Popular music industries in Taiwan and China were once disconnected when the Chinese Civil War separated the republican and communist leaderships. It wasn’t until 1987 that both leaders signed the agreement allowing people from opposite sides of the Taiwan Strait to reconnect. Afterward, musicians in Taiwan and China have cooperated to dominate this new Chinese mass market. However, only few musicians were able to succeed in both places. When “British got Talent,” the singing competition, became internationally popular, similar programs were replicated in Chinese society. Those competitions soon received overwhelming success in Taiwan and China because they were the first live television shows that invited singers from Taiwan and China to compete alongside one another. Consequently, more than ten million views and discussions were registered on Youtube. Furthermore, singers from those shows received rapid national success. Scrutinizing performances from those competitions, this paper discusses the way they reflect the altered social structures from Taiwan’s republican and China’s communist governments. Through categorizing those performances into: Chinese Rock, Pentatonic song, Folk music and Hip Hop, I argue that social background acts as a catalyst to transform the way singers interpret music. It also affects the way audiences respond to the live performances.
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- “Chinese Got Talent”: Popular Music Singing Competitions in Taiwan and China