Pan Wen Tjing or Rebecca Pan, born in Shanghai, China, is possibly one of the top divas from the 60s who still enjoys the privilege today, having accumulated about 50 years of show business experience.
In 1957, she began as a singer in a band at Hong Kong Caesar's Palace Nite Club where she replaced a friend for a few weeks. She gained a following, had the first ever fan club formed for her in HK and Nie, Nie, Wo, Wo became the theme song, written specially for her by Diamond Records where she cut her vinyls after going solo.
As she is able to sing in many languages namely: French, Italian, Arabic, Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, Pan was able to tour the world. With her multi-lingual singing ability she recorded the international evergreen, Rose Rose I Love You (1961) in both Chinese and English. Another hit, Second Spring (1965) by Yao Min, followed. Pan also recorded Ding Dong Song with the success of the musical, The World Of Suzie Wong by Lionel Bart.
In 1972 when other singers were still struggling to achieve stardom on stage, Pan had already formulated her own Broadway-styled movie musical and acted in Pei Niang Niang. She even directed this movie which is better known as Madam White Snake among her English speaking fans. It is a modern interpretation of the classic Chinese folk tale and the fusion musical proved a controversy, but it drew crowds. If Loving You Means Hurting You became the most successful song from the show.
She had starred in more than half a dozen art-house films and won a Golden Horse Award (equivalent to the Hollywood Oscar) in a Hong Kong production called, Days Of Being Wild. Pan is so popular that her music can be heard in many Hong Kong films. One movie is In The Mood For Love with her interpretation of Bengawan Solo and another movie is Flowers Of Shanghai.
According to some websites, she was credited with introducing Mandarin songs to an international audience, became Hong Kong's biggest music export and had performed in Singapore, India, Thailand, Israel, Australia, England, France, Spain and the U.S. She is still known as the Travelling Star.
Did she sing her swansong in Singapore and retired afterwards? Anyone?
Edited articles from 2 websites: Andy Lim.