Singer JJ Lin, 39, is one of Singapore’s greatest success stories in music, having established himself as a star on par with other Mandopop greats and amassed a huge following all over the world.
Some of these devotees — over 30,000, to be exact — are willing to pay to be part of his official VIP fan club, JJ Federation, which offers some pretty cool perks, such as access to exclusive app content, private meet-ups, and early merchandise sales. There's even a dedicated zone close to the stage that's reserved for them at JJ's concerts.
According to Chinese netizens, the annual membership fee costs 290 yuan (about S$58), and members are also required to shell out an additional 120 yuan (about S$24) for the club T-shirt.
After doing the math, Taiwanese media have estimated that JJ Federation could have raked in as much as NT$400mil (S$19mil) since it was established eight years ago. And where exactly all that sweet moolah goes to recently became a controversial topic on the internet.
A few days ago, a post emerged on a Chinese forum alleging that JJ Federation has been operating and collecting payment illegally in China without the proper licence and permissions.
The article also points out that the fan club earnings appear to be remitted to the private account of JJ's appointed executive broker, Abiba Wang. Because the money is transferred into a personal account, it is non-taxable, a little fact that then led to suspicions of one of the biggest no-no's for an affluent celeb: Tax evasion.
JJ's management agency wasted no time in responding to these unsavoury accusations. “JJ Federation has always been committed to giving back to fans who love and support JJ Lin and his music,” they said in a statement. “The fan club does not exist for the purpose of making a profit, and the benefits enjoyed by fans far exceed the value of the membership fee.”
They also explained that the information shared by netizens is not consistent with the current facts, and warned that they reserve the right to pursue legal action against anyone who continues to spread malicious rumours.
In mid-March, Hongkong singer-actor William Chan gave us a glimpse of his super spacious Hongkong home that he had been holed up in with his mum and pet pooch 'cos of COVID-19. But as it turns out, he didn' t really have much time to rest at home anyway. Just two weeks later, he had to fly to Shanghai for work.
However, travel restrictions have since tightened up considerably, and the 34-year-old had to be isolated and quarantined for 14 days when he arrived in the Chinese city. He finally finished serving his quarantine notice on April 15, and has been busy with work since then.
So, how did William do during these 14 days? Not so well, according to this interview he did recently.
The singer-actor said that his mum was initially worried about him being alone for 14 days, but he saw it as a rare opportunity for him to kick back and relax. After all, he had been super busy with work these few years.
For the first few days of his self-quarantine, William said he really enjoyed this rare chance to unwind, spending his time gaming and working out. But as the days went on, he became “so bored [he] started talking to [himself ]”.
“I felt more downcast and gloomy, life [in self-quarantine] was so boring that I almost couldn’t bear it,” he said.
Thankfully, he managed to pull himself out of his self-quarantine funk through more exercise. Just a few days ago, he posted a vid showing how he manages to squeeze in a full-body workout in his hotel room with no gym equipment. He also encouraged his fans to start working out as well.
When asked to share how he feels now that he’s finally out of self-quarantine, William said that he’s since discovered a new zest for life.
“In the future, I won’t ever feel down in the dumps [again], because I’m contented with just being healthy,” he said.
Kenix Kwok And Frankie Lam Revisit Their Wedding Venue With Their Daughter On Its Last Day Of Operations
Just a minute walk away from Hongkong's Avenue of Stars is the InterContinental Hotel, which made the news recently when it announced that it will close for its “biggest renovation in 30 years". When it reopens in 2022, the hotel will be rebranded as the Regent Hongkong.
The five-star hotel holds special memories for Hongkong actor and vice-president of Hongkong's ATV Frankie Lam and his wife, former TVB actress Kenix Kwok — it was where they got married some 16 years ago in 2004. And on Monday (Apr 20) , which was the InterCon's last day of business, the couple paid the place a visit with their 10-year-old daughter, Tania. It's said that the family booked a night's stay there and even enjoyed the hotel's famed fancy high-tea buffet.
