Being the largest continent in the world, it is only natural that Asia is the centre stage for the largest number of vocal powerhouses and extraordinary artists who not only entertain but inspire as well. In this issue, Top 10 of Asia celebrates the achievements of the top 10 most admired female singers of the region (listed in random order) who together make the music industry of Asia that much more diverse and vibrant.
Tata Young (Amita Marie Young)- Thailand
Tata Young is a superstar who transcends the boundaries of genre, language and geography. Born to a Thai mother and an American father, Tata Young first gained prominence by winning the Nissan Awards Thailand Junior Singing Contest at a tender age of 11; and never looked back since.
Releasing her first album -Amita Tata Young- at the age of 16, Tata has released 8 studio albums to date, in both Thai and English.
Known for her amazing vocal prowess and sensual performing style, Tata was even invited to sing the title song for the Bollywood movie,'Dhoom' in English.
This songstress is also an occasional actress with three movies under her belt.
YUI (Yui Yoshioka)-Japan
Yui, or also known as YUI, was born in the Fukuoka prefecture of Japan and is currently one of the most formidable rising stars of Japan. Yui is a force to be reckoned with for this young crooner is not only a singer-songwriter, but also a multi-instrumentalist and composer.
She was first noticed by Sony Music Japan when she was 17 but did not make an impact until she was 19 with her breakthrough single, Goodbye Days.
Every single one of Yui's albums has topped the charts since, making her popular not only in Japan but in surrounding countries as well and earning her many international honours.
Siti Nurhaliza (Siti Nurhaliza binti Tarudin) - Malaysia
Dubbed Asia's Celine Dion, Siti Nurhaliza is currently one of the richest and most influential artists in Malaysia. She has also won the most number of awards and produced the most number of singles.
Siti is an Asian icon, cementing her primadonna position on the top with her astounding vocal expertise and versatility. Her voice goes beyond languages and regions, garnering numerous international accolades for her throughout her career.Siti has sung in multiple languages, ranging from Arabic to Japanese, and was unanimously crowned the Voice of Asia in 2002.
Having already carved her name in the Malaysia Book of Records, Siti went on to become a businesswoman, releasing her own line of beauty and cosmetic products called Simply Siti.
Agnes Monica (Agnes Monica Muljoto)-Indonesia
Agnes Monica who was born in Jakarta is a multi-award winning Indonesian singer and actress who started her career when she was just 6 as a child singer.
Since then she has released many chart-topping multi-platinum albums,winning herself fans from all around the world. This singer of Chinese ancestry is currently Indonesia's singer with the most number of both local and international awards.
Agnes is also a soap opera actress, having acted in many Indonesian television series and being recognised for her noteworthy acting chops. She is the anti-drug ambassador of Asia and also MTV EXIT's ambassador to combat human trafficking.
Regine Velasquez (Regina Encarnacion Ansong Velasquez)-Philippines
Nicknamed Asia's Songbird for her enchanting voice and extensive vocal range, Regine Velasquez is a Philippine singer with more than 20 years ofexperience in the industry.
Listen Without Prejudice, Regine's first Asia-released album is considered her most successful album to date, having sold thousands of copies throughout Asia. Among her many feats, Regine won the 1989 Asia Pacific Singing Contest held in Hong Kong and is the first ever Asian artist to stage a solo concert at the Carnegie Hall in New York.
Throughout her career she has collaborated with countless artists ranging from David Hasselhoff to David Archuleta, and is a successful award-winning actress in her own right.
BoA (Kwon Bo Ah)-South Korea
BoA -Beat of Angel - or Kwon Boa was born in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea and is often revered as the Queen of Korean Pop. This Asian livewire is not only famous in her native Korea but also throughout the world, including in Japan and the United Stated, thanks to her multilingual skills.
She is the first Korean artist to have a breakthrough in Japan and is also the only foreign artist to have two albums selling more than one million copies there. Signed on to SM Entertainment, BoA has sold over 10 million records throughout her career, including albums, singles and DVDs.
My Tam (Phan Thi My Tam)-Vietnam
My Tam, born in Da Nang, is a Vietnamese sweetheart who is hailed as the Queen of V-Pop for her ability to fill up an entire stadium with people through her star power.
My Tam boasts a three-octave vocal range and has been praised for her capability to sing live while still performing complex dance moves. Having almost gone to the Military School of Art in Hanoi,lady luck diverted her to the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory where she studied vocal training
Recognised in Vietnam for her vocal skills, she became the first Vietnamese singer to participate in the Asia Song Festival of 2004 in Seoul, South Korea.
Lea Salonga (Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga)- Philippines
Lea Salonga is a household name not only in Asia but around the world thanks to her association with one of the largest media conglomerates in the world – Disney. Lea, a lyric mezzo-soprano, is well known as the singing voice of two official Disney Princess: Jasmine from Aladdin and Fa Mulan from Mulan.
In 2011, she was named a Disney Legend for her inestimable work with the company. Her acting credits include the lead role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, for which she won numerous accolades including the Laurence Olivier and Tony awards; and being the first Asian to play Fantine and Éponine in the musical Les Miserables.
Rainie Yang (Yang Chenglin)-Taiwan
Born in Taipei, Rainie Yang is a Taiwanese triple treat– she sings, she acts and hosts talk shows. Rainie first began her career in 2000, as a member of 4 in Love, the Taiwanese quartet girl group where she was given the name, Rainie, to match the weather theme of the group. However the group disbanded in 2002 after which she became the host for the popular variety show, Guess Guess Guess.
Rainie continued to remain in music as a solo artist while simultaneously starring in wellreceived movies and soaps, including the famed Devil Beside You and Miss No Good.
Faye Wong (Wang Fei) China
Referred to in the Chinese industry as a 'diva' or literally, Heavenly Queen, Faye Wong is a singer-songwriter and actress with an industry experience of more than 20 years. Born in Beijing, Faye moved to Hong Kong shortly after, and came to prominence in the early 1990s singing Cantonese ballads.
Known for her reservation in public, Faye's name found its place in the Guinness World Records as the Best Selling Canto-Pop Female ever in 2000. Singing in Mandarin and English as well, Faye has captured fans from Japan to Singapore and has collaborated in numerous international acts.
An occasional actress, Faye's acting skills are also unanimously applauded by the media.