Speaking of Hong Kong singers who achieved great success with a worldwide following, we can go into a long listing from Cantopop pioneers Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung to popular bands like Beyond and Twins. Each generation has its own outstanding talents, and for Generation Z, the spotlight shines on G.E.M. (Tang Tsz-kei)
Hong Kong-born G.E.M. enjoys an active and successful career, particularly in the Mainland Chinese entertainment scene. Here are five things to know about the young Hongkonger whose influence has extended beyond Asia toward global fame.
She found success as early as age 20
G.E.M. was born in 1991 and raised by a family of musicians: her mother, alumni at Shanghai Conservatory of Music; grandparents, a vocal coach and a saxophonist; uncle, a violinist. G.E.M. started songwriting at the age of 13 and released her debut self-titled EP G.E.M. in 2008 when she was 17. In 2011, she performed a three-day concert named Get Everybody Moving Tour in the Hung Hom Coliseum and became the youngest Hong Kong female artist to perform in this landmark venue.
G.E.M. first appeared in the second season of the Chinese TV singing competition show I Am A Singer and finished in second place among seven well-known professional singers from the music industry. Her performances and covers of Beyoncé’s If I Were A Boy, Beyond’s Like You and Jay Chou’s Tornado impressed many mainland audiences. G.E.M. has been invited to various popular Chinese TV shows such as The Rap of China and The Coming One: Super Band.
G.E.M. has been a cover star for fashion magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, So Figaro and Grazia. She is a regular attendee at Louis Vuitton’s fashion show and a global brand ambassador for Urban Decay.
G.E.M. is the first female Chinese singer to have four music videos – “Light Years Away,” “Goodbye,” “Tik Tok,” “Evil From the Heaven” – that break 100 million views on YouTube. She performed the Chinese theme song “Light Years Away” for the science fiction film Passengers at NASA Breakthrough Prize in 2019. She is also the first-ever Chinese singer to perform at that ceremony.