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Foreigners have talent: Nicky Lee & His #Summer

When Summer is coming, there is a very classic R&B song you should never miss out on. The song not just perfectly expresses the love romance of summer, but also tenderly inspires people's longing for happiness by its catchy melody. And as it is suggested, the song's name is called Summer.

Nicky Lee & his 5th Album

Sung by Nicky Lee, who is a vocalist gifted by a deep and husky voice, Summer impresses a large audience and becomes an immortal work in the Chinese musical industry, which is also the most popular song of Nicky Lee. His flexible switching between the chest voice and a falsetto in the chorus makes the song unique, distinguished, and stamped into peoples' minds.

You might know less about Nicky Lee. It is right that he is less well-known compared to Jay Chou, JJ Lin, or other first-tier China’s singers you probably heard before. Even though, many people still reserve a space in their minds for Nicky Lee and his great performance in the history of Chinese pop music. Honestly, he is indeed a successful singer in China as a foreigner.

Unknown to many Chinese people, Nicky Lee is actually a Korean American who grew up in the USA. In his American school life, Nicky Lee was suffering a lot because of his outward appearance. He was fat with bronze skin and small eyes, which were greeted with derisive hoots from his schoolmates. His schoolmates always laughed at him and called him “Fatty” instead of calling him his real name. At the age of 15, he screwed up his courage to participated in a singing contest but failed in 5 seconds as judges collectively thought that he was not good-looking to be a singer.

To pursue his dream, Nicky Lee turned back to his hometown South Korea. However, neither did he have a typical and good-looking Korean style. He still came across lots of difficulties and got rejected time and time again because of people’s biases on his imperfect appearance. When finally, he got elected into a band by a hard struggle, his boss and agent ran away with other members on the second day of the release of the band’s first album.

Consequently, Nicky Lee was compelled to find a new job as a bar singer to make a living in South Korea. And even that, he still has few opportunities to be on the stage. His boss hired him as he thought a fat person is powerful. And thus, Nicky Lee was assigned to do all the heavy work most of the time.

Nicky Lee didn’t give up his music dream, and coincidently, he decided to go to Taiwan and looked for opportunities, even he knew nothing about Chinese. After several tries, he was elected to be one of the members of a Hip-hop band. Similarly, when the band was about to release the first album, Nicky Lee’s agency refused to include him in the covering photo of the album, though Nicky Lee is the lead singer. The record company thought that Nicky Lee’s physical look was not decent and appealing, they were afraid that it was going to make the new band lose fans. It was Nicky Lee’s darkest time and he felt distressed and forsaken.

Fortunately, his endeavor was appreciated by Huang Lixing, who is a famous music producer in Taiwan. With the help of Huang, Nicky Lee had an opportunity to make his own album. Nicky Lee cherished this opportunity and spent two years making music and practicing his Chinese pronunciation strenuously. Eventually, he released his first album “Shadow” in 2005. Overnight, Nicky Lee’s popularity soared, and he became a topic of discussion on the streets. His songs even occupied the top karaoke lists for a long time. Until that moment, Nicky Lee realized that Huang was also poor and he was taking a loan to support his music dream.

Nicky Lee & his 1th Album Shadow

The title song "shadow" completely shows Nicky Lee’s deep penetration of the voice with a creative talent, which immediately gained him unanimous recognition in the music circles. Since then, the little fat man owns his unique position in Chinese pop music.

Continuously, in 2006, Nicky Lee released his second album "Baby it's me", and with the title song, he stood out among top-tier Chinese singers and won the best singer of the year in 2007 awarded by the Golden Melody Awards, which was the only top Chinese music award at that time. And he was nominated again in 2018 for his comeback-stage song called “Will you remember me” when he has already gradually stepped back from the stage after 2010 and produced albums for several Chines famous artists.

Nicky Lee & his 2th Album Baby it's me

Summer is the hit song in his 5th album. It was released at the moment when he was about to return to America. The music was composed by music genius, Jay Chou. Nicky Lee loves this song so much and regards it as a precious gift. As he said in a talk show that many Chinese artists were looking forward to cooperating with him since he got famous, but none of them kept their words at the end. He appreciated Jay Chou because Jay said it and made it within few days. Especially Jay was also busy with his new album at the time. Since that, Nicky Lee's 5th album was named after the song and hit the Billboard again.

In this song, Nicky Lee starts with a fluent and high-skilled Chinese rap, which amazes the audience deeply. It is appraised as one of the difficult Chinese songs to sing as it has a high requirement for singing skills. Many Chinese singers feel hard to handle this song when they try to cover his song on the stage.


Nowadays, the song was made 11 years ago, it is still soaring in the Chinese Pop chart every summer season. It is no doubt that Nicky Lee’s music never fades. And he is more an appropriate singer for those who want to improve Chinese through listening to music. On the one hand, his pronunciation is incredibly standard and correct with less accent. On the other hand, his music, as well as his stories, will surely encourage every foreigner to overcome their difficulties while learning Chinese.

Nicky Lee Music Collection

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