Why Faye Wong deserves the 'diva' title and 9 other facts you should know about her

PHOTO: Instagram/thefashionmusess, faye_fa_ye

There is an enigmatic draw to Faye Wong. The celebrated Chinese singer-actress is fiercely private but whenever the slightest news of her comes to light, it never fails to make headlines.

Indeed, this proves the enduring pull of Faye Wong, who has been slaying in the Hong Kong and Chinese entertainment industry since her debut over 30 years ago. Ahead, we attempt to demystify, if even just slightly, who Faye Wong is and why she deserves the “diva” title.

She has sold millions of albums

With a career spanning over 30 years, it isn’t an overstatement to say that Faye Wong is one of the most celebrated artists in the Mando- and Cantopop realm. In fact, she held the Gunness World Record title as the “best-selling Canto-pop female” singer in 2000 and with cumulative album sales in the millions.

She's a celebrated actress too

Faye Wong has also crossed over successfully to the acting realm, with multiple credits in both television and film. Her most iconic roles are definitely Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express (1994), where she won the Best Actress at the Stockholm Film Festival and was nominated for the same title at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Awards, and 2046 (2004).

She has achieved "diva" status

With her overwhelming success, labelling Faye Wong a “diva” is rather apt. She was also the first Chinese singer to front Time magazine on October 14, 1996, with the headline naming her as one of “The Divas of Pop”.

She went by a different name

We know her as Faye Wong now, but at the start of her career, Faye Wong went by Shirley Wong Jing Man. In fact, Shirley Wong would eventually become the name of her debut album in 1989.

The decision for the name change was said to make it sound more “sophisticated” to help the Beijing-native break into the Hong Kong market, a place where she had to eventually learn to native tongue Cantonese. The name Faye Wong would come into existence from her 1992 album Coming Home.

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Her fame didn't wane after her hiatus

Going on hiatus could mean damage to a celeb’s popularity. For Faye Wong, however, her return after a break between 2005 and 2009 only cemented her popularity.

Her comeback was marked by her rendition of Li Jian’s Legend at the CCTV New Year’s Gala and the performance was reported to be watched by over 700 million viewers. Her comeback concerts also resulted in nearly 200 million yuan of ticket sales in China being snapped up in 10 days, while ticket sales channels in Taiwan and Hong Kong crashed due to overwhelming demand.

Faye Wong’s return to television through the Chinese reality TV program PantaCity in 2018 also clocked 160 million views with its first episode, where she performed her song Dream Lover.

She has had multiple high-profile relationships

When you think of Faye Wong, you’ll likely think of Nicholas Tse. After all, the two have been romantically linked since they got back together in 2014.

Prior to Tse, Faye Wong was married to Beijing rocker Dou Wei from the band Black Panther and they had a daughter named Leah Dou Jingtong. Faye Wong later married Chinese actor Li Yapeng and had a daughter Li Yan. The two finalised their divorce in 2013.

Her Weibo was uncovered by fans

Nothing escapes the prying eyes of Internet sleuths, not even Faye Wong’s private Weibo account. Named “veggigeg“, the unverified social media account has multiple selfies of Faye Wong herself and follows various people she works with professionally.

True to Faye Wong’s penchant for privacy, she perhaps left the account with the last update being in 2015.

She's one of the richest Hong Kong female singers

With an estimated net worth of US$150 million by Celebrity Net Worth, SCMP listed Faye Wong as one of the wealthiest Hong Kong female singers.

Besides earnings from the entertainment industry, Faye Wong is also reported to own several properties in Beijing and Hong Kong – a villa at Beijing’s Green Park is said to be worth more than US$7.6 million in 2020.

She's vegetarian

In fact, Faye Wong’s vegetarianism is so well-known that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had named her the sexiest female vegetarian in the Asia-Pacific region.

She's known for her fashion

With a cool and effortless ease, Faye Wong is nothing short of a style icon in her own right. Just take a look at these photos of the star in the ’90s and tell us she isn’t deserving of the label.

This article was first published in Her World Online.