In celebration of the singer’s 25th year of singing, this month’s featured artist is none other than Như Quỳnh. Như Quỳnh was born Lê Lâm Quỳnh Như in Huế, Việt Nam in 1970, and grew up with 2 brothers, one of which is fashion designer and singer Tường Khuê. Before moving to the United States with her family, Như Quỳnh had competed in singing competitions and performed publicly while living in Việt Nam. She would eventually immigrate to the United States in 1993, where her career as a singer would develop into the success that it is today.
Như Quỳnh was first discovered overseas by Trúc Hồ and Thy Vân from Asia Entertainment, and in 1994 was invited to perform in their shows. She made her debut performance in Asia 6 “Giáng Sinh Đặc Biệt” where she performed “Người Tình Mùa Đông”. With her undeniable beauty and sweet voice, this would become one of her signature songs – but it was with her following performance that audiences would truly realize a star was being born.
Her next performance with Asia was Anh Bằng’s “Chuyện Hoa Sim” and became a massive hit around the world and one of the biggest hits of her career, which had only just begun at the time! Following this performance, she released her first album also titled “Chuyện Hoa Sim” and is still one of Asia Entertainment’s best selling albums. As she continued singing with Asia, her fame quickly grew with each performance, creating hits such as “Như Vạt Nắng”, “Chuyện Tình Hoa Trắng”, and “Anh Cứ Hẹn”.
In 1996, Như Quỳnh surprised fans with her leave from Asia Entertainment, moving to Trung Tâm Thúy Nga where she made her first appearance in Paris By Night 38. Nevertheless, her fans continued to support and follow her, and Như Quỳnh would continue to associate herself with several more hits, including “Chờ Người”, “Nửa Vầng Trăng”, “Vùng Lá Me Bay”, but her biggest hit as of late has been “Duyên Phận” which was written specifically for the singer by Thái Thịnh, and enjoyed immense popularity around the world, but especially in Vietnam with the resurgence of Bolero music in 2016-2017. In 2007, Như Quỳnh left Paris By Night to return to Asia Entertainment, and during that time she also gave birth to her daughter, Melody Đông Nghi. Her time with Asia was again short-lived, and after 2 years she returned back to Trung Tâm Thúy Nga where she continues to perform to this day, with her next appearance being in Paris By Night 130 in Singapore next month.
Như Quỳnh’s life and career has been quite eventful; over the span of 25 years, she has released 8 DVDs, over 15 solo albums, performed nearly 200 times with Asia Entertainment and Thúy Nga, and now also performs for audiences in Việt Nam. Today, Như Quỳnh’s influence on the music industry goes without saying – she has amassed a devoted legion of fans who continue to support her, and virtually every singer in the Bolero/quê hương genre has been influenced by her. At the time of her debut, there was no other singer like Như Quỳnh; her voice was extremely pure, her technique was extremely clean and clear, and the image of her wearing an áo dài with her long hair swept to one side became an unforgettable style in Vietnamese pop culture. Many have tried to emulate the singer, but in the end, there is only one Như Quỳnh.
Speaking for myself and I’m sure for many others, Như Quỳnh has been one of my favourite singers of all time, ever since “Người Tình Mùa Đông”. Even as many years have passed and she has surely aged in both appearance and voice, she continues to enjoy great success worldwide, she continues to be an Vietnamese icon for generations old and young, and she continues to be an unstoppable force in the music industry.
Dương Thái Hòa has always been passionate about Vietnamese music. Graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music, Thái Hòa currently performs alongside the Liberty Band in shows within the Vietnamese community. In addition, Thái Hòa also writes, records and performs his own music on his YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/JamesDuongMusic