She’s not a household name, she’s not a pretty-as-a-model chanteuse, her voice has seen better times, and she’s over the hill, as far as pop music divas go. But 41-year-old ”Lotus” Wang – her Taiwanese-English nickname – is headed for the stars, and the future is looking good.
Yes, Chiai-hwa Wang was picked by CNN’s 15-minutes-of-fame-maker Phil Han to be the network’s ”Best Viral Video of the Week” pick, and her music video, complete with dancing Taoists gods and quirky choreography went viral. Over a million hits so far and counting,
Wang’s techno hit, titled “Bobee” [保庇], is a catchy tune that asks the local deities in Taiwan for protection, stock market success, health and good luck, and it already has engendered a number of copycat videos as well.
In the video, shot in Taiwan, Wang is accompanied by three dancing deities and there’s no stopping it now. A star is born.
But who is this self-described “B-grade entertainer”? It’s been an uphill climb in the real world of her real life, and most people here never heard of her before CNN anointed her.
Call it Cinderella comes to Taiwan: Lotus grew up poor, knew lots of gloom and doom as a child, and as one pundit put, she had has more downs than ups in her life – until now that is.
Thanks to YouTube, social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook and Plurk, not to mention CNN’s global reach, Lotus is looking at stardom with a golden lining. She’s already making a few TV commercials endorsing all kinds of local products, and no doubt she will publish a book soon, too.
Her Cinderella life? Her mum died of cancer when she was still in a diaper, and her dad was a businessman who never made any deals that caught fire.
Her teen years were spent waiting tables at a sidewalk noodle shop, and through the help of some friends, “singing” in dance halls, burlesque venues and other gangster-controlled joints.
It’s not something she likes to talk about today, but the CNN spotlight has turned this once-ugly duckling into a glittering queen, and she is not about to let this internet-fuelled opportunity get away from her.
But Lotus Wang has a winning personality, it turns out, and internet fame suits her fine. Her self-deprecating humour is for real, but at the same time, she’s been down so long, it’s looks like up to her now.
She has already released her first CD and several of the tracks on it, in addition to ”Bobee” has been well-received. According to local news reports, one of her tunes, titled “Mother”, is about saying sayonara to the dearly departed, and Taiwan’s funeral parlour industry has decided to use it as its theme song.
Although some bloggers have compared her to Ayumi Hamasaki, the Japanese pop singer (who recently married her Austrian boyfriend in Hollywood) and America’s dancing queen Beyonce, Lotus Wang will have none of that.
“I’m just a nice Taiwanese girl with a dream,” she told reporters.
Now it’s a dream fuelled by the ethersphere and social media, and watch “Bobe” hit the 2 million mark soon. There’s no stopping a girl named Lotus.