Kelly Chen (traditional Chinese: 陳慧琳; simplified Chinese: 陈慧琳) (born September 13, 1972) is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress. Kelly has also been known as a diva in Asia. She has a great successful in Asia Entertainment industry. She has won a number of awards and is involved in many philanthropic activities.
Chen was born under the name of Vivian Chen Wai Man on September 13, 1972 in Hong Kong. She attended Canadian Academy International School in Kobe, Japan, for high school and then Parsons The New School for Design in New York, where she studied graphic art.
Speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, and English. Has an elder sister and a younger brother, singer Victor Chen Si Hon.
In 1994, while still a student at Parsons The New School for Design, Chen made two commercials, one for Shanghai Beer and one for the Bank of Hong Kong.After graduating from Parsons in 1995, Chen returned to Hong Kong. Chen was introduced to an acquaintance who owned a production studio and was chosen to feature in a Jacky Cheung music video.Later in 1995, Chen made her film debut in Whatever Will Be, Will Be (仙樂飄飄), and sang the film's theme song. In September 1995, Chen performed the song "Mou Tian" composed by composer Steve Barakatt.She then released a compilation album, Break the Sky, along with 3 other singers, and then her first Cantonese album, Dedicated Lover (醉迷情人) in December.The album was a success in Hong Kong and furthered her acting and musical career.
In May 1996, Kelly released her first Mandarin language album, I Don't Think So (我不以為), in , Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore, which sold over 150,000. Following the album's success, she produced another Cantonese CD in October 1996, Wind, Flower, Snow (風花雪).Wind, Flower, Snow is a very popular song in Hong Kong. In November, 1996, Chen released her first Japanese single, "Traveler." 1996 saw Kelly's first stint as a Japanese singer when she released two Japanese singles.
In 1997, Kelly performed her first ever concert, "Starry Dream of Love" (星夢情真) and released the partner CD in June, this album sold over 100,000 in Hong Kong. She held three concerts in Hong Kong in June, named "Kelly Starry Dream of Love Concert"(陳慧琳星夢情真演唱會). In July, she released "Morning", another Japanese single and her first Japan-based hit. Kelly also provided the voice of Madame Trunk in the animated movie "A Chinese Ghost Story". In the course of five months Kelly released four albums. With the releases of her 2nd Mandarin album, "Insight" (體會), the compilation "Kelly's Best Collection 97", the live CD "Starring Dream of Love Live in Concert", and her next Cantonese CD "A Movie" (一齣戲). "Insight" sold 1.34 million in East Asia. Kelly had established herself as a popular singer and actor in East Asia region.
In 1998, Kelly embarked on a World Tour,"Kelly Starry Dream of Love World Tour"(陳慧琳星夢情真世界巡迴演唱會), starting in Australia. Besides the world tour, Kelly also performed 10 concerts for school children in Taiwan. She also released her mandarin album, "Love Me Or Not"(愛我不愛), the hit single "Note Book"(記事本) is well-known all over Asia. This album sold over 2 million in Asia, Kelly boosted her status as a Chinese pop music diva in Asia Entertainment industry.
Starring in the television drama "Don't be a Cry Baby" with Japanese star Kyoko Fukada and performing two concerts in Fukuoka, Japan in 1999, Kelly increased her Japanese fanbase. She released a new+bes ablum, "Love Of Colours" was sold over 300,000 in Hong Kong from 9 December 1999 to 2000, was the best selling album in 2000. She also won "The most popular female artist" in 1999 Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation. Her albums were sold over 230,000 in Hong Kong in 1999, the best selling female artist in Hong Kong.
Kelly released her Mandarin album "Likes Your Loving"(愛你愛的)in April, 2000. The album sold 200,000 copies in Taiwan within ten days and one million copies in Asia within a month. The next month she released her Cantonese CD "Paisley Galaxy"(花花宇宙) in Hong Kong, which sold 120,000 copies within a month and 200,000 copies in Hong Kong that year. The Mandarin version of the hit single "Paisley Galaxy" was very popular in East Asia. In July of that year, she held six sold-out shows in Hong Kong as the ""Paisley Galaxy World Tour, Hong Kong"(陳慧琳花花宇宙演唱會). In November, she released another Cantonese album, "Big Day"(大日子), which sold over 130,000 copies within a month. Kelly won "Most Popular Female Artist" at the 2000 Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation. Her albums sold over one million copies in Hong Kong in 2000, and she also won the "2000 IFPI Best-Selling Artist in Hong Kong" award. In a 2000 Taiwan publication, Kelly was listed as the highest-paid female entertainer in Hong Kong.
