Tuesday, October 7, 2008


S.H.E is a Taiwanese girl group whose members are Selina Ren, Hebe Tian, and Ella Chen. The name of the group is an alphabetism derived from the first letter of each member's name. Since releasing their first album '''' , S.H.E has recorded 10 albums with sales totalling over 4.5 million, and set ticketing records in each of their two concert tours. The group has acted in seven , hosted two variety shows, and contributed 10 songs to six drama soundtracks. S.H.E has endorsed more than 30 companies and products, including Coca-Cola and World of Warcraft. Thanks largely to S.H.E's success, other Taiwanese record labels began forming their own girl groups.

In 2000, Ren, Tian and Chen signed up for a singing contest, and the winner, Ren, was awarded a record contract. Tian and Chen, who were both finalists, joined Ren to form S.H.E. The trio frequently by other artists, and performs original compositions. The group produces albums under the HIM International Music label. distributed S.H.E's music in Hong Kong, but transferred this role to WOW Music in 2007. is the distributor in Singapore and the People's Republic of China.


The Universal Talent and Beauty Girl Contest

On August 12, 2000, Taiwanese record label HIM International held open auditions, searching for new talent to complement . During the auditions, Taipei native Jen Chia-Hsüan sang Coco Lee's "Before I Fall In Love," Tien Fu-Chen, who hailed from , sang Shunza's "Write a Song", and Chen Chia-Hwa, from , sang 's "Gentle and Soft." All three were successful and were recommended to be included in the Universal Talent and Beauty Girl Contest. The preliminary rounds of the contest were held on August 20, 2000 in New York City. Entering the final preliminary round, Jen Chia-Hsüan was slated to sing Elva Hsiao's "The Closest Stranger;" both Tien and Chen planned on singing Karen Mok's "Cloudy Sky". HIM finally decided on S.H.E; as a result, Jen Chia-Hsüan became Selina, Tien Fu-Chen became Hebe, and Chen Chia-Hwa became Ella.

The group's name, S.H.E, was selected for two reasons. With the dots in S.H.E removed, the resulting word would emphasize the fact that S.H.E was a girl group; the dots symbolized individual differences with the three members. In addition, having an English name made the group more accessible to an international audience. On September 11, 2001, S.H.E released their first album, '''' , in memory of their prior living quarters. Although the CD sold an impressive 150,000 copies for a debut group, the trio gained notoriety for singing off-key during their first live performance. Nevertheless, sales of ''Girls Dorm'' resulted in a nomination for Best New Artist at the 13th Annual Golden Melody Awards. On January 29, 2002, ''Youth Society'' was released and went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. With the release of their second album, "S.H.E Girl Friends" underwent a name change and became simply "S.H.E".
The trio's third album, '''', was released on August 5, 2002, approximately six months after ''Youth Society''. Continuing the successes of the group's previous albums, 20,000 copies of ''Genesis'' were ordered in advance of the release date. The album would go on to sell 180,000 copies. On January 23, 2003, S.H.E released '''', their first compilation album.

S.H.E's fifth album was intended for release on August 6, but due to an injury to Ella, The album featured the group's first pop/rock song, "Super Star", which, for ten consecutive weeks, placed no lower than fourth on Singapore's music charts. To date, ''Together'' and '''' have combined to sell 580,000 copies; 250,000 copies of ''Super Star'' were sold in Taiwan alone. On February 6, 2004, S.H.E released their sixth album, ''Magical Journey'', in two different versions: a Magical Version and a Journey Version. The two versions combined to sell 1.5 million copies in Asia, including 160,000 copies in Taiwan alone. which would have expired in October 2005. Later that year, on September 4 2004, S.H.E began their first major tour, the Fantasy Land Tour. The tour started in Taipei, where more than 25,000 attendees were present, and ended in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. During their concert at the Shanghai Stadium, the trio set an attendance record. The tour raked in 22.4 million in gate receipts. The release of S.H.E's seventh album, '''', was pushed to November 12 2004 to accommodate Selina's graduation from university in late November. ''Encore'' sold 1 million units in Asia within one week of its release; since then, that number has surpassed 2 million. By the time ''Encore'' was due for release, media outlets had already begun labelling S.H.E as "The Number One Girl Group" .

