallant and Far East Movement.
William Chan Wai-ting
Chan was the other singer on the original version. Just two years after starting out in local boy band Sun Boy'z, the Hong Kong native went on to pursue a solo career on the big screen, making his debut in the highly successful crime thriller Overheard.
Chan had relative success in the city in the late 2000s, but took off to national stardom when he ventured into the Chinese market nearly a decade ago. His solo music topped the charts as he embarked on tours across the country, while also starring in blockbuster films and television shows.
In 2020, he established his own fashion brand CANOTWAIT_, which collaborated with luxury car brand Maserati.
Chan has ranked on Forbes' "China Celebrity 100" list four times since arriving on the mainland, as one of its bestselling and highest-paid celebrities.
Jackson Yee (Yi Yangqianxi)
Emerging from one of the country's first idol groups TFBoys, Yee began his career at merely 12 years old and has gone on to achieve superstardom domestically and internationally.
As the breakout star of a trio who are worth more than US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion), Yee is still an active student at the prestigious Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, which also trained the likes of Zhang Ziyi, Jiang Wen and Gong Li.
Yee received critical acclaim for his roles in the Oscar-nominated film Better Days (2019) and the patriotic blockbuster Lake Changjin (2021). A winner at the well-respected Hong Kong Film Awards, he is the only Chinese actor born in the 2000s to have grossed more than 10 billion yuan from a movie.
Artistic endeavours aside, he spoke at the United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum in 2019 about his work on poverty alleviation and youth empowerment.
Yee released the second version of the theme song soon after Ray and Chan, taking its popularity to new heights with his 90 million Weibo followers.
After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a degree in music engineering, Chang began his career as a producer and composer. He joined the music production team for the 2008 Games in Beijing, and sang the original version of that year's theme song You and Me.
Since then, he has gone from behind the scenes to the front-stage, releasing solo music and working with some of the country's most successful pop stars, including Sandy Lam, Jacky Cheung and the aforementioned Tia Ray.
Chang composed Together with renowned lyricist Wang Ping-jiu, who was also the creator of 2008's promotional songs. "I feel a strong sense of purpose when creating theme songs for sports events, I want to make music that inspires harmony and realism," Chang said about his creative process.
Summer Momoko (Jike Junyi)
Like Ray, Momoko was a contestant on The Voice of China, where she finished as the second runner-up. She is from the Sichuan province's Yi community, one of China's 55 ethnic minority groups.
Born to a musical family, Momoko became a lounge singer after graduating from university. In her debut hit Colour, she celebrated her darker skin tone and encouraged people to embrace their uniqueness.
Last year, she spoke at a forum hosted by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women about gender equality and women empowerment.
Together is not the first time Momoko has crossed paths with the Games, she was featured in a promotional video for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The Taiwan-born musician started playing the guitar at the age of four, piano at the age of five and cello at the age of six. At 12 years old, she became the youngest cellist to give a solo recital debut in the Concert Hall of Taiwan.
Now 21, she has achieved international success across the Asia Pacific as a cellist, singer and actress, with four albums under her belt.
Nana is the daughter of veteran actors Ouyang Long and Fu Juan, and niece of pop singer Ouyang Fei Fei. She has been educated at prestigious institutions, including the Berklee College of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music. Her 2017 performance of See You Again with rapper Wiz Khalifa at a Silicon Valley event introduced her to the American audience.
Like Chan and Yee, Nana is rising swiftly in popularity and has been featured on Forbes' "China Celebrity 100" list.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.