“Full of happiness and beautiful memories. It's InterContinental Hotel's last day [of operations] and of course, we had to revisit the old place, the rooms and different parts of the hotel… These [memories] will always remain in my heart.. See you after the revamp!” Kenix, 50, wrote on IG. She also posted #throwback pics of their wedding and the family even stood at the same steps where Frankie, now 52, and Kenix had their wedding photos taken.
Back then, the couple’s wedding was dubbed the 'Wedding of the Year' by the Hongkong media as it involved two of TVB's then-biggest stars.
Kenix’s IG post brought back a flurry of memories, especially for her fans.
"This is too beautiful, and you guys just never age!” raved a fan.
It’s been just a little over two months since Hongkong actors Tavia Yeung and Him Law confirmed that they were expecting their first child together, and earlier this afternoon (Apr 22), they announced the arrival of their baby girl.
If you’re thinking, “So fast!?”, you’re not the only one. In their matching Instagram posts, the couple said that their daughter was born “a little earlier than expected”. According to previous reports, Tavia’s due date was supposed to be in May, but fortunately, everything went very smoothly, and both mum and baby are doing well.
“10 months of pregnancy was filled with both difficulty and happiness. To us, there is no bigger blessing than this gift from the heavens,” they wrote. “As new parents, we are trembling with fear, but we are also feeling a joy and satisfaction like no other.”
After thanking a long list of hospital staff for their help and support, Tavia and Him shared that after their child was born, grandma remarked that she looks like a pearl, hence their daughter’s nickname, “Little Pearl”.
With all that’s happening around the world right now, the couple added that even though the future is full of uncertainties, they wish for a safe future for Hongkong, and for their daughter to grow up with faith, good health, and happiness.
Him also dedicated a special note to his wife at the end of his caption: “My wife, you’ve worked hard, although that simple phrase is not enough to describe all that you’ve been through. Being pregnant for 10 months is not an easy thing.”
Tavia, 40, and 35-year-old Him tied the knot in 2016 after about five years of dating. Him has previously stated that he would love to have twins, so um, better luck next time, then?
Ever youthful Hongkong actress Irene Wan is no stranger to wowing the Internet with her age-defying good looks.
Last weekend, the 53-year-old (yup) posted a few photos of herself posing on a yacht clad in a tiny red two-piece, confidently showing off her physique and garnering praise from fans for her beauty.
As it turns out, her bikini-ready bod isn’t a product of good genes. Yesterday (Apr 20), Irene updated her Weibo again, this time with pictures of herself working out in the comfort and safety of her home (just like everybody else during this period of safe distancing).
“If you want to be healthy and happy like me, please do yoga with me every day,” she wrote. “P.S. This is my secret weapon.”
According to Hongkong media, Irene puts in a lot of hard work into maintaining her figure.
“Actually, I am not someone who is naturally thin; I put on weight quite easily!” she claimed. “During my last trip to Paris, I ate non-stop and put on 3lbs (about 1.4kg). When I came back to Hongkong, I weighed 105lbs (about 47.6kg) and my waistline grew an inch.”
Through the power of exercise — specifically, two hours of yoga, cycling, and rope skipping daily — she managed to return to her original weight of 102lbs (about 46.2kg). She also got back her 24-inch waist.
In addition, Irene recommends avoiding sweet beverages (time to say goodbye to that bubble tea, not that you have a choice now anyway) and to drink lots of hot lemon water instead.
“As long as you have perseverance and put in at least an hour of exercise every day, everyone can have a 24-inch waist!”
Liza Wang Is Helping To Distribute Funds To Cantonese Opera Performers Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic
Hongkong veteran star Liza Wang has been giving back to society since forever.
Not only has she helped charities raise awareness and funds for cancer patients (she's a two-time cancer survivor herself) over the years, the 72-year-old also aided COVID-19 relief efforts by donating boxes of anti-pandemic supplies to frontline staff and temples in the past few months.
Now, Liza's helping Cantonese opera performers whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19.
On April 17, Liza uploaded a pic of herself in her office at the Chinese Artist Association of Hongkong. She was seen behind a desk piled with documents, presumably signing cheques to distribute to affected performers.