Kelly released her remix album "Kelly BPM Dance Collection" in March 2001, which sold over 150,000 copies. She embarked on another world tour, the "Paisley Galaxy World Tour"(陳慧琳花花宇宙世界巡迴演唱會), which started out with one show in Singapore and two shows in Genting Highlands in Malaysia. (She broke the record of best-selling Hong Kong singers' concerts in Malaysia.) Kelly came to North America, where she performed concerts in Chicago, Atlantic City, Los Angeles and Toronto all as a part of her world tour in May. She later returned to China for a tour where she performed in Guangzhou, Huizhou, Zhongshan, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing. She released a Mandarin album, "Flying"(飛吧), in August. The album was the among the top 20 best-selling albums in Taiwan in 2001. Kelly's movie "Calmi Cuori Appassionati"(冷靜與熱情之間), released in November, 2001, grossed more than 30 billion yen (HKD$220,000,000) in Japan. The film broke the pre-sale ticket record in Japan. The film was ranked as the 98th best-selling movie in Japan. Kelly won "Asian Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Female Artist" at the 2001 Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation.
Kelly released her first Japanese album, "Grace", in January, 2002, selling over 50,000 copies in Japan. She released her Cantonese album "Ask Kelly" that February. The single "Blessed"(有福氣) was very popular in Hong Kong. She released her Mandarin album "Love is coming"(愛情來了) in May and held one concert in Taoyuan, Taiwan, named "Kelly Chen Love is Coming Concert"(陳慧琳愛情來了演唱會). She held 12 shows in Hong Kong in July, named "Kelly Dynacarnival World Tour, Hong Kong"(陳慧琳飛天舞會演唱會). She held a shows called "Kelly Dynacarnival World Tour"(陳慧琳飛天舞會世界巡迴演唱會) in Sydney and Melbourne in September. In November, she released her Mandarin album(new+bes) "Shinning Every Day"(閃亮每一天). She held her "Kelly Dynacarnival World Tour" in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in December. The Republic of Liberia issued stamps commemorating her in December. Kelly won "Asian Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Female Artist" at the 2002 Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation and "Best Dressed 31st Awards" held by the Japanese government.
She held her "Kelly Dynacarnival World Tour" in San Fransico, Altantic City and Toronto in April, 2003. She released her Mandarin album "He or She Says"(心口不一) and Cantonese album "Love"(愛) in August. "He or She Says" sold over 800,000 in Asia. Kelly again won the "Asian Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Female Artist" award at the 2003 Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation.
She became the first Asian spokesperson for Dior in May, 2004. She released her Cantonese album "Stylish Index". She was chosen as "Famous Outstanding Young Persons of the World" (2004年度世界傑出青年) by Junior Chamber International in October, 2004. She held 10 shows in Hong Kong in December, named "Kelly Lost in Paradise World Tour, Hong Kong"(陳慧琳紙醉金迷演唱會) and also released her Cantonese album "Grace & Charm". She was also voted "CCTV Most Popular Female Singer "(第七屆中央電視台音樂電視大賽港澳臺及海外華語歌壇最受歡迎女歌手) by forty-five million Chinese people in 2004.
