Fame and celebrity

Who’ll be the next Lil Tay? Five wholesome Asian child prodigies who could rival the controversial young rapper on road to stardom

Videos of her foul-mouthed raps have blown up social media, but the nine-year-old is not the only Asian young rising star. Here are five others who’ve been making a name for themselves in less controversial ways 

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 1:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 1:24pm

Asian child rapper Lil Tay  is the latest internet sensation to hit social media and whether you believe the nine-year-old is behind the foul-mouthed lyrics she raps, her videos are viewed by millions.

Regularly seen flashing wads of US$100 bills, railing against “f***ing broke-ass n*****s”, and making ludicrous boasts about buying Lamborghinis, she has a following of more than 1.6 million on Instagram.

But the truth is, she’s just the latest kid off the child star production line. Here are five other Asian children that could also be heading for the big time.

Celine Tam Tsz-kwan

She may be nearly the same age as Lil Tay but her showbiz persona could not be more different. As a nine-year-old, she made a huge name for herself last year when she appeared on the talent show  America’s Got Talent  and wowed music mogul Simon Cowell and the other celebrity judges with her singing of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. Celine, named after the famous Canadian singer, was trained by her father Steve, a 44-year-old music teacher who owns two music academies in Hong Kong. 

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Just don’t expect any Lil Tay shenanigans from this young performer, who sang at Hong Kong’s National Day reception in 2015 after being invited by the city’s then Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

Anke Chen 

Last year the five-year-old Chinese piano prodigy charmed audiences with a heart-warming performance on US television. Chen, who comes from the Chinese city of Tianjin, was all smiles as she showcased her piano playing skills on the variety show Little Big Shots, which features young talent. The piano virtuoso began learning how to play when she was just three and had previously gained fame in China from online videos of her performances. 

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Sporting pigtails and a pink dress, she won over fans with her cute personality as she turned to smile at the audience periodically during her performance. In an interview afterwards she said: “I practise every day ­– there’s never a day when I don’t practise. I want to be a piano master!”

Yumi Chung

Just like Celine Tam, 10-year-old Hong Kong singer Chung has a much more wholesome image than the bawdy Lil Tay. The young singer is of Filipino and Chinese descent, so the fact that she is fluent in both Cantonese and Tagalog means she will have a promising career both in Hong Kong, where she has appeared on TVB and RTHK, and the Philippines. 

Chung said she always takes her mother with her to auditions and performances for moral support. 

Phoenix Li

The then seven-year-old hit the headlines in 2016 after a stunning piano performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Phoenix wowed the American chat show’s audience with her version of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee

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The pupil at Methodist School in Kowloon, Hong Kong, told the Post she decided to take up piano after being inspired by her older siblings, as well as listening to music by composers such as Beethoven and Chopin.

Pearl Chan Pui-yee

The youngest person in Hong Kong to pass 11 international dance exams in one day, when she was just four years old, this nine-year-old has got huge potential. On top of this, she is an accomplished harp player and has won multiple awards for her performances, while she also sings and plays the piano and violin. Her mother, Selina Lam Sai-yan, has reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on Pearl’s activities, and her support could see her daughter make a big name for herself in the future.