Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Mandopop diva A-Mei's Auckland one night stand

'A-Mei' Chang Hui Mei is hailed as the reigning queen of Mandopop, and is coming to New Zealand for the first time.

She has an alter ego, rocker queen Amit, and will be using her show to promote "equal love for all".

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"A-Mei is a class act, and her voice is simply one of the best," said a fan, Ivan Yeo. 42.

"I have been her fan since I was in my twenties, and can't believe she's coming to New Zealand."

Born Amit Kulilay, of aboriginal Taiwanese Pinuyumayan tribe decent, A-Mei is a champion for gay rights, and is often called the "Pride of Taiwan".

The 43-year-old pop diva was last year crowned Best Mandarin Female Singer at Taiwan's 26th Golden Melody Awards, and is the only Chinese performer to have received a World Peace Music Award.

Her concert here is part of her "aMei-Amit Utopia World Tour", which kicked off in Taiwan last April where organisers said 120,000 tickets were sold within 12 minutes of going on sale.

Mr Yeo, an Auckland health worker, said the ticket prices ranging from $99 to $399 were not cheap, but in his view, they would still be "worth it".

"A-Mei is a truly gifted singer with high energy and an incredible voice, her shows are always incredible," said Mr Yeo.

Fans can expect the concert to be an audio and visual feast, with A-Mei performing songs from her two Amit Albums including Jamaica Betel Nut, Freak Show and Black Eats Black.

Audiences will be kept dancing, jumping and screaming with explosive hits like Matriarchy and Bloody Love Story, and sultry dance songs such as Bad Boy and One Night Stand.

"This is A-Mei's first and only concert in New Zealand since she began her career in March 1996," concert promoter Bevan Chuang said.

"New Zealanders will get to see one of the biggest pop divas in the Chinese-speaking world, and we expect New Zealand will leave a lasting impression on A-Mei."

As a celebration of love, the pop diva will perform Rainbow, a song that supports gay love and is a tribute to those who were suffering because of a lack of equal rights.

Miss Chuang added: "Utopia is a concert that has been promoting equal love for all, and A-Mei is hoping to build utopia through her music."

A-Mei lowdown

Who: A-Mei
When: April 3
Tickets: $99-$399
Where: Trusts Arena, Henderson

- NZ Herald

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