Non-Kpop Wednesday: Jane Zhang
Jane Zhang (Zhang Liangying) is one of China’s most known singers outside her country. The talented songstress not only sings in Mandarin and Cantonese, but Spanish and English as well. The 30-year old has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and held a concert in the US among other accomplishments, so is there anything Jane Zhang cannot do?
Zhang hails from Chengdu, Sichuan, China where music seems to have always been a part of her life. At a young age, Zhang shared her talent for singing with her parents’ coworkers, moving to singing at a local pub following her parents’ divorce and father’s death. While singing at the pub, she gained more exposure to different music, which influences her style today.
Zhang then dropped out at Sichuan University to compete in 2005’s Super Girl competition where she placed third behind Li Yuchun and Bibi Zhou. During the show, Zhang showcased her versatility and global flavor by singing songs from Shania Twain, Shunza, Tina Turner, Joe Yamanaka, Wei Wei, and Christina Aguilera among others. While she earned critical praise, young viewers weren’t behind her, thus her third place finish. However, this placement didn’t deter her as she became the first Super Girl contestant to hold a music show for fans. The attention from the show also opened many doors for her.
In 2006, Zhang released her first EP, Jane Love, and debut album, The One. The latter was released on her 22nd birthday and featured three English songs produced by Craig Williams. The album led to Zhang being chosen to sing for various films and dramas in China, helping to put Zhang on the map.
Since 2006, Zhang has released six albums, three EPs, and one live album:
- Jane Love EP (2006)
- The One (2006)
- Dear Jane EP (2007)
- Update (2007)
- Jane@Music (2009)
- Believe in Jane (2010)
- Reform (2011)
- Listen to Jane Z Live (2012)
- Grateful EP (2013)
- The Seventh Sense (2014)
With these albums, Zhang has had over 30 singles chart on the Chinese music charts and has been nominated for eleven awards, winning eight of them including two Best Asian Artist awards and the Most Popular Female Artist Award. Additionally, in 2007, Zhang was also the only Asian artist invited to partake in World Peace One to promote awareness of third-world poverty. In the same year, she also sang “We Are Ready” with Jackie Chan, Joey Yung, and Elva Hsiao to promote the summer Olympics coming to China.
In 2015, Zhang was chosen with Big Sean to sing “Fighting Shadows” for the newest Terminator film, Terminator Genysis, set to open soon in the US. This is a big honor, especially considering how Asian artists are starting to gain recognition in the US market.
With “Fighting Shadows” about to be released, check out some other songs by Jane Zhang to introduce yourself to a wonderful, accomplished singer so you can get to know her better.