Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taiwan’s internet singing sensation takes US by storm

The power of the Internet and social media have once again shown their power by aiding in the rise of Lin Yu-chun, now considered Taiwan’s very own ‘Susan Boyle.’ Lin rose from obscurity after appearing on a local talent show singing, “I will always love you.” His performance became a popular download, earning him recent guest appearances on two popular American talk shows.

On April 20, Lin with a bowl haircut and a red bow tie, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Introduced by DeGeneres as the “marvelous boy from Taiwan,” Lin went on to perform his signature song as well as “Amazing Grace,” and received a standing ovation from a rapturous audience.

“I am very happy that more people in this world have gotten to know about Taiwan because of my singing,” said Lin. During the show, he also offered words of encouragement to children, who like himself, have been bullied at school. “There's a reason for everybody's existence in this world. Be confident. The best way to get back at those bullies is to be more successful than they are,” Lin said. At the end of the show, DeGeneres surprised him with a ticket to the annual party concert sponsored by “American Idol.”

It was a full day for Lin, who also appeared on Lopez Tonight where he sang “Saving All My Love for You” by Nichols Cosper, a music coach to superstars such as Madonna and Beyonce Knowles. Lin also sang “Total Eclipse of the Heart” accompanied by William Shatner, known for his role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek. Again Lin, and small screen legend Shatner, won a standing ovation from the audience.

Lin’s voice made such an impression, that Lopez’s band members encouraged him to seek further opportunities in the U.S. “I already feel more confident after taking part in the shows,” said Taiwan’s newest celebrity.

Lin was born in 1986 to a traditional Taiwanese family. His father was a military officer before retirement and maintained a strict household, discouraging Lin from choosing a singing career. But his mother loved English songs and encouraged him to sing. Growing up, he was often cared for by his grandmother and he dedicated “I Will Always Love You” to her.

Coming from a big family, Lin has many cousins and relatives who attended prestigious colleges in Taiwan and the United States. Upon graduation from college, he was not able to find a job, and felt inferior when attending family gatherings. Since appearing on Taiwan’s popular Super Star Boulevard and the American shows, his performances on YouTube have been watched over 6 million times.

Here are some links to his appearances in Taiwan and the shows in the United States.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.