My Family History

Trace your ancestors and then immortalise them!

                                                     Chen Lin   陳琳   Jan 31, 1970 - Oct 31, 2009

 

Chen Lin 陳琳 was born on January 31, 1970 in Chongqing, Fengjie China. She had two brothers and no sisters. She grew up in Neijiang. and has a special affection for her hometown for various reasons, but mainly for the love she felt from her family in her home. She always had close links with Suchuan University and its students, and encouraged them to adopt a positive attitude towards life. Her affection for where she grew up caused her to help with the setting up of Hope Primary School. On June 14, 2006, Chen Lin cut the ribbon for the new school.

In September 1985, she was admitted to the Sichuan Academy to study Folk Dance, and vocal technique, graduating in 1988. She rose to stardom with her 1993 album entitled "I Can Never Understand Your Love" produced by Ruihua Records. It reached the top of the Mainland Chinese album charts, selling 1.5 million copies. The singles "I Choose What I Want" and "Give Up Your Love" were great successes. She won the first place in the "Oriental Horizon" program sales chart, the Central People's Radio Award and Best New Artist.  She was also ranked first in the "Golden hops East" program. Chen Lin had arrived!! Beijing became her new home.  In January 1994, Chen Lin was the only singer from Mainland China to go to Hong Kong to participate in the sixteenth "Top Ten Chinese Gold" awards in Hong Kong. The following January she toured Europe including concerts in Sweden and Denmark. 

The 1990s was the Golden Age of Mainland China original pop music, with a large number of singers quickly becoming popular, known as the '90s singers. The 1980s had seen the doors opened – thank you Deng Xiaoping and your fellow visionaries – and the next decade would see the Flowering of Mainland China's young musicians. Chen Lin was one of these beautiful children. 

In 1995, she married Beijing singer Shen Yongge – nine years older than the now 25 year-old singer-songwriter guitarist. Yongge was boss of Zhu Shu Entertainment Ltd and he helped produce some of her albums, although Chen Lin was always the boss in the studio. They became something of a celebrity couple, and rightly so because this was true-love – more of this later. In January 1996, Chen Lin released her 2nd album "Fear of Falling in Love with You" produced by the China Musicians Video Publishing House, with the title track one of her most exquisite songs. On March 24 she won the second Japan 96 Asian Singer Roland award.

                                                                           

In September 1997 her 3rd album "Woman" was released by Broadband Music, and in October 1999, her 4th album "Chen Lin" was released. 没有音乐的情歌 ( Music Doesn't Exist Without Love Songs ) is a particularly memorable song. She was appointed the first "Green Ambassador" by China Environmental Protection Foundation, and was the first pop singer to hold a concert in front of the Potala Palace, on the Tibetan Plateau on May 24, 2000.  The following year saw the movie "Absolutely Emotional" in August, and her 5th album "Love is Love" also came out in the Autumn of 2001. The title track is Chen Lin at her very best with its catchy guitar and great vocals. It won the "Divine Music album of the year Award" in 2002. Chen Lin had also created an original form of Chinese music which became known as 'fashion music'. 

The album brought together elite musicians from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, including Zhang Yadong, Xu Changde, Chung Heng, Tu Huiyuan, Guo Liang, Funky Sueyoshi, as well as Shi Cong, plus Japan's leading producer and recording engineer KEIZO. Young Taiwanese poet Vincent Fang was also recruited. It was rare for a Mandarin album to bring together so many outstanding musicians. Each putting in more than just their musical expertise. Chen Lin own unique personality and outlook on life galvanised those around her to show their own. Recording and production process lasted a year. Numerous song auditions took place before the 10 songs were decided upon. Continuous recording, reverse, modify, re-recording hundreds of times. All this effort and commitment helped lay a solid foundation for an absolute heavyweight music album!

This was Chinese pop music's most anticipated album, and it didn't disappoint. It was a ground-breaking album incorporating styles from many genres – British, Electronic, Glam Tock, Punk and featuring acoustic guitar strumming on one hand, and distorted guitar on the other. From introspection to pathos, from the mystical to the ordinary, from bold to outspoken rich emotion. Songs with succinct phrases, delicate and in-depth characterization, showing Chen Lin's unique insights and female sensitivity to life. Avant-garde classics alongside finely-crafted rock songs. Diversified international music with a sense of musical atmosphere full of pictures. Chen Lin's unique singing style with its personality and charm, was the icing on a magical cake.It also continued to follow the fashion style of music, and was released on Chin Lin's husband's Bamboo Records. 