In 2005, her song "Hope"(希望) from the Korean TV series Dae Jang Geum(大 長今) as it was a popular song in both Hong Kong and mainland China. This song also improved her earnings as well as the company promoting her at the time. At the TVB 8 Awards Presentation Kelly took home 3 awards for the song "Hope" including the Song Award, World's Most Popular Cantonese Song, and Most Well-Liked Female Singer in mainland China. "Hope" was also the top song of charts for 20 radio stations in China and had even set a high record for ringtone downloads. A month after the initial launch, there were a total of over 3 million downloads and to date, the accumulated figure is over 6 million. As such, her record company had earned $5 million after deductions. Universal Music Group's managing director had called Kelly to inform her of the good news. Kelly had promised that if the number of downloads were to go over 10 million, she will distribute the earnings to the staff. Kelly has also wrapped up her tour, "Kelly Chen Lost in Paradise World Tour"(陳慧琳紙醉金迷世界巡迴演唱會) in 2005-2006 in Asia and North America(10 shows in Hong Kong, 2 Shows in Genting Highlands in Malaysia, 2 shows in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, 12 shows (2 in Shanghai, 1 in Nanjing, 1 in Wuhan, 1 in Harbin, 1 in Chongqing, 1 in Chengdu, 1 in Hangzhou, 1 in Changzhou, 1 in Wuxi, 2 in Guangzhou)in Mainland China, 3 shows in USA(2 in Connecticut,1 in Las Vegas), 1 show in Toronto, Canada). "Lost in Paradise" lasted three hours and contained 35 songs from Kelly's lengthy 10-year music career. Kelly has held total 30 shows for "Kelly Lost in Paradise World Tour".
Kelly was ranked as the third most-earned income artist, following byJackie Chan and Andy Lau (the most-earned female artist) overall all Greater China region from 2005 to 2007.
In 2008, Kelly perform in the movie "Empress and the Warriors"(江山美人), the box office was about HKD$100,000,000. She also held 6 concerts in Hong Kong, named "Kelly Chen Love Fighters Concert 2008"(陳慧琳Love Fighters演唱會08). She announced to all the audiences that she will marry to Alex Lau in her last concert in 18 June. Kelly has turned down all the shows of the "Kelly Chen Love Fighters World Tour"(陳慧琳Love Fighters 世界巡迴演唱會) in China, Taiwan, Korea, USA, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia because she wanted to give birth. She was married to Alex Lau(劉建浩) in 2 October. She performed in the Closing Ceremony of 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
In 2009, Kelly was chosen as "Young Global Leaders" by World Economic Forum in 2009. Her first son, Chace Lau(劉昇) , was borned in 10 July. Kelly performed with Amei Cheung, in the opening ceremony of National Games of the People's Republic of China.
In 2010, Kelly released her first Mandarin album after giving her birth, "Chasing dreams"(微光) in March.
Chen has won various awards. She was voted "Most Popular Female Singer" from 1999 to 2000 and "Most Popular Female Singer all over Asia" six years in a row, from 2001 to 2006.
Since 1998, Chen has been involved in a number of charitable activities, and has served as an ambassador for a number of causes including environmental protection, education, and children's causes. She was appointed a Hong Kong Goodwill Ambassador in 1998.
Chen was appointed Hong Kong Ambassador of Environment in 1998. With Greenpeace, she has made a number of commercials to promote awareness of environmental protection.
In April 2002, she was appointed by the "Standing Committee on Language Education and Research" (SCOLAR) as the "Ambassador of The Workplace English Campaign" to encourage the working people to keep studying the English language as Kelly herself had done. After years of serving other funds, Kelly finally started her own fund to help children called the "Kelly Chen Children Education Fund" to raise money to help needy children. Besides performing her Dynacarnival concert in Hong Kong, Kelly traveled to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia to perform her concert there. Kelly was soon appointed by the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department as the "Ambassador of The Rehabilitation". Kelly was also awarded with two honors: first, she was chosen as one of Hong Kong's Ten Outstanding Young Persons 2002.That same year, she was invited to represent Hong Kong to attend the ABU Prizes – Presentation & Special Concert in the NHK Hall in Tokyo. She also received the 13th Annual Best Dressed Award in Japan, becoming the first foreigner to ever receive the award. She was later invited by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and HKSAR Government Health Department to film the publicity campaigns for promoting the respect of personal privacy and organ donation throughout China and Hong Kong.
She was appointed by UNICEF as the Honorable China Children's Health Ambassador. Kelly was later appointed by The Hong Kong Girl Guides Association as "Girl Guides Millennium Goodwill Ambassador", which led her to visit inner Mongolia to investigate the way young children were living and the health and food services they were receiving. In 2001, Kelly added yet another title to her growing list as The Volunteer Ambassador 2001 as appointed by the Social Welfare Department. She was later appointed by UNICEF a second time as The Ambassador of The Hong Kong Committee For UNICEF.
