Twenty-four year-old Taiwan singer Amber Kuo (郭采洁, pinyin: Guō Cǎijié) is making a habit of out-selling Mandopop superstars. One year ago, her album i amber displaced Jolin Tsai's Butterfly from the top position on the G Music album charts. Now her latest album Sparklers (烟火, pinyin: Yānhuǒ) has knocked off Jay Chou's The Era from the top, going straight to number one in its first week of release.
For Jay Chou, it had been a surprisingly modest reign at the top of the album charts - just three weeks at number one. Although Jay won't be crying poor just yet - The Era set records for pre-order sales in Hong Kong for example - his time at the top doesn't compare so favourably to some other stars. Earlier this year, Jay Chou's great rival Show Luo spent an amazing 10 weeks at number one with Rashomon. Even the Butterfly album released last year by Jay's ex, Jolin, had a reign twice as long at six weeks.
Sparklers is just the third album by Amber Kuo. Stand-out tracks are the title track and first single, the up-tempo Cartoon Life (卡通人生getting a lot of TV airplay courtesy of the car ad in which it features), and the power ballad No Meddling (不过问).
Besides her promising singing career, Kuo's acting ventures are also progressing nicely. She recently starred in the award-winning romantic comedy Au Revoir Taipei, and last year was seen in the TTV romance series, The Happy Times of That Year. And if her singing and acting careers were to suddenly and unexpectedly collapse, she could always turn to social work. She majored in the field at the National Taipei University, graduating in 2008.