Despite ageing criticisms, Taiwanese singer Wakin Chau defies odds and shines alongside Hong Kong’s ‘Four Heavenly Kings’

    Wakin Chau

    12th November 2023 – (Taipei) Wakin Chau, the 62-year-old singing sensation, once dubbed one of Taiwan’s “Four Heavenly Kings” and whose popularity swept across the entire East Asian Chinese-speaking regions, remains a formidable figure in the entertainment industry. Although Chau recently faced criticisms for noticeable weight gain and a gaunt complexion, with some netizens even jestingly commenting that he’s “aged beyond recognition”, he appeared in good form on Hunan TV recently. Indeed, he showed that he’s still very much in the game, standing tall amongst Hong Kong’s “Four Heavenly Kings” – Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, and Leon Lai.

    Born on 22nd December 1960, Chau, better known as Emil Chau during the ’80s and ’90s, is a Hong Kong-born Taiwanese singer and actor. His music has resonated throughout Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, and parts of Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. With a discography boasting over 40 albums since 2007, Chau’s influence on the Chinese music scene is undeniable.

    Chau was born the fourth son of seven children in a family rice store in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong. He took up the guitar around the age of 13, and in 1979, he headed to Taipei to study mathematics at the National Taiwan University. During his university years, he frequented local coffee shops, singing and playing folk songs, and honing his Mandarin singing skills.

    Chau’s ambition was always to become a recording artist. Despite initial setbacks in breaking into the music industry, he eventually secured a position as an assistant producer at Rock Records. Here, Chau penned pop songs for other artists and was encouraged by Chyi Yu to perform jingles for commercial advertisements. His breakthrough came when his boss at Rock Records recognised his voice in a car commercial jingle, leading to his first Mandarin album release on Rock Records in 1987.

    Under the stage name Emil Chau, he released over 40 albums in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English from 1985 onwards. His platinum albums, including “You Make Me Happy and Sad,” “The Flowery Heart,” “Music Brings Us Together,” and “Emil & Friends,” garnered awards in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In 1999, Chau reverted to using his given name, Wakin.

    In addition to his solo career, Chau was a member of the supergroup ‘Superband’, alongside Jonathan Lee, Chang Chen-yue, and Lo Ta-yu, until they disbanded in 2010 to focus on their individual careers.

    Beyond his music career, Chau has appeared in films, TV, and radio programs across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan. He also owns a restaurant and is actively involved in various international charitable causes. These include supporting kidney dialysis charities in Singapore, fundraising for local healthcare organisations in Taipei, contributing to Beijing’s 4th Grand Charity Drive for Children in 2005, and participating in Jackie Chan’s all-star concerts in Las Vegas. His commitment to using his fame for good further underscores Chau’s influence and respect in the entertainment industry.ShareRetry