The winners of the Most Popular Male and Female Singers were Xu Wei (许巍 - pictured above) and Jane Zhang (张靓颖, pinyin: Zhāng Liàngyǐng) respectively. The Xi'an based singer-songwriter Xu Wei has been a part of the Mainland music scene for over 15 years, beginning his career with the band Fly (sometimes also translated as Flying) before branching out on his own in 1997. Although classified as a rock musician, his music has mellowed with age.
Jane Zhang (pictured right) rose to fame with her appearance in the American Idol style show Super Girl in 2005, in which she eventually finished third (not first as the CRI article wrongly asserts). Zhang, who sings pretty well in English, is China's current big hope to crack the global music scene. A recent appearance on Opray in her The World's Got Talent episode has helped fuelled the expectations.
A surprise winner at the awards was Glamourous Pharmacy (美好药店, pinyin: Měihǎo Yàodiàn) for Most Popular Band. Billed as an alt-rock band, they've been around since 1999 (sometimes known as Glorious Pharmacy) but their mixture of folk, blues, jazz and experimental rock has hardly made them household names.
There were also four awards for Best Mandarin and Cantonese Singers. Best Male Mandarin singer went to Hawaiian-born, Hong Kong-raised Khalil Fong (方大同). The 26 year old R&B singer released his fourth album last year. The multi-talented Sandee Chan (陈珊妮) was awarded Best Female Mandarin Singer. Chan has worn many hats in her fifteen year career: as well as singing, she's tried her hand at producing, songwriting, writing and painting.
In the Cantonese category, Best Male Singer was won by Anthony Wong (黃耀明) - another artist who falls outside the mainstream. The prolific Kay Tse (謝安琪) - six studio albums in her short four-year career - was named Best Female Singer.