Other charitable work
As an ambassador of the Hong Kong Red Cross, Chen promoted the donation of blood banks and an ambassador for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).[March 2003 brought even more titles Kelly's way: she was appointed The Philatelic Ambassador by the Hong Kong Post, as well as "The Love And Peace Ambassador" by City Junior Chamber. Kelly soon took her "Dynacarnival" to North America by performing in Atlantic City, Toronto and San Francisco. She also began to release DSD versions of her earlier albums, including "Dedicated Lover". She was later appointed as Star of "Hong Kong Outstanding Students Award" by Lion & Globe Educational Trust, furthering her push for better education. In June 2003, Kelly's wax figure for the Madam Tussaud Wax Museum was ready and was put on display. She was later invited to be the "Love Ambassador" of "World Children's Day at McDonald's 2003" by McDonald's Restaurants in Hong Kong. She was also appointed as the "Pass-it-On" Ambassador by the Hong Kong Red Cross, and attend its Christmas campaign to visit the John. F. Kennedy Center.
Kelly's charitable work continued into 2004 as she was appointed as the star representative to attend the "5th HK Outstanding Teenagers" election press conference held by Hong Kong Playground Association and RTHK. In February, Kelly was appointed as both "Road Safety Vision Ambassador" by the Road Safety Council to promote road safety, and as the "Reading Ambassador" by The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong. May 2004 brought the title of "Hospital Play Ambassador" to Kelly, as well as the title of "Japanese Promotional Ambassador" by The Japan Society of HK, Consulate General of Japan and RTHK to encourage Hong Kong citizens to learn Japanese. Kelly received another award when she was named "The Outstanding Young Persons of the World" in 2004 by the Junior Chamber International, becoming the first Hong Kong female celebrity to be honored with the award.
In 2007, Kelly was appointed as Hong Kong "Innovative Entrepreneur Ambassdor" (創意創業大使) and had sung the theme song "Innovation" (創) for the "Innovative Entrepreneur of The Year 2007" (創意創業大賞2007) organised by City Junior Chamber城市青年商會, Hong Kong.Kelly's responsibility is to promote the awareness of entrepreneurship to youngsters and to attend the various promotion events organised. She also continued the support of Innovation Entrepreneur in 2008.
After completing her movie, An Empress And The Warriors, with Leon Lai, Kelly headed a concert, called "Love Fighters", at the HK Coliseum in June 2008. This was her biggest concert headline to date, which will feature many sets and exotic choreography.
Kelly donated $600,000 for the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
She sang at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Media and public relations
In a survey conducted in early 2002 by the City University of Hong Kong, Kelly was named "The Most Popular Idol" among youth groups.
In 1997, Shiseido, Japan's largest cosmetics company, hired Chen to appear in their commercials; she was "depicted as [a] modern Asian [beauty], not quite identical yet not totally different from Japanese women."Chen was also chosen as the cover model for Ginza, a new monthly magazine targeted at women in their twenties.
FilmographyHer film debut was in 1995, in Whatever Will Be, Will Be (仙樂飄飄, Xian Yue Piao Piao, literally Heavenly Music Floating in the Air). Kelly Chan has since starred and made cameos in quite a number of films. Her filmography includes:
- Whatever Will Be, Will Be (仙樂飄飄, 1995)
- The Age of Miracles (1995)
- Lost and Found (天涯海角, 1996)
- A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation (1997)
- Anna Magdalena (安娜瑪德蓮娜, 1998)
- Hot War (幻影特攻, 1998)
- Metade Fumaca (半支煙, 1999) - Cameo
- Tokyo Raiders (東京攻略, 2000)
- And I Hate You So (小親親, 2000)
- Lavender (薰衣草, 2000)
- Calmi Cuori Appassionati (冷靜與熱情之間, 2001)
- Merry Go Round (初戀拿喳麵, 2001) - Cameo
- Infernal Affairs (無間道, 2002)
- Infernal Affairs III (無間道 III, 2003)
- Breaking News (大事件, 2004)
- Super Model (我要做Model, 2004) - Cameo
- McDull, the Alumni (春田花花同學會, 2006) - OL
- It's a Wonderful Life (心想事成, 2007)
- An Empress and the Warriors (江山美人, 2008)
- 72 Tenants of Prosperity (2010)
- The Monkey King (2011)