Li Yuchun, also known as Chris Lee, was born on March 10, 1984, in Chengdu, Sichuan. The daughter of a railway policeman, she received no formal musical training while growing up but often staged performances for her schoolmates. Li’s parents did not encourage her singing ambition but they did encourage her to enter the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu from which 2002–06.
In 2005, while Li was still a student, she entered the Super Girl, a nationwide females-only competition She was one of some 150,000 aspirants initially. Li captivated and won over audiences with her iconoclastic boyish looks and virtuoso performances. By the final night of the competition, an estimated 400 million viewers were tuned into the show as Li beat her closest opponent by more than a quarter of a million votes.
Overnight, Li became a sensation in China, and her life became a whirlwind of performances and public appearances. She recorded and released her first studio album, Huanghou yu mengxiang (The Queen and the Dreams), in September 2006, and more discs followed, including her self-titled Li Yuchun (or Chris Lee) in 2009 and Hui tiaowu de wenyi qingnian (A Dancing Artistic Youth) in 2011. Her 2006 first album The Queen and Dreams reached sales of 1.37 million. Since her debut, she has released 7 top-selling albums and 3 films. To date, she has had 52 hit singles on Chinese Music Billboard.
Her concerts were wildly popular and included several annual shows titled “Why Me” which were staged to thank her fans.
Her popularity soon spread beyond China, as indicated by the nod MTV gave her at MTV Asia Awards 2008, where she was named favorite artist from China, and by the enthusiastic reception she received while performing at the 2009 Asia Song Festival in Seoul, South Korea. In 2013 Li won in the worldwide act category at the MTV European Music Awards (EMA), another indication of the extent of her international appeal.
In 2009 Li’s career took another turn when, in her first-ever acting experience, she landed a major role in the 2009 Hong Kong-produced film Bodyguards and Assassins (Shiyue weicheng) Li’s performance earned her two nominations (for Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and Hong Kong Film Award for Best New Performer) from the judges for the 2010 Hong Kong Film Award. In addition, the film’s theme song, “Fenmo” (“Dust”), which she had sung for the film, was nominated for Best Original Film Song. Although neither Li nor the song won, this recognition of her acting talent only further enhanced her position at the top of the Chinese pop music world. Li also had significant roles in the action films The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011; Longmen feija),The Guillotines (2012; Xuedezi) and From Vegas to Macau III (2016)
A multi-talented individual, she is a singer, songwriter, actress, director, fashion icon and philanthropist.