Taiwanese singer Cyndi Wang has become China’s favorite fashion icon this summer as she competed and eventually won the grand prize in the wildly popular reality show “Sisters Who Make Waves.”
Thanks to the show, Wang, who turns 40 on Sept. 5, is experiencing a resurgence in her career, and has gained the attention of luxury and beauty brands such as Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Sisley, Fresh and Guerlain in the past two months, as well as fronted the August issue covers of the Chinese editions of Nylon and InStyle magazines.
The popular songs such as “Love You,” “When You” and “The Peaceful Sea of That Summer” that she performed during the competition — which Wang released nearly two decades ago — gained hundreds of millions of views across social media channels, and brought back sweet memories for millions in China from when they were young.
On top of that, videos of middle-aged men dancing to her songs joyously in front of TVs starting trending shortly after her debut performance at “Sisters Who Make Waves” on May 20. She has so far gained 12 million new followers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
Her fans, many of whom at some point in their lives were touched by her songs about love, growing up and letting go, began to rally behind her, and state-owned media such as CCTV, Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily soon began to endorse her comeback, as the pro-unification Wang is seen as a valuable asset to bring the people in Mainland China and those residing on the other side of the Taiwan Strait closer to each other under the name of music.
By the finale of the competition, which aired Aug. 5, she had become the nation’s latest superstar after Eileen Gu, who took the internet by storm earlier this year after winning three medals for China during the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Online spectators believe that Wang has a very high commercial value because most of her fans are now in their 30s and 40s, meaning that they have a much higher spending power to support Wang’s endorsements, compared to the fans of young idols, who are now constantly being tapped as faces of luxury brands in the Chinese market.
Wang began her career in the entertainment industry in 2003 as a singer. She was dubbed the “Sweetheart Goddess,” and one of the three Mandopop Princesses, alongside Angela Chang and Rainie Yang, by Taiwanese media at the time. She managed to stay relatively at the top of her game throughout her career, despite disagreements with her record labels and gossip about her personal life.
More than a dozen of her songs are considered Karaoke must-haves among the Chinese diaspora worldwide.
Now in its third season, “Sisters Who Make Waves” features 30 female celebrities over the age of 30 competing each season for a spot in the debut girl group to be formed at the final.
Many celebrities who had faded from the spotlight have managed to make comebacks after participating in the show, and have gained new followers among the younger audience.