Li Yuchun's decade of breakthroughs

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Release of four-part album shows Super Girl's newfound confidence.

Li Yuchun's latest album, Growing Wild, sold over 6 million copies, grossing over 32.8 million yuan. [Photo provided to China Daily] 

Chinese singer-songwriter Li Yuchun released her eighth studio album, Growing Wild, in 2016. Instead of a CD including a dozen new songs, Li broke with tradition by separating the new album into four EPs.

She also teamed up with QQ Music, the music service under China's internet giant Tencent, to launch the new album online. The first EP, Wild, sold 3 million copies in 16 days after it was released in May of last year. The three other EPs were then released within six months, with total sales of more than 6 million copies, grossing over 32.8 million yuan ($4.73 million).

When the numbers were announced at a press conference in Beijing recently, the 32-year-old Li smiled shyly in front of her roaring fans.

"The idea for the new album started two years ago. At that time, I just followed the traditional pattern of selecting new songs and put them into an album," Li says.

What inspired her to break the album into four segments was that "usually we pick up one or two songs as the leading tracks, which then tend to overshadow the other songs," Li says. "But I like all 12 new songs very much and couldn't decide which one should be the leading single. So why not introduce them to the fans three at a time?"

According to Andy Wai Lam Ng, the vice-president of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, Growing Wild achieved China's highest digital music sales since the company released the first Chinese digital album, Taiwan pop icon Jay Chou's album, Aiyo, Not Bad, in December 2014. So far, QQ Music has released digital albums from many Chinese singers-including Dou Jingtong and Lu Han-South Korean boy group Big Bang, and Western artists such as Adele, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

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