No romantic in real life

Lee E-jun.

Taiwanese singer Lee E-jun gets emotional and sensitive only when there is a microphone in front of her.

Known for singing the theme songs of many hit television shows adapted from the works of popular romance novelist Chiung Yao, she is, in fact, no romantic in real life.

The 46-year-old, who is married to veteran actor Chien Chang, says: "My husband is romantic, so he'll always try to think of new romantic gestures to impress me.

"For example, he likes to ride motorcycles and thought it would be romantic to give me a ride on one when we once went for coffee.

"But the whole time I was sitting at the back, I was terrified for my safety. I kept scolding him for not taking the car instead.


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"Let's just say that he has never offered to give me another ride on his motorcycle since."

She adds bluntly: "Being romantic is unrealistic."

Strangely enough, she says, she can easily slip into the romantic mode as soon as she starts singing.

"My singer self and my real-life self are two different people. When I sing, I think I am incredibly sensitive, so I do think of my husband when I perform. But my real-life self is much more practical," she says with a laugh.

On Oct 25, she will be in Singapore to put on her first solo show here. Fans can expect her to belt out her biggest hits, such as Xue Ke (Snow Crystal), a song featured on the soundtrack of the 1990 Chiung Yao-adapted TV drama of the same name; and Yu Die, one of the theme songs of Chiung Yao's mega-hit TV drama My Fair Princess (1998-1999).

She reveals sheepishly she has not watched all the TV series and films whose tunes she performed.

She says: "For the TV dramas, I record the songs before the cast have even finished filming. All I have in the recording studio with me is the synopsis of the show and that's what I use to sing each song.

"Some of the TV dramas have so many episodes, so I never managed to catch up on all of them."

She has a 14-year-old daughter, Chanel, who performed on the flute at her concert in Taipei in June this year. "Many people in the audience started crying when they saw my daughter and me perform together because they were so moved.

"She has school so she won't be able to come for the Singapore show, but I will do my best to keep the audience happy," says the singer, who made her debut in 1987.

"My fans are typically around the same age as me. They have grown up with me and seen me through my career. I hope we can relive our youth together."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2015, with the headline 'No romantic in real life'. Print Edition | Subscribe