The Most Famous

SINGERS from China

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This page contains a list of the greatest Chinese Singers. The pantheon dataset contains 3,541 Singers, 17 of which were born in China. This makes China the birth place of the 41st most number of Singers behind Belarus and Lebanon.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Chinese Singers of all time. This list of famous Chinese Singers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Chinese Singers.

Photo of Shi Pei Pu

1. Shi Pei Pu (1938 - 2009)

With an HPI of 66.75, Shi Pei Pu is the most famous Chinese Singer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages on wikipedia.

Shi Pei Pu (Chinese: 时佩璞; pinyin: Shí Pèipú; December 21, 1938 – June 30, 2009) was a Chinese opera singer from Beijing. He became a spy who obtained secrets from Bernard Boursicot, an employee in the French embassy, during a 20-year-long sexual affair in which the performer convinced the man that he was a woman. He claimed to have had a child that he insisted had been born through their relations. The story made headlines in France when the facts were revealed. The affair inspired American David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly (1988), which was produced on Broadway. It was adapted as the 1993 movie of the same title.

Photo of Mei Lanfang

2. Mei Lanfang (1894 - 1961)

With an HPI of 65.86, Mei Lanfang is the 2nd most famous Chinese Singer.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Mei Lan (22 October 1894 – 8 August 1961), better known by his stage name Mei Lanfang, was a notable Peking opera artist in modern Chinese theater. Mei was known as "Queen of Peking Opera". Mei was exclusively known for his female lead roles (dan) and particularly his "verdant-robed girls" (qingyi), young or middle-aged women of grace and refinement. He was considered one of the "Four Great Dan", along with Shang Xiaoyun, Cheng Yanqiu, and Xun Huisheng.

Photo of Sam Hui

3. Sam Hui (1948 - )

With an HPI of 63.55, Sam Hui is the 3rd most famous Chinese Singer.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Samuel Hui Koon-kit (born 6 September 1948), usually known as Sam Hui, is a Hong Kong musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He is credited with popularising Cantopop both via the infusion of Western-style music and his usage of vernacular Cantonese rather than written vernacular Chinese in biting lyrics that addressed contemporary problems and concerns. Hui is considered by some to be the first major superstar of Cantopop, known as the God of Song.

Photo of Peng Liyuan

4. Peng Liyuan (1962 - )

With an HPI of 62.79, Peng Liyuan is the 4th most famous Chinese Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Peng Liyuan (simplified Chinese: 彭丽媛; traditional Chinese: 彭麗媛; pinyin: Péng Lìyuán, Mandarin pronunciation: [pʰə̌ŋ lîɥɛ̌n]; born 20 November 1962) is a Chinese contemporary folk singer who is the spouse of the President of the People's Republic of China. Peng Liyuan is married to the current General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping. Peng is referred to as the "Chinese First Lady" by Chinese media. During 2012 to 2017, Peng was the President of then People's Liberation Army Academy of Art, and from 2005 to 2010, served as Vice President of the All-China Youth Federation.Peng gained popularity as a soprano singer from her regular appearances on the annual CCTV New Year's Gala, a widely viewed mainland Chinese television program that airs during the Chinese New Year. Peng has won many honors in singing competitions nationwide. Peng's most famous singles include "People from Our Village" (《父老乡亲》), "Zhumulangma" (Mount Everest; 《珠穆朗玛》) and "In the Field of Hope" (《在希望的田野上》). Peng also sang the theme songs of several popular TV series, such as The Water Margin (1998). She also starred in musical productions. In 1986, she received the Plum Blossom Award, China's highest theatrical award, for her lead role in The White Haired Girl.Peng was a civilian member of China's People's Liberation Army, and held the civilian rank equivalent to Major General before she was appointed the Art Academy's dean, upon which she was given the formal rank. She is known within China for her fashion sense, credited to her personal couturier Ma Ke.In 2014, Peng was listed as the 57th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes.

Photo of Lu Han

5. Lu Han (1990 - )

With an HPI of 56.61, Lu Han is the 5th most famous Chinese Singer.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Lu Han (Chinese: 鹿晗, born April 20, 1990), also known mononymously as Luhan, is a Chinese singer and actor. He was a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy group Exo and its sub-group Exo-M, before leaving the group in October 2014. That year, he was ranked the sixth most popular entertainment star in China by China National Radio. In 2017, Lu Han was listed as the second highest-paid celebrity in the Forbes China Celebrity 100, behind only Fan Bingbing.Lu Han released his solo debut album Reloaded in 2015, and has starred in several box office hits such as 20 Once Again (2015), The Witness (2015), and Time Raiders (2016). In 2017, he starred in his first television series, Fighter of the Destiny.

