One year ago, anybody who followed Chinese entertainment associated the name “Edison Chen” (陳冠希; Chen Guanxi) with the “bad boy” image. Cool, talented and attractive, the multilingual Chen had released multiple albums, played roles in multiple movies, and was one of the most successful Cantonese pop stars. But as 2008 began, Chen took the “bad boy” image too far. In what would become one of the biggest news makers of the year, graphic images appeared on the internet depicting Chen with various women, many of them well-known entertainers themselves. China, Taiwan and Hong Kong watched as one of the industry’s favorite idols tried desperately to save his career, only to see him finally admit ownership of the pictures in late February. Not only did the Edison Chen Photo Scandal destroy Edison’s career and force him to move back to North America, it also brought down stars like Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝; Zhang Bozhi) and Twins member “Ah Gil” (鐘欣桐; Zhong Xintong).
But it looks like Edison is planning to make a comeback. According to this article, Chen is already recording a new album for 2009 and will star in a movie set to be released later this year. He’ll also be endorsing a new set of T-shirts. Will Chen’s efforts be enough to bring him the success he once enjoyed? Although it’s hard to say right now, I can’t imagine the public in Taiwan, China or Hong Kong opening up to the disgraced star. The Chinese music industry is nowhere close to being short on idols and singers, and aspiring stars are always on hand to fill voids left open. Tack on the fact that Edison Chen ranked nearly as low as (now Singaporean) actress Gong Li in a mainland Chinese survey on celebrity performance, and I think it’s safe to say public sentiment hasn’t quite warmed up to Chen again yet. And to make matters worse, it is unlikely that anybody will want to collaborate with the disgraced star. Sure, a lot can change in the coming months, but some things never change.
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