This was a very special time in her life with music awards and fashion awards following her everywhere. Her Environmental song "Face" won the Central People's Radio "Chinese pop music chart 2000 Annual Top Ten Golden Melody Awards in the April.  Chen Lin was simply swimming in awards and admirers, and it culminated in her being voted the best Mainland Chinese Female Singer for 2002. The most prestigous award of all. To cap it all, Chen Lin was so much in love with her husband. Her sun shone brightly, and she truly appreciated her good fortune by showing a genuine concern for the environment and for people less fortunate than her.

In June 2002, she became the first "Cultural Ambassador of the Music", and in October 2002 won the Lycra Fashion Fashion Awards ceremony, "Lycra Fashion hairstyle best female singer award." In January 2003 at the Tenth Beijing music Chinese music charts ceremony, Chen Lin won the "most popular fashion singer award." It was time for her 6th album – "Don't want to fool myself" 不想骗自己 which came out in the Spring of 2003. The title track is particularly sumptuous.

 

Chen Lin had also become the voice for the new chinese woman, and how they wanted to express love – frankly, directly, vividly, but never blindly.  Chen Lin strove to express the true feelings of the heart, to show her unique perspective on the emotional world of modern urban women. Succinct phrases, delicate and in-depth characterization, between the lines, all showing Chen Lin's unique insights and female sensitivity to life. The album ranged from introspection to pathos, from the mystical to the stubborn, from bold to outspoken rich emotion, and the emergence of innovatory electronic sounds. The album created a very special atmosphere. Awards and acknowledgements continued to flow through 2004, and her 6th album "13131" was launched on March 31, 2005. The title track, particularly, showed Chen Lin at her very best. Busy as she was, she ensured that her songs and recordings were of the very highest quality.

In many ways, 13131 was the continuation of "Love Love" and "I Don't Want to Lie to Myself." It sold more than 2 million copies, and was the culmination of  two years of creativity and dedication. She always stressed the importance of working with commited musicians who felt the passion for life as much as for their music. Feeling happy within oneself mattered too. Embrace!! Celebrating memories of childhood and finding the child within is also inherant in the music. Singer, guitarist, composer, fashion-leader, environmentalist, humanitarian, and loving wife. Chen Lin was a unique human being. The 1990s had been the Dawn and Golden Era of young, original Chinese Music. Chen Lin had been an integral part of that, and was seeing that this carried on into the Millenium. In March 2006, Chen Lin received the Fifth China Golden Disc Award for best female singer.  In July 2007 Beijing Olympics Bird's Nest built in the nest to become the first worldwide show singer.

Chen Lin was now 37 years old. She was still very much in love with her husband Chen Yongge. "Over the years Yongge selfless help me, I want to write a book for him, our love story published in the world." She was well aware that sharing such love is not something everyone enjoys ... her songs, her philosophy of life showed how much she cherished being in love. This included the kind of love one feels for our friends, family, and fans. During a recording session in 2005, she was suddenly vomiting blood in an alarming way, and Yongge nursed her day and night in the most loving way, prior to her being admitted to hospital. This experience and her stay in hospital had a profound effect upon her.
"In these 24 days, almost Every day people come to see me, I deeply feel loved happiness today issued the album, the album's theme I want to tell you out loud, it is to love and be loved. people in this life can not live without love, without that was the white world love to take a trip. The album is named" 13131" I am happy with the symbols 13131 ... there are two morals: January 31 is my birthday, at the same time bamboo is also the birthday book culture." She forgot to say that 31 was also the birthday of Yongge.

However, 2007 was to end tragically for Chen Lin. After twelve years married to her soul mate, Chen Lin found herself a divorcee. I must explain at this point that most of my reading about Chen Lin's life has been through Chinese translation using Google Search. Therefore certain facts are not completely known to me or indeed understood. It does seem that Yongge had an affair with singer Deng Rong which was pretty much public knowledge. It also seems that they had a child who was over one year old. If so, this would have been a shattering situation for Chen Lin given that she and Yongge had no child, and that his relationship with Deng Rong must have been going on for at least two years. The divorce took place at the end of 2007, and Chen Lin went into 2008 – wondering what future she had. She shied away from the public and the media, and even once attempted to committee suicide but was saved by her friends.  People who knew her well believed that she never got over the loss of Yongge whom she truly loved.