It's said that they will be receiving funds from the HK$150mil (S$27mil) provided by the Hongkong government to help keep the arts sector afloat.
"[I] hope to distribute it to the affected Cantonese opera performers as soon as possible," Liza wrote on IG.
The TVB Ah Jie was once a Cantonese opera actress and she still remains very active in the community. It was within the Cantonese opera community that Liza met her second husband, actor Law Kar-ying and she is currently the Chairman of the Chinese Artist Association of Hongkong.
Netizens were touched by Liza’s dedication to those involved with the craft and left her encouraging messages on her social media.
"Go for it, sister Liza!” one fans wrote. “Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Thank you for everything you’ve done for the people of Hongkong!”
It was recently reported that French luxury brand Hermès pulled in an astounding US$2.7mil (S$3.8mil) in one day when it reopened a store in Guangzhou, China after the COVID-19 lockdown.
The brand has long been the favourite for wealthy shoppers, and among those who worship the cult of Hermès is Hongkong actress Anita Yuen, whose love for the brand's bags is well-known.
So when a netizen posted online that they had bumped into the 48-year-old star at an Hermès store recently, it didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.
Until said netizen shared what Anita bought during her visit — six bags and 16 pieces of clothing. “She's really rich, and really loves buying bags,” marvelled the netizen in her post.
The post quickly started making the rounds online, and was so popular that even Anita took notice of it. Her first reaction, however, was to correct the netizen.
Though she did not deny visiting the store, Anita maintained that she certainly did not spend as much as the netizen had claimed.
“No, no, no, [I’m making a] clarification, it’s impossible that [I bought] six bags, they were all small wallets, [and] what 16 pieces of clothing, [they were] caps! Don’t exaggerate, or else I won’t be able to return home, thank you,” Anita wrote.
Netizens were tickled pink by Anita’s reply, with one commenting that they “could hear Anita’s voice” while they were reading it.
Another netizen also brought up the fact that while six small wallets and 16 caps from Hermès is considerably cheaper than buying the same number of bags and clothes from the luxury brand, they aren’t exactly cheap either.
“[Anita’s husband Hongkong singer-actor] Julian Cheung is watching you,” the netizen cautioned Anita.
Earlier this month, Sammi Cheng revealed her secret, upon the request of her many fans, to having sweat-proof eyeliner. Now, the fitness and wellness-obsessed Hongkong star is back with another health-related video, this time sharing one very simple weight loss tip.
On Sunday (Apr 19), the 47-year-old told her followers that she eats cooked purple sweet potatoes that have been refrigerated and reheated because she believes they can help speed up weight loss.
"After steaming the purple sweet potatoes, you can put them in the fridge, but do not freeze them like ice! Refrigerate them and take them out after leaving them chilled overnight. After reheating, a resistant starch will be produced!” Sammi advised. “Simply speaking, the calorie absorption is less. In fact, you can do this with white rice as well. If you like to eat and want to eat more, you can use this method. If you’re looking to lose weight, you can give this a try!”
In case you don’t understand Sammi, here’s a simpler explanation: When you put cooked purple sweet potatoes in the fridge, it gives the spuds time to form high amounts of resistant starch, which is less easily absorbed by the body when eaten. Which means you consume less calories lah.
Besides, sweet potatoes are incredibly filling, thus making you less likely to snack.
"Eating purple sweet potatoes every day will ensure that you lose weight… If you guys remember, I’ve posted another video before on purple potatoes. I like purple potatoes but I haven’t been eating them for a long time… Recently, I craved for them and I went to the market to buy some,” wrote Sammi, at the same time poking fun at her outfit, which she said made her look just like a sweet purple potato.
She also mentioned that one should not confuse purple sweet potatoes with sweet potatoes.
"Purple sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes are not the same thing at all. In simple terms, purple sweet potatoes have higher calories than sweet potatoes and I think sweet potatoes are sweeter, and purple sweet potatoes will be much cheaper than sweet potatoes,” Sammi said.
