Folk Singer And Public Power
In China, reports of affairs of Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
officials and show business people emerged again and again.
Recently Tang Can, queen of popular folk songs in China,
was sentenced to 15 years on suspicion of corruption.
Tang Can was reported to be a 'shared mistress' of Bo Xilai,
the former Chongqing Party Secretary and Zhou Yongkang,
CCP Politics and Law Committee secretary. Affairs between
folk singers and powerful officials became a current hot topic.
Chinese portal Tencent, published an Article on June 8th
called Folk Song Queen and Public Power Relationships.
With scandals of folk song queen Tang Can and
her 15-year sentence,
the article brought out deep social problems of the social
folk singers and public power relationships, and the folk art degeneration.
The article said that Chinese folk songs are not folk songs
any more but an official art, also known as patriotic songs.
They lack market competitiveness, and depend mainly on
The article says that the official theatrical performances
opened the market for folk song singers.
As a famous folk singer, one would retain or seek a position
within the CCP system, especially in the military, even if there is no survival or development issue.
It criticized without naming Song Zuying, saying that she relied
on official art performances to obtain space for development.
Ye Kuangzheng, a cultural critic, said that in current Chinese
society, the arts market is still dominated by politics.
Ye Kuangzheng: "Whether CCTV or local TV stations,
other than some small civil theaters,
culture and entertainment in China are mainly
controlled by the power system of the CCP."
Song Zuying was originally a poor woman with Miao
nationality in western Hunan Province.
She was chosen by the music and dance department in the
Central Institute for Nationalities.
In 1991, former CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin fell in love
with her in her program on the Spring Festival Gala on CCTV.
Later, Song attracted the most attention as a mistress of Jiang.
Song was born in 1966, and is 40 years younger than Jiang.
It is reported Jiang Zemin asked Song Zuying to get divorced,
and let her have a special pass, (Red Card) for free access to Zhongnanhai.
It is said in 1997, a temporary singer went to the CCTV studio
to record a demo together with Song Zuying in Song's car.
In the car, the signer accidentally opened the glove box in the
car and unexpectedly saw a Red Card of Zhongnanhai.
This soon spread throughout the Song and Dance Ensemble
of the General Political Department.
The singer was subsequently sent back to her hometown
It is said that shortly after her return she was pushed over the
balcony of her building and died.
Jiang Zemin frequently appropriated large sums of money in
the treasury to please Song Zuying.
Song Zuying wanted to hold an individual performance in
Jiang Zemin immediately allocated tens of millions of yuan to
the Navy, helping Song Zuying to gain distinction in Australia and Austria.
Jiang spent 10 million yuan for her first selection of DVDs.
These went on sale across China before 2002 Chinese New Year's Eve.
Ye Kuangzheng: "The leading roles are always those singing
the praises for power, or endorsing certain art forms.
It is very normal to let those singers be associated with power.
It is a common phenomenon in Beijing."
Ye Kuangzheng pointed out that in order to maintain the
totalitarian regime, the CCP has made all big performances
and theatrical items a brainwashing tool,
and a ceremony of the communist regime.
Ye Kuanzheng said that singers relying on power and
the CCP regime are only stable on a temporary basis;
Once the power behind the CCP runs into problems,
they will be implicated.