He entered the competitive and reputedly snobbish Taipei American School, a school that only admits students with American passports and can afford the exorbitant tuition fees. During that phase, FEI XIANG was overweight and not very popular. He was also very shy back then. After FEI XIANG graduated from Taipei American School, he went to the U.S. for college studies.
Within three years, he lost weight and became extremely attractive. He was the first one accepted by Stanford on full scholarship but dropped out after a year. He moved to New York in order to pursue a career in theater. He went to an American Dramatic Arts Academy in New York and graduated in 1980. FEI XIANG came back to Taiwan to try his luck in the entertainment industry.
His good looks immediately captured the hearts of the mass audience. EMI signed him up in 1982 and he released three blockbuster albums. The first album entitled 'Wandering' catapulted him to the top of the pop chart. Then he took on a role in the romance movie by the novelist Chun YAO and released a tie-in album 'Ask the Dusk.' The third album 'Wide Sea and Open Sky' was very well received too.
These three blockbuster albums and movies roles made him a legend in Taiwan's pop history despite the short time span. FEI XIANG left EMI to join PolyGram and released an unsuccessful album 'Bury the Past.' That left him quite demoralized and he wanted to phase out. He made three movies in Taiwan in the early 1980s, but, at the same time, his singing career took off in a much bigger way. Kris made 13 records in Asia from 1981 to 1989, and every one of them was a best seller. His grandmother lived alone in China, apart from her family for 30 years since the rift between Taiwan and China started in 1949. Deeply missing her mother, FEI Xiang's mother beseeched him to accompany her to visit this grandmother in China. The political climate was tense during that period.
FEI XIANG knew that he would be blacklisted by Taiwan's government forever if he went to China. However, facing a career that has been stagnant for many years and his mother whose last wish was to see her mother again, he risked going to China and was ready to face the consequences. In 1987, because of his American citizenship, he became the first performer from Taiwan to perform in mainland China's New Year's Eve variety show. His rise to fame on mainland China came almost instantaneously from his performance at the 1987 CCTV New Year's Gala, an action that was met with great protest by the Taiwan government. It was an overnight success, and Kris dominated China's pop music for the next 3 years. He made 5 records in China between 1987 and 1989. A string of blockbuster albums ended up selling more than 20 million copies. Two years later, FEI XIANG held a 63-show touring concert in China's 12 different cities.
Till today this record remains unchallenged. Kris moved to New York in 1990 and was in the original Broadway cast of Miss Saigon. He also appeared in a few other Broadway musicals and plays between 1990 and 1995, but none of them was particularly successful. In 1995, he joined Andrew Lloyd Webber's touring company, costarring Sarah BRIGTHMAN, in Webber's The Music of Night concert. The concert started in New York's Radio City Music Hall and then toured 43 cities in the US. The same concert was moved to Beijing in September 2001, with Elaine Paige replacing BRIGHTMAN.
It was the first time Broadway musical being introduced to mainland China. Kris Phillips also made a big comeback as a recording artist in Asia in 2000. He made two records in 2000 and 2002. He still is one of the highest paid stars in Asia today. Although he works extensively in Asia, Kris keeps an apartment in New York and considers himself a New Yorker. Kris Phillips in 2005 made one record The Broadway Album, one double CD with songs of musicals, one of them to Chinese versions of classics as Phantom of Opera, Memory(Cats), As if we never said goodbye(Sunset Boulevard) and Maria(West Side Story) In 2006, Fei Xiang starred in the musical Cabaret in Singapore of the director Beatrice Chia-Richmond with Emma Yong, Jason Chan and Karen Tan as the EmCee of The Kit Kat Klub. Still in 2006, Fei Xiang made the movie series Taiwanese drama The Hospital or White Tower, an adaptation of the book The Hospital written by Taiwanese author Hou Wen Yong with producer and director of Cai Yue Xun(Meteor Garden) The passionate sex scenes with Fei Xiang and Janine Zhang's received sanctions of $18,000, the scenes of love affair was reduced to only less than 2 minutes. After 5 years, Kris Phillips presents two new songs "If men are not bad, women don't love them" and "Olympic Theme Song" candidate for Olympic Theme to Beijing Games, and for 2008, he promises a new record. Read more on Last.fm.
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