S.H.E had released albums every few months until the end of 2004. But due to their busy concert schedule, it was over a year until their next album appeared. After releasing ''Encore'', they contributed to the ''Reaching for the Stars'' soundtrack, which sold only 50,000 copies. The poor sales of the soundtrack and the success of the Twins album led to this period being described as one of the lowest times of S.H.E's career. On November 25, 2005, the trio finally released their eighth album, ''''. The CD not only set a record with 50,000 pre-orders, but it sold more than 1 million copies, overshadowing ''Trainee Cupid''. ''Once Upon A Time'' debuted on the Chinese language album charts at #1, retained that position for four consecutive weeks, and stayed on the charts for a total of 13 weeks. The album's title track, "Don't Wanna Grow Up", won Song of the Year at Hong Kong’s Awards.

On July 21, 2006 S.H.E released their ninth album, '''', which sold 150,000 copies within a week. The album featured five new songs, a compilation of older works, and three songs from older drama soundtracks. ''Forever'' included many collaborative works with other artists in the Taiwanese pop music industry. C-pop megastar Jay Chou composed "Electric Shock" for the album. The song "Solo Madrigal" was a duet between Selina and , the latter of whom had originally recorded the song for his debut album. For the , Hebe and boyband sang "Only Have Feelings For You," which won several awards including Taiwan's Best Duet Song at the 2006 Sprite China Music Awards.

S.H.E's second major concert tour, The Perfect 3 World Tour, commenced on July 8 2006 in Shanghai, where they set yet another attendance record by filling more than 60% of the stadium. After their Perfect 3 concert in Hong Kong, which was recorded and released as the group's second live CD, S.H.E was commended for their perseverance, amount of dance preparation, and ability to hit their notes. Within the tour's first five months, the group attracted over 200,000 fans, and collected NT$200 million in gate receipts. On April 18, S.H.E signed on with WOW Music to improve their presence in Hong Kong. '''', the trio's tenth album, was released on May 11, 2007, and was the first S.H.E album released under the new distribution label. ''Play'' went double gold within the first four days of the album's pre-order period; by June 5, more than 150,000 copies were sold. A month after ''Play'''s release, S.H.E was nominated for the Most Popular Female Artist award at the Golden Melody Awards, but lost to pop diva Jolin Tsai.

Musical style

S.H.E has released eleven studio albums to date, including two compilation albums. All of S.H.E's album covers display an oxalis, the symbol for the group. On some covers, the clover is easy to spot ; on other covers, its appearance is more subtle . S.H.E's other contributions include songs in the soundtracks of ''Magical Love'', ''The Rose'', ''Reaching for the Stars'', ''Tokyo Juliet'', ''The Little Fairy'', ''Hanazakarino Kimitachihe'', and ''''.

All three members have different vocal ranges to complement each other. Ella sings within the alto to mezzo-soprano range, while Hebe and Selina sing within the mezzo-soprano to soprano range.

Most S.H.E songs fall into the category of pop music. Songs from this genre consist of light melodies, simple drum beats, and the occasional piano or synthesizer accompaniment. In ''Girls Dorm'' and ''Youth Society'', acoustic guitar melody lines were used as well. While some slower songs, particularly those in ''Genesis'', fall into the genre of R&B, Between the releases of ''Magical Journey'' and ''Forever'', Daryl Yao was a regular contributor as well. The lyrics of Jay Chou's main lyricist, Vincent Fang, have also made numerous appearances. On some occasions, S.H.E members even contributed their own lyrics. Hebe wrote the words for "Say You Love Me", and penned the rap portion of "If You're Happy, Then I'll Be Pleased". Selina was responsible for the lyrics of "Wifey".

Most of S.H.E's songs are about love. The word "love" appears in six song titles, and over 270 times in the lyrics alone. "Love", in its original English, is not only found in three song titles, but also countless times in the songs themselves. Related words, such as "embrace" and "feeling" , appear nearly 40 times. Occasionally, love stories are taken from literature and put into song. Examples include "Laurel Tree Goddess ", which is based on the story of Apollo and Daphne, and "The Story of Romeo and Juliet", which is based on ''Romeo and Juliet'' and ''''.


