Abstract

This article analyzes the trajectories of Deng Lijun's 鄧麗君 fame as a popular singer, particularly her cultural migration between Japan and China, thereby unveiling a complex intercultural process of (re)production, exchange, and circulation. Her soft but melancholic voice, “traditional Chinese grace,” and cosmopolitan fashion have been shaping cultural landscapes and soundscapes throughout the Chinese diaspora. Her voice and stage image, abundantly charged with a Nietzschean sense of pain and image, create an affective unity in this diaspora. She is widely admired as the “forever Deng Lijun” in Greater China, even Pan-Asia, primarily because of the shared affective base of pain and contradiction that are replaceable and portable transculturally and universally.

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