Stefanie Sun is one of the most famous people in Singapore and one of its most popular musicians. At the age of 36 she has sold a whopping 30 million albums and is still going strong. Though she is born and bred Singaporean, her HQ is in Taiwan and, as you would expect, she is just as popular in China and Hong Kong as she is at home. In those countries she is known as Sun Yan-zi. She by no means just an Asian sensation, however, with a huge following in the US.
One of the reasons why Stefanie Sun's music crosses so many borders and cultural barriers is her ability to sing in various different languages. Much of her output is in Mandarin Chinese, though she also sings in English on numerous tracks. Plus she has a gift for mastering many different Chinese dialects in her music. For example, her hit tune Cloudy Day contained lyrics in both Mandarin and Hokkien.
Yet it is for her musical innovation and beautiful voice that Stefanie is best known. Her 12th albums contain an extraordinary catalogue of powerful, soaring pop music, mixing together styles and rhythms from all over the world in a dynamic sound cocktail.
Her debut LP, Yan Zi, was released in 2000 and was an instant success. Selling nearly 4 million copies across her home continent, it marked Sun out as one of the most talented newcomers on the Asian pop scene. Her second album, My Desired Happiness, third album Kite and fourth album Start were all similarly popular, selling upwards of 4 million each.
So popular was Sun after Start that she was chosen to sing the Singaporean national anthem at the National Day Parade of 2002 and 2003.
Her extraordinary rise continued unabated, with big selling albums and massive tours. In 2006 the first cloud on her horizon came when she put in what was considered a below par performance at the Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan. During her spot, she sang a number of cover versions, though her renditions sounded off key and lethargic. For the first time, Sun's critics turned on her and she was blasted in the Chinese press. However, just one month later, she played a triumphant concert in Taipei, where she sang all the same songs perfectly to a rapturous reception.
Sun's personal life has been as happy and successful as her career. In 2011 she married Nadim Van Der Ros, the founder of the Good Bean Consultancy, who she had been dating for about 5 years, and the following year she had their first child, a boy.
Meanwhile, her hit albums continue to come thick and fast, selling massively around the world. Her 12th record Kepler hit the shops in 2014 and was followed by a massive world tour. The tour ended with a very special gig in Singapore National Stadium in July of that year, making her the first performer to grace its newly rebuilt stage.
There is no question that Stefanie Sun has had an incredible career and, given the resilience, talent and charisma of this young lady, it is quite a good bet that it will continue to be incredible long into the future.