   

Having studied the birthcharts of both, I totally agree. Whatever one's views on Astrology and such things, Chen Lin was born with Moon in Scorpio. One in twelve people are – so its not a unique occurence. However in Chen Lin's case, I believe that she felt this energy more than most would – given other factors in her birthchart – and I include her Earth Rooster in this, an energy that I know very well. Moon in Scorpio tends to bring emotional instability, not helped by her Aquarius Sun squaring her Moon here. But accompanying these strong emotions is the need to find a soul mate. Sun or Moon in Scorpio simply must. I believe that Chen Lin found her soul mate in Shen Yongge, whose Sun in Scorpio matched Chen Lin's Moon in Scorpio – only a one in 144 possibility. Her Rooster Year energy is also a perfect match for his Ox Year energy. Without giving further examples, I have no doubt that Chen Lin loved Shen Yongge as deeply as any woman has ever loved a man. The break-up of their marriage, and the circumstances in which it happened, completely shattered Chen Lin.

Some of the content within my description of Chen Lin's year of Musical Travelling owes itself to the translation of information I have found in Chinese search, and particularly to articles at www.inkui.com. I believe it may also be partly based on extracts from diaries that Chen Lin had kept. I have added my own thoughts to it. As 2008 progressed, Chen Lin decided to do something to change her situation. All her life, Chen Lin had been positive and proactive, and she did just that in the summer. She embarked on a journey to Hubei and Yunnan provinces which was to last for more than a year, culminating in her second marriage to Zhang Chaofeng 张超峰, a 31 year old musician from Hebei. She may already have known him from Yongge's studio according to one source, but she certainly would have got to know him during her time in Hebei. By March of 2009, the media began to notice them together as a couple. During her travels through the provinces, she seemed to find a new zest for life – one might say that such soul-searching helped her to see things more clearly, away from what must have been a claustrophobic situation in Beijing. She must have found the new environments which she encountered, literally, a breath of fresh air. From Beijing to Hubei, via Wudang Mountain, the original forest - Shennongjia, after the Three Gorges in Chongqing to carry over the Jinsha River from Western Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan. 

A chance to move forward, step by step, to start writing again as she felt the natural rhythms of life. Hearing the sweet sounds of birds in enchanted cities, seeing beautiful butterflies transformed, dancing with the child within in an exciting, flowing landscape... at one with Nature and her surroundings. As she put pen to diary, this was not a woman at the end of her tether, but one who was seeing things clearly after the fog of the previous year. As her journey developed, and travelling grew inside her, she handed more of her time over to it. No expectations, just letting things bloom and take shape. Seeing the simple things as well as the grandeurs of Nature, and seeing where she fitted in within it all. A heart still fragile, still feeling the pain of betrayal, but a new hope rising within her ready to accept whatever challenges lay before her. That which had been dormant awhile was stirring within her. After sixteen fruitful years of composing and recording, and not pandering to what the Music Market 'wanted', Chen Lin still had a lot to say. She had explored musical frontiers that few of her contemporaries had, but there was still more to do.

Upon her return from travelling, she married Zhang Chaofeng in the July of 2009 in Chengdu, Sichuan. Despite his being eight years younger, and her feelings for Yongge still strong inside her, it made sense because they had started working together on her forthcoming album, which was to be based on her travelling – a journey that Chaofeng had been part of. The media, and her friends may have been surprised at her decision, but personally, I am not. Nor do I believe, as some have speculated, that she did this to spite Yongge in any way. In fact, in an interview, Yongge gave his blessing to the marriage. " Zhang Chaofeng is a very talented young man." It was a natural culmination to the journey. It had been 4 years since her last album – the wonderful and innovatory 13131 – and now she was ready to record again, inspired by her year's travelling – and Zhang Chaofeng. The album that emerged on August 4th, 2009 was a 3 track EP, entitled "Chen Lin's Musical Journey "陈琳的旅行音乐 Zhang Chaofeng has since said that there were more songs to be either recorded or released.

