In the vacuum that remains between Faye Wong’s (王菲) infrequent public appearances, it seems the media grows increasingly desperate for news about Faye, China’s hottest celebrity. The fact that she’s been in semi-retired seclusion for the last three years or so only enhances her appeal. The Chinese public can never get enough of her, and even the briefest glimpse captured by paparazzi or fans mushrooms into a media blitz throughout the Chinese-speaking world and much of Asia for days or weeks on end.
Entertainment editors need little or no excuse to plaster recycled photos and far-fetched rumors of Faye or her family and friends on the front pages of their paper and web entertainment sections. The mere mention of her name is enough to attract huge numbers of readers and viewers. And this period without Faye is no exception.
Imaginative journalists have concocted another “come back” rumor that’s been circulating for the past few days. This time, they’re using the circumstance of Faye and Na Ying’s (那英) recent appearance in Chengdu as “evidence” that they’re secretly plotting a comeback. In this scenario, Na Ying will come out of her semi-retirement and schedule a few live concerts after the Olympics. And, in a spectacular surprise, Faye will join Na Ying as a guest, onstage, to reprise their famous “Meet in 1998” duet or a few of her many, many hits.
The same writers use the fact that a decade has passed as circumstantial proof that a 10th anniversary performance of the two close friends is a logical inevitability. Needless to say, they are extremely vague about the sources of their insider information, and the trail is usually filled with hearsay accounts of an informant with obscure connections to an acquaintance of a person who works for a close relative of an agent who has contact with a manager of Faye’s husband’s friend. Of course, the source, after all is said and done, turns out to be a ghost with no name.
The point isn’t so much “Is the rumor true?” but rather the fact that Faye’s absence from entertainment has left a gaping void in the minds and hearts of the Chinese people — a sense of emptiness that won’t be filled until Faye finally returns.