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Faye Wong

Faye Wong Date of Birth: August 8, 1969 (Beijing)
Active From: 1985
Related Projects: Final Fantasy VIII
Official Web Site: Profile at Sony Music


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Resk. The act of copying it without advance written permission is regarded as a copyright infringement. It was last updated on April 22, 2006.

Born in Beijing, China, on August 8, 1969, Faye Wong is a best-selling Chinese pop artist, actress, model, and cultural icon. She inherited a love for music from her mother, who sang soprano, and her own talent blossomed while she was still young. Despite the cultural revolution occurring in China, Faye pursued her love for music by recording amateur albums with covers of Teresa Teng songs. In 1987, she moved to Hong Kong with her family and was thrust into her first major roles as an artist under the Cinepoly label. By the time she as 21, she had released three albums under the name Shirley Wong, the first self-titled, and Everything and You're the Only One following. However, despite the success of the albums, she wasn't satisfied with where her career was going. She journeyed to New York for a year to develop her vocal abilities and to immerse herself in western culture.

In 1992, Faye released Coming Home, an album that fuelled her career in an unexpected way. Its R&B style was a hit with the public, and Faye's cover of Miyuki Nakajima's hit song "Fragile Woman" made her an instant star. The album also featured Faye's first English lyrics song "Kisses in the World." In 1993, she wrote her first track in Mandarin, "No Regrets", released with her eighth album under the same name. By the time she released her next album, 100,000 Whys, in late 1993, Faye had moved out of Ramp;&B and into contemporary and dance styles with her music. Like Wind, Mystery, Faye Disc, and Ingratiate Myself were released throughout late 1993 and 1994 with her next big hit, Random Thoughts, being released in June 1994. The album really allowed Faye to explore her musical and vocal styles, which cemented her in the public eye as a massive success. Her late 1994 album Sky featured her trademark song "I'm Willing", later covered by several other Asian artists. With these successes under her belt, Faye had been able to not only spread her success among China and Japan, but into Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

1995 was critical year in Faye's musical career. On behalf of the album The Decadent Sound of Faye, she produced many remixes of her idol Teresa Teng's hits. Unfortunately, Teng passed away before the album was completed due to an asthma attack. Despite this, Faye published the release and, although it initially wasn't taken well by the critics, she stood by it and it's now considered one of the most memorable albums in her discography. Her next album, late 1995's Di-Dar, was easily her most bizarre. The album explored Indian and Middle Eastern musical styles, and many of the tracks explored somewhat eccentric themes, with music videos further emphasising its bizarre image. She would come out of her funk in 1996 with her boldest album to date, called Restless. Although the album wasn't accepted by everyone who had loved her previous work, it remains her personal favourite. Faye would then become the first Chinese singer on the cover of TIME magazine after its release.

1997 and 1998 were trying years for Faye as far as her personal life was concerned. Marriage, divorce, and a daughter came into the picture, but her music didn't falter. In 1997 she signed with the EMI label, and released the album Faye Wong. Released during the Asian financial crisis, the album did poorly in several areas of Asia, but did well in Thailand and mainland China. In 1998, she was invited to sing at the Spring Festival Gala, an annual entertainment event in China. The event spread her musical style and gave her career a stable boost. Also in 1998, she released Scenic Tour, which featured a track that she wrote for her daughter. In 1999, Faye became one of the memorable artists who have, at one point or another, had a deal with Pepsi. In 1999, she performed Nobuo Uematsu's award-winning English ballad "Eyes on Me" for Final Fantasy VIII. It was the first time in video game history that a Japanese game title would feature a non-Japanese vocalist, and the track would extend her musical career into the West, even though many Western fans only know the name "Faye Wong" with its connection to this song.

The new millennium brought a major tuning point for Faye's career. The album Fable in 2000 featured a continuous track list in two distinct halves, bringing together all of Faye's previous styles, themes, and musical ability into a gigantic blob otherwise known as a somewhat 'masterful' creation in artistic circles. In 2001, she produced her last album with EMI and it was passable at best, failing to wow fans and critics. Her next album To Love appeared in 2003, and bounced back against her previous self-titled flop. Although she has been somewhat less active from 2000 onward compared to her rather elaborate career in the nineties, 28 albums and EPs, as well as a successful acting career, have earned the music star a bit of a break.

List of Songs for Related Projects

Song Title Game Featured In
Eyes on Me Final Fantasy VIII
Red Bean Final Fantasy VIII (Single)

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
Final Fantasy VIII: Eyes on Me - Faye Wong TODT-5271
Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack SQEX-10005/8
Final Fantasy VIII Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec SQEX-10025
Square Vocal Collection SSCX-10052