Fresh Faces

Stefanie Sun

Stefanie Sun, better known as Sng Ee Tze, Sun Yanzi, and known to fans as 13姐 ("13th sister"), is a Singaporean singer-songwriter. She has sold over 30 million copies of her albums during the span of her career thus far. She is currently based in Taiwan, as she does the majority of her recordings there. Her popularity extends to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, US and her native Singapore.

Her first album was released in June 2000, the self-titled Yan Zi (孙燕姿), published by Warner Music. The "Yan Zi" album sold over 560,000 copies alone in Taiwan, and 3.8 million copies throughout Asia. This was a major success for Ms. Sun and the record company as a newcomer. This was followed in December of the same year as "My Desired Happiness" (我要的幸福), which sold over 800,000 copies in Taiwan alone, and 4 million copies throughout Asia.

Her third album "Kite" (風筝) was released in early 2001 and successfully sold 900,000 copies in Taiwan and over 4.1 million copies in Asia.

January 2002 saw the release of "Start" (自選集), a collection of songs, many of which are cover versions. "Start" sold over 500,000 copies in Taiwan alone, and it also reached high commercial success in Asia with 3.5 million copies sold.

In 2002 and 2003, Ms. Sun sang the official theme songs for Singapore's National Day Parade: "We Will Get There" (一起走到) and "One United People" (全心全意). The former was included on the album "Leave," which sold over 400,000 copies in Taiwan and 3.3 million copies in Asia.

In early 2003, she released her sixth album titled, "To Be Continued...," which was also met with commercial success. It managed to sell over 300,000 copies in Taiwan and over 2.8 million copies in Asia. Few months later, she released her seventh album, her first compilation album, with six new songs and fifteen of her old songs; the album sold over 900,000 copies in Taiwan alone, and 4.3 million copies in Asia. By the end of 2003, Ms. Sun had sold almost 26 million copies in Asia with just seven albums.

In late 2003, she decided to take a one-year hiatus from making music, believing that she needs to recover her lost sense of direction in her career. She returned in late 2004 with a new album "Stefanie," intended to be a mirror of her debut album (self-titled as well, but in Chinese). This was to symbolise her return with a fresh attitude. This album was well received by the critics in the Chinese music industry selling over 4 million copies in Asia; making it one of the most successful album from her. She also started her own artiste management company, Make Music, during this sabbatical.

"A Perfect Day" was released on 2005, almost one year later. Reviews of this new album have been mixed, but Ms. Sun had mentioned before that her priority is to make quality music, instead of over-commercialized products that sell well but have a lower level of artistic quality. Though this album did not reach the best commercial success, it had still managed to sell over 300,000 copies in Taiwan and 2.8 million copies in Asia.

In 2006, Ms. Sun was in the midst of a regional concert tour. She has staged four full-house concerts at the renowned Hong Kong Coliseum. The performances have received positive reviews from the media as well as overwhelming support from fans. She also returned to Singapore in a much-anticipated homecoming concert. Yet, not all is smooth-sailing for her. At the Golden Melody Award 2006 in Taiwan, whilst performing renditions of other male singers' songs, she went off-key and was heavily lambasted in the Chinese pop media, which reported that she has shattered her image of a pop diva with great singing skills. She attributed it to factors like not enough rest due to the incident at the airport and inadequate time for sufficient practice with a concert in Mainland China on the day right before the ceremony. She re-did the songs again at her concert at Taipei one month later to show her true skills and received very positive reviews for the rendition and the concert itself as well.

Ms. Sun's first album under the Capitol brand is "Against The Light" (逆光) and has been released on 22 March 2007. Her decision to leave Warner after nine albums was partly due to music executive Sam Chen, who now works at EMI. He had collaborated with her on eight of her nine albums.

Ms. Sun's 10th album, "Against The Light," has been a major success in Asia. In Taiwan, it sold over 60,000 copies in the first 3 days it was released. In addition, over 500,000 copies were sold within a week in Mainland China. In 2007, she sang the official theme song for ASEAN's 40th anniversary celebrations: "Rise Again."

In 2008, Ms. Sun took an offer to guest star in the film "12 Lotus" (12莲花) acting as Guan Yin, who sang Hokkien songs and read a poem in Hokkien as well. She also performed in the Love Amplified Concert, a concert held in Singapore to commemorate World AIDS Day 2008.

In May 2009, she started her new world tour "The Answer is..." with her first stop being Taiwan. In this world tour, she collaborated with William Chang, her concert image consultant. She also sang her new song "愚人的國度". In November 2009, she sung the theme song "木蘭情" for the featured film version of Mulan.

In May 2010, she released the single "Every Touching Moment" for the Shanghai Expo 2010 with Tanya Chua, JJ Lin and A-do. On March 2011, Ms. Sun launched her comeback with a new album, "It's Time" (是时候) four years after her last album.

In December 2012, she announced her plans to return with concert tour in 2013. She commented that "clever singers do not rush through a production" and that she is not in hurry to release a new album, and also joked that she is returning to the stage to earn "milk powder money" for her beloved son. Although an exact date has not been released yet, her manager mentioned that there will be no lesser than 12 stops for the tour this time round.

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