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Faye Wong was born in Beijing, China. Her birth name is Xia Lin; she had her mother's surname because the Wong family was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution . When she was fifteen, her name was changed to Wong Fei. She started singing in high school and Teresa Teng (Chinse popstar) was her biggest idol.
At eighteen, she started modelling, but then switched to singing. She signed a contract with Cinepoly and released three albums under the stage name Shirley Wong. However, these albums were largely frowned upon due to the fact that they were just covers of songs by American and Japanese artists. Wong headed to New York in 1991 for singing lessons.
She returned to Hong Kong two years later and released a few songs and has been a hit ever since. She has completely shed any R&B influence and has moved on to produce works of considerable originality and a more alternative flavor.