Zhang Xiaoying 张小英
Chang Siao Ying – her Cantonese name by which she was better known – was born in Guangdong, China (some sources wrongly give Singapore) of Shanghainese parents. She came into prominence when she won the Rediffusion Talentime singing contest in 1965. She was signed up for a recording contract immediately with Golden Urn Records, and a song, Three Dreams三個夢, was specially written for her first new album. Soon she became a household name. Later she joined Denon's Prinstar Records. Her diction-perfect, crystal clear, golden voice made her stand out from her contemporaries and her sheer energy and feelings for each song uplifted many audiences. I heard her for the first time a few weeks ago, and I knew immediately that here was a very special singer and performer.
She was one of Singapore's superstars of the 60s and 70s, and certainly Singapore's best-selling recording artist, and prolific in her album output including some in Cantonese. She also recorded some in Indonesian. In the beginning, she was accompanied by the instrumental group, The Travellers but was later backed by The Stylers who were more popular in the region then. Very much the twangy sound made famous by the English band The Shadows. In the early 70s, Radio Television Singapore had a programme called Hua Yuen Liang Xiao, and Zhang Xiao Ying appeared every third Friday singing her latest hits. She was also the first Chinese singer to have a special TV programme dedicated to her name. It was screened on Channel 8 under the Television Corporation of Singapore banner.
Zhang Xiaoying recorded countless albums during her time as a singer – dubbed the Diva of albums ! Then, she quietly left the scene to focus on other things. She is now a Great-Grandmother, and is as happy now as she was during the height of her career. I was unable to find much biographical information on her, but the following is is an excellent resource for her fans. http://changsiaoying.blogspot.co.uk/