I can not, even given more time to mull it over, remember my first celebrity crush. And beyond my four-month stint as an editorial intern for US Weekly, I never cared much about the goings-on of celebrities.
It would serve me well, and those reading this, to inform you of my first celebrity crush introduced to me whilst living in Xi’an.
A Chinese friend of mine introduced me to 王力宏, Wang Lihong. At first, as she also served as my Chinese teacher in the first few months after arriving in Xi’an, said his music would be a nice way for me to pick up Mandarin, and she admitted to being mildly obsessed with him.
I do not normally confess loving pop music, and I guess, since I found it beneficial in my Mandarin language learning journey, forgive me if this music is a little too mainstream. (This coming from the formerly lip pierced, blue and pink haired “metalhead”!)
王力宏’s music features classical instruments like the 二胡, or erhu, 古筝, or guzheng; he is touted as the King of Chinese Pop and has an impressive following among Chinese diaspora. It does not hurt I found him particularly alluring in the looks department.
He is actually an ABC, an acronym used in China to refer to American-born Chinese. Americans would use the identifier Chinese American. He plays multiple instruments including drums, piano, and guitar, a classically-trained musician who spent several years traveling to remote areas of China to record traditional instruments rarely heard by the outside world, and did not start learning Mandarin until entering adulthood. And fans speculate in high school or college, Wang Lihong was the AM in an AMWF relationship, resulting in the song “Mary.” The supposed relationship did not end well, leaving him heartbroken 😦
I remember when I first informed ZJ of the celebrity crush, if you can even call it that, as I mostly appreciated his way of combining discordant elements (some albums blend traditional Chinese instruments with R&B, hip hop, and C-pop). Singing in English and/or Mandarin, guest vocals from familiar artists like Selina of S.H.E., the lovely-dovey lyrics, and lastly, finding his songs rather easily at KTV also made him likable in my book.
Although many of us crush on celebrities we find attractive, mainly in terms of appearance, there was more to this first celebrity crush, as I realized there are attractive Asian men, in more than the generic sense of that word, and there was no reason for me to rule out anyone based purely on an absurdly real type of brainwashing.
And what are the other interpretations of attractiveness? For me, I respond well to charm, especially an impeccable sense of humor peppered with sarcasm, and chemistry. My first two ZJ encounters, we talked for hours about any topic that came to mind, and five years ago, his wit was as sharp, biting, and entertaining as today.
I met ZJ prior to my friend Daphney introducing me to 王力宏. ZJ scoffed once when I noted similarities in their facial structure. In the hopes of making ZJ proud, I memorized several of his songs from listening on repeat, looking up the pinyin for the lyrics, and then singing my heart out. Luckily, all that practice paid off as the few times we went to KTV, including on Western New Year two years ago, I sang his songs in front of friends and ZJ (I am not blessed with an even remotely tolerable singing voice). Some of his songs live on my iPod, and whilst in China, set the song below, “Hua Tian Cuo”, as my ringtone.
This song’s title translates as “You are the song in my heart.” How sweet!
My favorite 王力宏 song because it was the first one I learned how to sing properly. I also shocked students I went to KTV with by being able to belt this one out, even though the lyrics repeat, meaning I only memorized several lines.
Another song I memorized early on, but it took me a long time to perfect. This song talks about starting to change the world by changing yourself first.
The only one I love is you, my true love is you
Hurting more painfully means loving more deeply– Oh, I don’t believe it
You and I stop breathing at the same time everytime we come near each other
You let me forget bewilderment, forget all my troubles
Despite protests, the one I love is you
In the pure and clean world of love, you are my one and only
Forever, forever, don’t doubt it
I loudly proclaim, the one I love is you
In the happy kingdom of love, you are my one and only
The only one I love is you, my true love is youIt’s you, it’s you, it’s you
The only one I love is you
The only one I love is you
My true love is you
The one I love is you
Readers, I turn it over to you: Who was your first celebrity crush?
Check back for fresh content tomorrow; I will be writing about my proudest moment.