S.H.E's albums contain quite a number of songs. Among the group's 90 songs, 25 are covers. Earlier albums often included cover songs; however, since 2004, the group has recorded no more than two covers per album. In most covers, the songs' original titles were kept. Other songs, such as Westlife's "Soledad", were simply given new Chinese titles. The lyrics are usually rewritten, but some songs, such as 's "I've Never Been To Me", are sung in their original English. While the musical style is usually maintained, some covers, such as "Only Lonely" and "I.O.I.O", have a lighter, bubblegum pop feel.

Older pieces and nursery rhymes are occasionally parodied. "Don't Wanna Grow Up" is a parody of , and "London Bridge is Falling Down" is based on the . The verses of "Thanks for Your Gentleness" are original compositions, but the chorus is borrowed from 's "Gentle and Soft".

S.H.E's covers are generally less popular than their original works. During the group's career, original compositions have combined for nearly 20 awards, whereas covers have been lauded only twice.

Television and film career

From late 2001 to early 2002, Hebe and Ella acted in the drama, ''Magical Love'' . Ella starred as Juliet, a recent high school graduate who is constantly looking for her Romeo. Hebe portrayed the secondary role of Sha Sha, Juliet's self-conscious and assertive friend. Selina was absent because she was studying at the National Taiwan Normal University. The songs "Remember" and "Belief" were used as the drama's opening and ending themes, respectively. In February, S.H.E signed on to be co-hosts on Jacky Wu's show, ''Guess Guess Guess''. During S.H.E's tenure on the show, ratings averaged over 3.5, regularly putting the show in the top 10 for weekend shows. S.H.E stopped hosting ''Guess Guess Guess'' in July. In April 2003, the trio guest-hosted two episodes of the Taiwanese variety show, ''Happy Sunday'', before signing on as co-hosts in May. However, during S.H.E's ''Happy Sunday'' tenure, at the height of the , Hebe exhibited fever-like symptoms while coming home from Singapore. Since Ella was living with Hebe at the time, both were forced into quarantine for 10 days, leaving Selina as the only one in the group who could host the television show ''Happy Sunday''.

All three S.H.E members appeared in the drama, ''The Rose'', where Ella starred as Bai He, a girl suffering from low self-esteem. Selina played two secondary roles: her first character, Qin, was a beautiful yet frail girl with a heartwarming personality. Her second character, Di Ya Man, is Qin's doppelganger with an arrogant and domineering personality. Hebe portrayed Xiao Feng, a girl who quietly pursues Bai He's love interest, Han Kui. Each episode of ''The Rose'' was originally estimated to cost NT$1 million; that number quickly rose to 1.3 million by the time filming had finished. At the 2004 Golden Bell Awards, which are presented by the to honour the year's best television programs, ''The Rose'' was crowned Most Popular Drama. S.H.E sang "Flowers Have Blossomed" for the drama's soundtrack. The song not only debuted at #1 on the UFO Music Charts, but it also stayed on the YES 93.3 charts for ten weeks, holding the #1 position for two consecutive weeks.

On July 29, 2003, Ella performed a stunt as part of S.H.E's ''Happy Sunday'' segment. The stunt, which involved jumping off different floors of a building, was part of a public service video that explained proper fire escape procedures. On her first attempt, Ella followed protocol, jumped off the second floor of a building, and landed safely. On her second attempt, she was asked to jump off the third floor. However, as she jumped off, Ella became nervous and failed to follow the safety procedures correctly, leading to her falling on a fire escape from twenty feet and shattering her hip. Paramedics transported her to the Neihu Tri-Service General Hospital before being redirected to the National Taiwan University Hospital. but she went home to Pingtung for five months in order to recuperate. As a result, Selina and Hebe hosted "Yokoso! Japan", a special ''Happy Sunday'' segment that explored numerous facets of Japanese culture. In January 2004, Ella returned to hosting after her recuperation period, and appeared in the final two episodes of "Yokoso! Japan". However, during the segment's four-episode run, producers were already searching for S.H.E's replacements, and ultimately chose Taiwanese singer Phil Chang. S.H.E discontinued hosting ''Happy Sunday'' once they began promoting the album ''Magical Journey''.