Selina Jen’s Younger Sister Says She’s Still Living In The S.H.E Star’s Shadow Even After 11 Years In Showbiz
It’s not easy living in the shadow of an older, more successful sibling. Just ask Lorene Jen — we don't blame you if your mind drew a blank reading that name — who is the younger sister of S.H.E member Selina Jen.
Lest you think she’s new to showbiz, Lorene, 31, has actually been acting for the past 11 years.
Lorene, who is starring in Taiwanese idol drama Amensalism alongside Prince Chiu, has been busy promoting the drama and during one interview, she was — surprise, surprise — asked about her older sister.
“A lot of people know that I’m Selina’s younger sister, but they don’t know that I’m an actress. I want them to know that I’m the actress Lorene Jen,” she declared. “I feel that the [Selina’s younger sister] label is gradually being used less, and my acting projects are also gaining more recognition [as time passes]. I’m working hard to be my own person, and I can feel the public trying their best to get to know me too.”
But just because she’s been living in her sister’s shadow doesn’t mean that there’s any bad blood between the two. Lorene even said that she has idolised Selina since she was a kid.
“I’m proud of her, and it’s not awkward [being known as Selina’s sister],” Lorene explained, “I don’t take offense at people asking me ‘Are you Selina’s younger sister?’. I even try to continue the conversation by asking them if they’ve watched any of my dramas. I get very happy if they say that they have, and we can continue chatting [about my work] after the topic has been changed.”
Netizens Are Not Happy That Jacky Cheung and Eason Chan Were Listed As Singers From China During One World: Together At Home Concert
Yesterday morning (Apr 19), the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-profit organisation Global Citizen and Lady Gaga partnered up to pull off one of the biggest celebrity charity events ever: the One World: Together At Home live stream concert.
The concert paid tribute to healthcare and essential workers on the frontline as well as appealed for funds for United Nations Foundation's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
According to Global Citizen, the virtual concert has “raised a total of US$127.9mil (S$182 mil), providing US$55.1mil (S$79mil) to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and $72.8mil (S$103mil) to local and regional responders”.
The eight-hour extravaganza featured more than 70 international celebrities, including Lady Gaga herself, Celine Dion, Billie Eilish, the Rolling Stones, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Elton John, and Taylor Swift.
And among the star-studded line-up were Hongkong singers Eason Chan and Jacky Cheung as well as concert pianist Lang Lang.
“Hello everyone! If you’re staying at home and have more free time, how about singing together? Hopefully, the pandemic will be gone really soon,” Jacky, 56, said in Mandarin before launching into a very emotive performance of his English song ‘Touch of Love’.
Also working, we mean singing, from home is Eason, who played the guitar while performing his Cantonese song, ‘I Have Nothing’.
"Hello, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the medical staff. Thank you for your selflessness and love,” Eason said in Cantonese before repeating his message in Mandarin and English.
He later performed John Lennon’s ‘Love’, while playing the piano.
“Hello! I’m Eason Chan. [As we’re] together at home, I thought I would share a little love with everyone. It’s the first time I’m doing this, so I’m a little bit nervous. And I can’t really play the piano… But anyway, I will try my best,” the 45-year-old singer said.
But what was supposed to be an event to unite the world against COVID-19 didn’t sit quite right with some netizens, who noticed that Eason and Jacky were listed as singers from “China”, while China-born Lang Lang and his wife, Gina Alice Redlinger, were introduced as pianists from USA.
While Eason and Jacky’s performances on Global Citizen’s official YouTube page had zero comments (perhaps they turned it off), a fan had re-uploaded Eason’s performance on his own YouTube page which quickly became a battlefield of heated exchanges between netizens on the One China policy.
“China? Where? [Eason] was born in British-Hongkong, educated in England,” wrote one netizen, while another referred to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan virus”.
"The useless youths of Hongkong are more toxic than the virus,” one Chinese netizen fought back, referring to the pro-democracy protesters. Another Chinese netizen said that this argument "just proves how some people from Hongkong and Taiwan are of poor quality".
However, some fans tried to diffuse the situation, by encouraging others to “abandon prejudice, unite as one and stop scolding each other".
"Please stop talking about family matters on an international platform, okay?" said one netizen.