 

Boy is an excellent song and recording, adapted from a folk song in Okinawa, Japan. A compelling acoustic guitar intro, with excellent vocals from Chen Lin, and lyrics reflecting childhood memories of growing up, and the importance of love in our lives.  Zhang Chaofeng was also influential in the choosing of this song. Shangri La is another fine song with heavenly vocals again from Chen Lin interspersed with rap male vocals. A full orchestration adds to a fascinating mix which I think works very well. The lyrics have a pastoral setting influenced by the writer's year long travelling. Providence completes the EP and is simply breathtaking. The lyrics were inspired by a poem from a Lama Tibetan poet, and have rather a Zen quality to them.  One line from the poem itself is rather striking: "If you can witness your pain,you begin your freedom from pain." The music is as haunting and poignant as I have ever heard, and when Chen Lin sings – in English – the words "Because I Love You", one just melts and wants her to back with us all. I have played this song in several online music rooms (Paltalk) and the response is ... well ...just play it to a friend. Knowing what would happen to Chen Lin three months later, leaves one reaching out to a very special lady, and a very special human being.

What frame of mind was Chen Lin in as she recorded this extraordinary song? I still believe a positive one. Her journey of self-exploration was still fresh in her heart. Her marriage was just a few weeks old. As she left the recording studios, which she and her husband had set up themselves, I believe all was well. Zhang Chaofeng was ready to support her future musical ambitions both as a husband and an aspiring musician. And for Chen Lin it wasn't just about music and other interests. She longed for the perfect home. She said that if you can create such a home, you want to keep living there. Singer Zhu Hua said of her "She set up rooms in style, she cooked good spicy food, and she lived for love." At 39 years old, Chen Lin seemed to be the ideal wife for a fellow musician, and a person who had just emerged from an enlightening journey around the provinces where she had reacquainted herself with the 'other' China in all its beauty. As a true environmentalist this would have mattered so much to her.

After the release of "Chen Lin's Travelling Music" things seemed to be looking up for Chen Lin, but soon her relationsip with her husband started coming under public scrutiny. There were rumours of serious quarrels, which led to Chen Lin feeling depressed again. I am sure she wanted her marriage to work. Why wouldn't she?  However, she was now back in Beijing and all the complications that come with life in a  a large city – the capital city. Her feelings for Shen Yongge could never go away. Zhang Chaofeng must have soon realized the situation, and it would have been very difficult for both of them. No-one is to blame where such feelings of the heart are involved. His being eight years younger than his wife may or may not have exasperated the situation. I know several men whose beloveds are many, many years older than they are, and their marriages have become simply wonderful. Also, if we truly love someone, that is a blessing many never experience. If we subsequently discover that their heart is still with another, it need not diminish our feelings of love towards that person. We do not own another person, nor should we expect their undying love in return for ours. That they are trying to give their love to us can be seen as something to cherish, and maybe through our love for them, we can help them through their situation. Domestic violence was one of the speculations. I trust and hope that it was not so, and that the allegations were unfounded.

 

On the night of October 30th Chen Lin visited her friend Zhang Qiang (张强) in Chaoyang District, Beijing and stayed over at her place. Apparently, Chen Lin vented her troubles and worries to her friend. Then the two of them went to their own room to sleep. The following morning on October 31, 2009, a neighbour, walking his dog, found Chen Lin’s body in a flower garden, under a residential building, at around 6 am. She was “wearing a surgical mask, a gray jacket, jeans, a hat and a pair of red leather shoes. Her chin was covered with a piece of white gauze.” No-one witnessed what actually happened. After investigation, the Beijing Police concluded that Chen Lin had taken her own life by jumping from the 9th Floor Apartment. A friend of Chen Lin's, who asked to be referred to as only Mr. Huang, told METRO newspaper that he knew about Chen's death but did not wish to comment. Others spoke about facts one day coming to light.

Chen Lin's death, three months before her fortieth birthday, gave rise to much speculation as to the causes of her life ending in such a way, including various conspiracy theories. The date was Yongge's birthday. No co-incidence and suggesting things had been planned well in advance. Chen Lin choosing to die in a friend’s home rather than at her own home also raised questions. The main concern was that although there two dents in the ground, there was no blood. A friend reported that Chen Lin had tried to end her life a few weeks earlier.

