The ERS awards, organised by the Shanghai Media Group, are described - a little inelegantly - by the Xinhua news service as "one of the most influential pop music ranking for lyrics in Chinese on Chinese mainland". The 16th edition of the awards were handed out last week. The two main awards - for Best Male Pop Singer and Best Female Pop Singer - went to Sun Nan (孙楠) and Jane Zhang (张靓颖 Zhang Liangying) respectively.
Sun Nan, a veteran of the mainland Chinese pop scene, was a predictable winner. Last year was an especially productive year for him. He sang one of the theme songs for last year's Beijing Olympics, a duet with Coco Lee called "Forever Friends", as well as perhaps the best-known of the songs written to raise funds for the Sichuan earthquake relief effort, titled Sheng Si Bu Li (Be Together Alive or Not). Sun Nan has been churning out popular songs for well on twenty years, from his first chart success with the patriotic song called "Red Flag". He's best-known for his love ballads, several of which he wrote himself.
Jane Zhang first came to the public's attention with her appearance on the talent quest program Super Girls in 2005. The hugely popular program is based on the American Idol concept with winners decided by TV viewers' votes. Zhang was second runner-up in the show's second season, and has since gone on to record three solo albums.
Pop duo and perennial award-winners Yu Quan (羽·泉) were named Best Group while Thin Man (瘦人 Shou Ren) won the Best Band award.
There were also special awards for singers from each of the main Chinese-speaking regions. The mainland China award went to Anson Hu, and Show Luo was Taiwan's winner. Joey Yung was the Hong Kong recipient, halting the previous male dominance in this category. Special regional awards also went to JJ Lin from Singapore, and Gary Chaw from Malaysia.
The ERS Awards also listed their 10 Golden Melodies of 2008. They were as follows:
- 金海心《女人们的咖啡》Jin Haixin, Women's Coffee
- 弦子《舍不得》、Xian Zi, Reluctant
- 胡彦斌《巴黎铁塔》、Anson Hu (Hu Yanbin), Eiffel Tower
- 王凡瑞《我是绽放的花》、Wang Fanrui, I am a Blossoming Flower
- 王筝水木年华《没有人比我更爱你》、Wang Zheng and Shuimu Nianhua, No One Loves You More than I Do
- 蒲巴甲《爱就是那样简单》、Purba Rgyal (Pubajia), Love is So Simple
- 尚雯婕羽泉《信以为真》、Shang Wenjie and Yu Quan, Believe
- 张靓颖《Heroes》、Jane Zhang, Heroes
- 满文军《鸢尾花》、Man Wenjun, Iris
- 小柯《北京欢迎你》Various, Beijing Welcomes You (lyricist Xiao Ke)