Selina and Hebe, along with 28 other celebrities, were cast for the three-episode drama series ''Happy New Year 2004''. In February, both S.H.E members co-starred in the movie, ''A Disguised Superstar'' , with Miriam Yeung; in April, Hebe acted as the female love interest in the first episode of ''Say Yes Enterprise''. The episode would earn a rating of 1.93, placing third behind ''My Secret Garden II'' and ''Snow Angel'' . In October 2005, all three members of S.H.E starred in the drama, ''Reaching For The Stars'' , and sang its opening theme, "Star Light" . The drama focused on the fate of an electronics company whose chairman had just died. Selina played the role of Zhou Xinlei, the chairman's spoiled but good-natured daughter. Ella starred as Ren Jie, a clever girl who assumed the identity of the company's heiress to save her brother. Hebe portrayed Shen Xiaorou, a strong-willed policewoman who lives with her ailing grandmother. ''Reaching for the Stars'' had the misfortune of airing its pilot episode during the final episode of ''The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog'' . While the average rating for the pilot episode of ''Reaching for the Stars'' was 1.17, the final episode of ''The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog'' set a 2005 record for highest average episode rating and highest episode rating . In the end, despite heavy investment in the series' production, ''Reaching For The Stars'' had only achieved mediocre television ratings. Nevertheless, Ella was nominated for Best Actress at the 2006 Golden Bell Awards.

In the spring of 2006, Ella pursued her own on-screen interests, and was cast for the lead female role of a Taiwanese idol drama, which was scheduled to air later that year. In January 2007, S.H.E and Wu Bai were invited to voice over several characters for the Taiwanese rendition of Luc Besson's movie, ''Arthur and the Minimoys''. During the same month, Selina and Hebe signed half-year contracts to be the co-hosts of ''Guess Guess Guess'', the show that they had hosted five years earlier. The drama starring Ella, ''Hanazakarino Kimitachihe'', finally began airing in November, and continued until its finale on March 4, 2007. Ella was featured as Lu Ruixi, an American tomboy who transfers schools so she can see her high jump idol every day. During its 15-episode run, the drama never relinquished its ratings crown. S.H.E sang the song, "What to do?" as the drama's opening theme. In June 2007, selected Hebe to star in '''' as the daughter of the man who owns 13th Street. S.H.E sang "How Have You Been Lately?" as the drama's ending theme.


In 2001, S.H.E began promoting the first of many products, including those of Digimaster and beverage chain Fuzion Smoothie. Since then, the group has endorsed numerous companies, including Bobson Jeans , Bausch & Lomb , Coca-Cola , One of S.H.E's more notable commercials was for World of Warcraft,

S.H.E regularly contributes songs for endorsement campaigns. The songs "Too Much" and "Beauty Up My Life", from their debut album ''Girls Dorm'', were used in commercials for Sogo and Wacoal, respectively. "Genesis" and "Watch Me Shine", from the 2002 album ''Genesis'', were used for N-age, a South Korean online game. "Piquancy" , from 2004 album ''Encore'', was used to promote the online game ''New Legendary Twins'' . In collaboration with , S.H.E sang "Always Open" for 7-Eleven.

Companies frequently use S.H.E's music videos as advertising tools. The videos for "Genesis" and "Watch Me Shine" featured gameplay in N-age; "Excuse" showed flashes of Inventec's OKWAP phones. Daphne , a Chinese shoe company, used the songs "Super Model", "Laurel Tree Goddess - Daphne", and "Good Mood Just Be Yourself" for their promotional campaigns.


S.H.E is noted as a youthful and energetic girl group. In an industry where good looks are keys to success, S.H.E's outward appearances are mediocre at best. Numerous attempts were made to change the group's image by either increasing their sex appeal or turning them into rockstars, but more often than not, those fabricated images were overshadowed by S.H.E's wild, light-hearted, and joking nature. Not only was the group named "history's fattest girl group", but S.H.E even called themselves "history's ugliest girl group."

One of S.H.E's hallmarks is their friendship. This bonding is apparent in several music videos, such as "Five Days, Four Nights" . Some songs, such as "If You're Happy, Then I'll Be Pleased" , and music videos, such as "Good People Will Get Good Hugs" , even emphasize the importance of keeping good friends instead of pursuing true love. Over the course of their career, S.H.E became increasingly comfortable with each other. The intimacy between Selina, Hebe and Ella reached a point where the media began questioning the group's sexual orientation. In 2007, S.H.E composed the song "Wifey" to commemorate their friendship. The term "Wifey" comes from the group's days in the girl's dormitory, when Selina would call Hebe by that name. Since then, the name has become symbolic of the girls' camaraderie.


