JJ Lin, Penny Tai bag Taiwan singing awards
Singaporean singer-songwriter JJ Lin and Malaysia's Penny Tai were crowned best Mandarin singers at the Golden Melody Awards, Taiwan's equivalent of the Grammys.
Lin won the top male singing honour for his album Stories Untold. Tai took the top female singing award for her album Unexpected. She also won the best producer award for another album at the ceremony in Taipei.
It was the fourth time that Lin had made it to the finals but the first time he won the top award. "Yes," Lin shouted as he clutched the trophy, smiling broadly. "This is how it feels to win the best male singer award."
He saw off veteran Hong Kong-born singer Wakin Chau, Taiwan's aboriginal musician Chang Chen-yue and rapper Soft Lipa, as well as mainland China's Li Ronghao.
"I was prepared that I would have to wait 11 years to get [the award] but I got it today," Lin said.
"I want to thank my parents for giving me musical talents ... I want to thank my fans."
Dressed in a red evening gown, Tai thanked the judges by bowing deeply to them.
"It is completely unexpected that I should be here," said Tai, who choked up when delivering her speech.
"I am very lucky as I didn't have any formal musical training. I couldn't have got this far today without the help of many people," she said.
Tai beat Singaporean Tanya Chua, who has a record three titles in the category, as well as Hong Kong's Denise Ho and Taiwan's Faith Yang and Jia Jia.
Tai also bagged the best producer award for Je t'embrasse, the first album she produced for another singer.
The star-studded, glittering ceremony also named Chang Chen-yue's I am Ayal Komod the best Mandarin album of the year.
"There were so many people who supported me in making this album and I can only repay them by making more efforts in life and in writing music," said Chang.
Mainland singer Li Ronghao took home the best new performer award for his album Model.
Veteran Taiwanese producer and singer Jonathan Lee took the awards for best song and best lyricist.
The event covered singers, songwriters and composers from Taiwan, the mainland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.