Psychologists and other 'experts' in human behaviour had their say, but the problem is – they didn't know her personally. Nor did those who like to put rock artists into one category and have done. I should quickly add that I didn't know her either. So my own thoughts are assumptions too. Kurt Cobain was another beautiful soul who is alleged to have ended his own life or accidentally over-dozed – in his case he certainly didn't! He was the kindest and gentlest of men as well as being the most loving of fathers. No crazy rock star at all. In Chen Lin's case, I think that she may have decided that it was time to leave the world she knew. Of course she had many emotions to deal with including regrets. But I believe on that morning, her mind was clear. Her journey through the provinces had given her a new belief in life, as she embraced Nature which she loved so much. But her musical vocation brought her back to city life, and with it the pain that had first sent her on her provincial journey.

 

Nobody knows her thoughts that night or the next morning. "If you can witness your pain,you begin your freedom from pain" goes through my mind ... not so much Chen Lin trying to escape pain, but rather her desire to be free from it. She never could be free from losing both her soul mate, and her trust in him.  Love was the single most important thing in her life. Not just love, but to be totally one with another soul. She had lost that, and like the swan, she could never again experience that. She had achieved much in her life and given a lot of pleasure and happiness to others. But the one thing that really mattered to her, had been taken away from her. If – and I repeat – if Chen Lin chose to be free herself from her life on Earth, what she did was not the action of a distraught, depressed, out-of-control woman. It was a measured, poignant decision that she had reached, and what seemed a bizarre way to put that into action – the surgical mask, the date she chose etc was like an operation. "Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part" as Drayton's sonnet says.

Taking one's own life is considered by some people to be wrong. I presume such people have not been in that situation themselves. If they have, and chose not to do so, then well done to them. But it is not for them to tell someone else what they should do. They are not living that person's life. Also, it is assumed that Chen Lin chose to leave this world of her own accord – it is not proven that she did. Likely, maybe, but not proven. She left no letter, and no will. If she did choose to leave her world, then bless her. It was the World's loss and Heaven's gain. One of the most beautiful souls who ever graced this world gave us far more than just her wonderful music. She loved being with her friends – she listed that as her favourite hobby – but Chen Lin extended that friendship and love far beyond those she knew well. She loved everything that breathed or grew. She loved her planet, and was a true environmentalist giving much of her time to that end.

Many have said of Chen Lin that she lived for love. Everything about her reflected that. She enjoyed such love for the best part of 12 years with Yongge. Sad endings to a relationship need not take away the love that was once shared by both parties. I know that sometimes it does, but our past was our present at the time. Her love for Zhang Chaofeng may have been less than that for her true love Yongge, but it is still love. For however long, she and Chaofeng made each other happy at a time when Chen Lin needed to love and be loved. Chen Lin was loved and admired by many people, and she loved them in return. She would be as sorry to see their sadness as they are to see hers.

She made sure that her mother was well looked after even if she could no longer be there for her as a daughter. She had no children of her own to look after, or she would have continued to live with her pain for their sake. She had always wanted to be a mother, and once told a reporter that she was hoping to give birth to a "rat baby" in 2008 - which was the Year of The Earth Rat. How cute. This was before the events of 2007 when her marriage ended. We must respect the decision that she made, and show our love for her in our appreciation of all that she did and stood for. She is laid to rest very close to her father who she loved very much. She wrote the song "Hold me do not go," which she dedicated to her father after his passing. She sings it with such feeling - her dad must have been so proud of his daughter, and so touched to hear that song from Heaven. Now they can sing together in Paradise.

Bless you, dear Chen Lin. And thank you for being you. The World was better for knowing you.

 

       

 

Chen Lin's Special Likes:

Hobbies: Chat with friends   Favorite Music: Band + electronic music with rhythm   Favorite singer: Madonna, Dido  Favorite actor: Brad Pitt

The most annoying thing: dirty environment  The most memorable thing : Tibet Tour   Greatest wish: To make many albums   

Favorite food :Spicy    Favourite Flower: Lilies   Favorite Movie Genre: Science Fiction   Favorite Clothes: wearing a simple dress     

The body - Most confident Part: eyes   Favorite type of man: Artsy    Favorite place: Salzburg (Austria)

 

  Chen Lin  at  You Tube

                           Providence  天意

                        Rainy Night  雨夜

                  Love to Love  爱就爱了 2001