Lack of originality

A review of S.H.E's 2005 album ''Once Upon A Time'' described the majority of the songs as "mundane", "predictable" and no better than "mushy pop standards", indicating that little has changed over their career. Chris Taylor of the ''Taiwan Review'' stated that their songs are hardly artistic, According to ''Taipei Times'' columnist Johnny Neihu, S.H.E's music simply "sucks. really, really, really sucks. Really." An article in ''Style Weekly'', a Chinese fashion magazine, asserted that the trio's songs, compared to those of "talented musicians", are lyrically weaker because they only reflect the female view of love.

The group's regular covering of songs has also earned some ire over the years. After the release of the in 2005, there were accusations on Internet forums stating that the song "Star Light" sounded suspiciously similar to Ayumi Hamasaki's "". In response, S.H.E declared that "Star Light" and "about you" were completely different, and did not even sound similar to each other. The same year, a netizen lashed out at the group for singing too many covers over the course of their career. However, S.H.E fans felt that the netizen was being slightly uptight about the issue, and stated that "as long as the song is nice, point worrying about whether the song is a cover."

A group in decline?

In a 2004 review of female artists in Greater China, S.H.E was given an 80% approval rating, while archrivals received a mere 50%. The difference in quality was apparently so great that there was no reason for S.H.E to be concerned. According to another review in early 2005, S.H.E still seemed to hold an advantage, beating out their Hong Kong counterparts in yearly earnings, and amount of progress made since their debut. However, ''Reaching for the Stars'' received mediocre ratings, and the group also made controversial comments about ; this led to them falling out of favour with the Chinese media. By 2006, S.H.E had lost several product endorsements, and an entertainment review in that year gave Twins the advantage over the trio in almost every category, from song quality to concert presence. The only area in which S.H.E beat Twins was having more rumours. Indeed, the trio had quite a number of hits to their credit, but most of them were over three years old. Despite starring in several dramas, including the award-winning ''The Rose'', S.H.E scored 2.5 out of 5 stars in the 2006 review. Among the former members of 4 in Love, Rainie Yang is the only member to have continued her singing career. Other groups, such as Walkie Talkie , were formed as a result of talent competitions, but were less notable during the course of their careers. Over a year after S.H.E's formation, the state of girl groups in Taiwan had changed little. In January 2003, radio station UFM1003 released a list of its Top 10 Taiwanese Pop Groups for the year 2002. Although S.H.E was ranked first, they were the only all-female group on the list.

During the course of S.H.E's career, a significant number of musical groups were introduced by their companies as "the next S.H.E" with hopes of emulating their success. When Warner Music Taiwan wanted to form a three-person boy band, they planned on marketing them as "the male version of S.H.E" before coming up with the name "G-Boys". Despite the increase in competition, S.H.E maintains a definitive stranglehold on the Mandopop group awards, suggesting that the formation of these new groups has done little to ruffle the trio's feathers.


According to Baidu's year-end Top Search Terms survey, the most-searched movie of 2004 was ''House of Flying Daggers'' . The phrase logged more than 1.2 million searches, which was nearly twice as many as second place . Baidu attributed this difference to the fact that S.H.E had released a song with the same name earlier that year. As a result, searches for the song were lumped together with the movie, thereby inflating the latter's search totals.

S.H.E has also influenced television dramas, education systems, and even business operations. In the ''I Not Stupid Too'' television series, Chengcai, the -practicing protagonist, was courted by three members of the school's chess society: Shirley, Helen, and Elaine, who were collectively known as S.H.E. On a 2005 secondary school English examination, S.H.E was the subject of a reading comprehension passage that mentioned their involvement with 's annual Spring Festival Evening show. Cliff Wu, the president of Teradata's Greater China operations, was so amazed at how S.H.E affected his teenage daughters that he borrowed the group's name and transformed it into an acronym, summarizing the three main elements of Teradata's plan for entering the Chinese market. S represents "Strategy", while H and E represent "Human" and "Execution".

Major concerts

Previous concerts

* N-Age Genesis Concert in Tainan N-age 美麗新世界演唱會

Fantasy Land world tour

Perfect 3 world tour


* Photographer.



English translations




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