Jolin Tsai was born September 15, 1980, in Sinjhuang City, Taipei, Taiwan. The youngest of two sisters, she was an outstanding student who attended some of Taiwan’s most prestigious schools including Jingmei Girls High School and Fu Jen Catholic University, where she majored in English literature.
Jolin was also a tremendous amateur singer, which she displayed at the age of 18 when she won first place in an MTV-sponsored singing competition. In fact, industry executives were so impressed with Jolin’s stirring rendition of Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” that she was promptly signed to a recording contract with Universal Music.
Jolin rewarded the label’s faith in her abilities with the release of Jolin 1019, a megahit that sold more than 400,000 copies in Asia alone. The slickly produced record was just as popular with critics as it was with her fans, and Jolin was named The Most Popular New Singer at the TVBS People’s Choice Music Awards and the SETTV Music Chart Awards.
Jolin erased any fears of a sophomore slump with the production of her second album, Don’t Stop. Released in May 2000, the record contained several hit singles that dominated the Asian charts for the better part of the year. Jolin also increased her exposure with the release of her first photobook, thereby giving fans an intimate glimpse into her life away from the recording studio.
At 21 years old, Jolin surprised many listeners with her third album, Show Your Love, which positioned her as a more mature and seductive songstress. Unfortunately, not everyone liked the change of pace and the album fared poorly. Jolin again tinkered with her style for 2001’s Lucky Number, although the results were equally disappointing as the album sold only 150,000 copies. Jolin’s poor sales didn’t go unnoticed by Universal, and the record company chose not to renew her contract at the end of 2001.
Down but certainly not out, Jolin rebounded in 2002, when she signed a contract with Sony BMG. It proved to be a savvy move for everyone involved, and within a matter of months Jolin began working on a thrilling new album entitled Magic. Released on March 7, 2003, Magic sold more than one million copies in Asia alone and it dominated the charts thanks to undeniably catchy singles such as “See My 72 Changes” and “Say Love You.” Just as importantly, the record instantly restored Jolin’s reputation and she was honored with Most Popular Female Singer awards from the Hong Kong City Music Awards, City Mandarin Music Awards, Singapore Hit Awards, and the HITO Pop Music Awards.
Jolin again rang up huge sales with her next two releases, Castle and J-Game, both of which increased her popularity in her native Taiwan as well as in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia. In fact, J-Game proved to be such a hit with audiences that it sold a million copies in just over a month.
Emboldened by her success, Jolin left Sony BMG in 2006 to join EMI Capitol where she immediately began working on her next record, Dancing Diva. Released on May 12, 2006, the sexually-charged album exceeded all expectations by selling more than two millions copies in Asia, easily making it her most successful album to date. In fact, Dancing Diva was so popular that it accounted for a dizzying 4.26% of all Mandarin album sales in Taiwan for that year. Jolin’s ninth album, Agent J, is set to be as successful as Dancing Diva and keep Jolin at the top of the Asian pop lists.