Singer-Songwriter | Chang Yu-sheng
Cassette tape, 1988
- Chinese Name: 張雨生
- Born: June 7, 1966
- Died: November 12, 1997
- Birthplace: Penghu County (Pescadores Islands)
- Did You Know That …?
- Chang was the driving force behind Amis (Puyuma) singer A-Mei’s (張惠妹) initial popularity and success in the Chinese-speaking community. Her first album “Sisters (姊妹),” which contains two singles written by Chang, sold more than 1 million copies.
Chang Yu-sheng was a singer, composer, lyrist, and producer whose wide range of music styles gave rise to the nickname “magician of music.” During a nine-year career, he created numerous timeless hits and his album “Duplicity (口是心非)” won Album of the Year at the 9th Golden Melody Awards.
Without any formal music training, Chang only discovered his talent in music when he won the top prize in a folk song competition held by a restaurant in 1986. Chang began taking a deeper interest in singing and joined the guitar society at his university.
Chang then formed a band titled Thunder Spot with members of the guitar society in 1987 and began to perform in and outside campus grounds. The following year, Chang joined the band Metal Kids and won the top prize for best vocalist at a national hit music competition.
Chang’s talent soon earned him a contract with renowned music producer Wong Xiao-liang (翁孝良). In 1988, Chang rose to fame by defending the younger generation’s hope for future in the commercial song “My Future is Not a Dream (我的未來不是夢)” written by Wong for HeySong Corporation.
In November of the same year, Chang released his debut album “Miss You Everyday (天天想你),” which sold 350,000 copies. Later he participated in the film “Seven Foxes (七匹狼)” and sung four songs for the original soundtrack. The popularity of his album and the film made Chang one of the Ten New Singing Talents of the Year in 1988.
Chang’s music career reached its peak in the 1990s following the first album he had written for himself – “Take Me to the Moon (帶我去月球),” which was nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards. His fourth album, “The Sea (大海),” was certified multi-platinum in record sales.
In 1994, Chang changed tracks with the experimental avant-garde album “Karaoke Live．Taipei．Me (卡拉OK Live．台北．我).” The album explored issues of social awareness, environmental preservation, human rights, and animal welfare through a diverse style of songs encompassing rock, R&B, folk, jazz, classic, pop, and rap.
Although he died in a car crash at the age of 31, Chang’s music, powerful voice, and determination in pursuing his ideals about music lived on to inspire many musicians. Regarded as one of the most talented musicians nurtured by Taiwan, Chang became one of the two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 28th Golden Melody Awards in 2017 in remembrance of the second decade of his passing.