Li Yuchun (李宇春), also known as Chris Lee, is a Chinese singer, songwriter, actress, director, fashion icon and philanthropist, (born March 10, 1984, Chengdu, China), who became one of the country’s top pop stars after winning a nationally televised talent contest in 2005. She subsequently released 52 top singles.
The daughter of a railway policeman and a housewife, she received no formal musical training while growing up but put on stage performances for her schoolmates. Li’s parents did not encourage her singing ambition but supported her in a successful quest to enter the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, which she attended in 2002–06.
In 2005, while Li was still a student, she entered the Super Girl, a nationwide females-only competition similar to the show American Idol in the United States. She was one of some 150,000 aspirants initially. Li captivated and won over audiences with her iconoclastic boyish looks and passionate delivery. By the final night of the competition, an estimated 400 million viewers were tuned into the show as Li beat out her closest opponent by more than a quarter of a million votes.
Lee’s “success has drawn a significant amount of interest from the commercial world, signing deals with the likes of Coca-Cola and L’Oréal Paris.” She has also appeared in a campaign for Tiffany & Co. – the video advertisement garnered roughly 500,000 views upon its debut on Chinese video site, Youku. The Chinese style also served as a brand ambassador for Italian design house, Versace, some time ago. Her appeal to these brands is not surprising, since the hottest accessory for brands right now is a celebrity with massive selling power. Moreover, her androgynous look has also been a source of appeal for many fashion houses, including Givenchy. Today, in Asia, anything the Chinese singer, actress and fashion muse Li Yuchun wears sells out immediately.
Yùmǐ (玉米) means corn in Chinese. But ever since the year 2005, it is also the nickname for the fans of the legendary Chinese singer Li Yuchun, as “Yù” (“玉”) in Chinese is pronounced the same as “Yǔ” (“宇”) in Li’s name, and “mǐ ”(“米”) is the homonym for fans (“mí”, “迷”). Yùmǐ is known in China for their large population that covers people of all ages from all walks of life. In the 2005 finals of Super Girls talent show where the 21-year-old Li took off her career as a singer, she was crowned as champion with a vote count of 3.52 million.
In 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, Li gathered a vote count of over 100 million in a three-round poll, winning the Best Worldwide Act.
Yùmǐ as a group are also adamant supporters for Li’s music. Every single one of Li’s seven albums so far has been a best-seller of the year, literally, the best, seller. It is a known phenomenon in China that it is extremely hard to get a ticket for Li’s concert, as the supply always falls short of demands. On Sep.26 2015,over 33,000 audience on site with 4,980,000 online and 21,500 in 10 cinemas watched her tenth WhyMe Concert.
Yùmǐ Love Fund,also translated as “LIYUCHUN Fans Charity Fund ” is a special purpose fund of the China Red Cross Foundation (CRCF).