Photo of Lay Zhang

6. Lay Zhang (1991 - )

With an HPI of 54.72, Lay Zhang is the 6th most famous Chinese Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Zhang Yixing (Chinese: 张艺兴; pinyin: Zhāng Yìxīng; born (1991-10-07)7 October 1991), known professionally as Lay Zhang or simply Lay (Korean: 레이), is a Chinese rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, director, dancer, actor, and publicity ambassador for the Communist Youth League of China. Zhang has been listed in Forbes China Celebrity 100, where he ranked 20th in 2017, 11th in 2019, and 5th in 2020. He made his debut in 2012 as a member of the K-pop boy group Exo and its Chinese subgroup Exo-M under SM Entertainment. As an actor, he is known for starring in Ex-Files 2 (2015), The Mystic Nine (2016), Kung Fu Yoga (2017), The Island (2018), The Golden Eyes (2019) and Empress of the Ming (2019). Zhang first gained recognition for participating in the Chinese television talent show Star Academy in 2005. In 2015, he founded a personal agency for his solo activities that serves as a management firm and record label and released a record-breaking autobiography, Standing Firm at 24. In 2016, Zhang was appointed by the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) of Changsha as a publicity ambassador, becoming first celebrity to hold such a title. On 28 October 2016, Zhang released his first EP, Lose Control, in South Korea and China to commercial success; it peaked at number one on the Gaon Album Chart and number four on Billboard's US World Albums chart. In 2016, Zhang placed 23rd on the CelebrityZ Top 100 Most Valuable Celebrities list published by market research company Kantar and Chinese business magazine CBN Weekly.

Photo of Han Geng

7. Han Geng (1984 - )

With an HPI of 54.02, Han Geng is the 7th most famous Chinese Singer.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Han Geng (Chinese: 韩庚; Pinyin: Hán Gēng; Korean: 한경; RR: Han Gyeong) (born February 9, 1984) is a Chinese Mandopop singer and actor. He started his career in 2001, when he was chosen by S.M. Entertainment to become a member of South Korean boy band Super Junior, which debuted in 2005. He later became the leader of its sub-group Super Junior-M in 2008. On December 21, 2009, Han filed a lawsuit against SME to terminate his contract. He has since returned to China to pursue a solo career. On September 27, 2011, Han's departure from SM Entertainment was made official as both parties came to a mutual agreement. For his various contributions to the spread of Chinese culture, Han was chosen as a torch bearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He later also became an ambassador for the 2010 Shanghai Expo and the 2010 Asian Games. In late 2012, Han started to gain international attention and won the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards' "Best Worldwide Act" and Nickelodeon's 2013 Kids' Choice Awards' "Favorite Asian Act".

Photo of Wei Wei

8. Wei Wei (1963 - )

With an HPI of 53.09, Wei Wei is the 8th most famous Chinese Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Wei Wei (simplified Chinese: 韦唯; traditional Chinese: 韋唯; pinyin: Wéi Wéi; born 28 September 1963) is a Mandopop singer, philanthropist, and current Standing Committee Member of the Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party since 2010. She previously served as Standing Committee Member of the All-China Youth Federation from 2005 to 2010, as China's Forestry Ambassador to the United Nations of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration from 2009 to 2010, and as Ambassador of the Chinese Football Association from 2008 to 2009. Her breakthrough came in 1986 when she won the National Young Singers contest on Chinese television and The 24th Sopot International Song Festival in Poland, when she also won the "Miss Photo Category", and four years later, she was chosen to perform at the 11th Asian Games in Beijing, singing a duet with Spanish singer Julio Iglesias at the 1993 East Asian Games in Shanghai. Largely associated with sports and the Olympics, Wei has been an Olympic Ambassador for China since 1993 when the Chinese Olympic Committee applied for the games for the first time. She supported the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics by performing at major Olympic events in China and abroad, and in an internet survey conducted in 2004 regarding who should sing the theme song of the Chinese Olympics, she received the most votes. She was the only representative for Asia at the 100 Year Anniversary Show for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA in 1996, and has previously performed at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo, the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, and at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 11th National Games in Nanjing, China. Her songs have become the official theme songs for major Chinese sporting events, such as in 2006 when her single I Want to Fly was appointed as the official theme song for the 2008 Olympic Sailing events held in Qingdao by the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Sailing Committee of Qingdao, and in 2007, she was named the "Queen of Sports" by the All-China Women's Federation.

Photo of Liu Huan

9. Liu Huan (1963 - )

With an HPI of 52.74, Liu Huan is the 9th most famous Chinese Singer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Liu Huan (born August 26, 1963 in Tianjin) is a Chinese singer and songwriter. He is one of China's modern era pioneers in pop music and is considered China's King of Pop. He combines his music career with teaching the history of Western music at the Beijing University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Photo of Sa Dingding

10. Sa Dingding (1979 - )

With an HPI of 51.88, Sa Dingding is the 10th most famous Chinese Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Sa Dingding (simplified Chinese: 萨顶顶; traditional Chinese: 薩頂頂; pinyin: Sà Dǐngdǐng, born Zhou Peng (周鹏), on 27 December 1979) is a Chinese folk singer and songwriter. She is of mixed Han Chinese and Mongol ancestry, and sings in languages including Mandarin Chinese, English, Standard Tibetan, as well as an imaginary self-created language to evoke emotions in her songs. She also plays traditional instruments such as the guzheng and morin khuur.

Pantheon has 17 people classified as singers born between 1894 and 1999. Of these 17, 15 (88.24%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living singers include Sam Hui, Peng Liyuan, and Lu Han. The most famous deceased singers include Shi Pei Pu and Mei Lanfang. As of October 2020, 4 new singers have been added to Pantheon including Zhou Mi, Song Yuqi, and Liu Xuan.

Living Singers

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Deceased Singers

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Newly Added Singers (2020)

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