C-pop is short for Chinese popular music (simplified Chinese: 中文流行音乐; traditional Chinese: 中文流行音樂). Most of today's C-pop artists are from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, as well as from other countries where Mandarin or Cantonese languages are used, such as Singapore and Malaysia. However, Taiwanese music has some origins from the Japanese enka so Taiwanese pop is sometimes said to be a different genre from C-Pop.
Cantonese pop[change | change source]
Cantonese pop, or colloquially known as Cantopop, is a subgenre of C-pop, sung in Cantonese language. Most Hong Kong-born singers start off as Cantonese pop singers before starting a career as a Mandarin pop singer. Cantonese pop artists include:
- Aaron Kwok
- Andy Lau
- Candy Lo
- CoCo Lee
- Jacky Cheung
- Leon Lai
- Alan Tam
- Leslie Cheung
- Samuel Hui
- Priscilla Chan
- Joseph Koo
The Four Heavenly Kings[change | change source]
In the early 1990s, many major Cantonese pop stars (such as Alan Tam, Leslie Cheung, Samuel Hui, Priscilla Chan and Joseph Koo) decided to retire because of the protests in China in 1989. Cantonese pop needed new talent to fill the gaps left by these retired stars, this led to the beginning of "the Four Heavenly Kings" or "四大天王" (lit. Four Great Kings of Heaven): Jacky Jeung, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok and Leon Lai. They were dominating the media in all forms, from magazines, TV, cinema to music.
Mandarin pop[change | change source]
Mandarin pop (simplified Chinese: 华语流行音乐; traditional Chinese: 華語流行音樂; pinyin: Huá Yǔ Liú Xíng Yīn Yuè) is a subgenre of C-pop. Also known as Mandopop and Mandapop, Mandarin pop songs are performed in Mandarin. Most Cantonese pop stars also expand their music career into the Mandarin pop scene.