Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ngoc Dan Thanh

Ngọc Đan Thanh (1952-    ) is a popular Vietnamese actress and singer.

She was born in Saigon, South Vietnam in 1952.  Her given name at birth was Lê Thị Huệ.  At the age of 14, Ngọc Đan Thanh made her television acting debut playing the role of a grieving granddaughter of the lead character, a dying woman portrayed by legendary actress Bạch Huệ, in a televised dramatic play.  At the age of 18, she enrolled at the prestigious Quốc Gia Âm Nhạc (University of Performing Arts, Saigon) and became classmates with fellow future established performing artists, Kiều Phượng Loan and Tú Trinh.  During her sophomore year, she studied Southern Vietnamese folk opera known as "cải lương".  Ngọc Đan Thanh was then recruited by various Southern Vietnamese folk opera theater troupes such as Phương Nam, Thành Công, Phụng HảoMây Tần of Saigon Radio Broadcasting Network and Đài Phát Thanh Quân Đội (South Vietnam's Military Radio Broadcasting Network) and Thanh Lịch of Đài Truyền Hình Việt Nam (South Vietnam's National Television Network).  As a dramatic theater actress, she worked with various theater troupes headed by actresses Túy Hồng, Bích ThuậnThẩm Thúy Hằng and Kim Cương, for which she was cast in such memorable parts in the televised plays, Dưới Hai Màu Áo and Lá Sầu Riêng, along with Kim Cương, Vân Hùng, Bảy Nam, Túy Hoa and Ngọc Đức.  Blessed with natural good looks, Ngọc Đan Thanh eased her way into a career in films.  In 1972, Ngọc Đan Thanh starred alongside Út Bạch Lan, Hoàng Long and Văn Ngà in the martial arts feature film, Báo Kiếm Rửa Hận Thù.  She starred in two more feature films prior to the Fall of Saigon:  Xóm Tôi (1973) directed by Lê Dân and Chàng Ngốc Gặp Hên (1974) directed by Lưu Bạch Đàn.  

In the years following the Fall of Saigon, Ngọc Đan Thanh continued on with her career as a theater actress.  Her biggest success was her portrayal of Thanh Vân in the play, Tình Yêu và Lời Đáp, which ran for many months at the legendary Trần Hữu Trang Playhouse Theater and costarred Ngọc GiàuPhương Quang and Minh Châu.  The play was so well received that a live taping was aired on Vietnamese national television during the 1980s.

Ngọc Đan Thanh and Tuấn Vũ in the music video
for the song, 
Bức Tâm Thư 
In 1990, Ngọc Đan Thanh fled from communist Vietnam by boat in search of freedom.  After several months spent at Pulau Bidong refugee camp in Malaysia, she resettled in Southern California.  Immediately after her arrival, Ngọc Đan Thanh was given a warm welcome by the overseas Vietnamese entertainment industry with a sold-out night held in her honor at Diamond Nightclub in Fullerton, California.  She then began collaborating with Người Đẹp Bình Dương, a prominent overseas Vietnamese music production label, as a recording artist.  Her most successful song recorded with the Người Đẹp Bình Dương label was Bức Tâm Thư (written by Lam Phương), a duet with singer Tuấn Vũ.  Ngọc Đan Thanh had also found work doing voice overs of films and dramas produced in Hong Kong and Taiwan during the 1990s alongside veteran voice over actors Ánh Hằng and Việt Thảo.

In 2004, she appeared on volume 74 of Thúy Nga's Paris By Night live show video series as an actress in a comedy skit entitled as Nỗi Lòng Người Mẹ along with Mỹ Huyền, Mạnh Quỳnh and Chí Tài.  The following year, Ngọc Đan Thanh would return to the Paris By Night stage as a singer of Southern Vietnamese folk opera, also known as "vọng cổ", in a duet with Hương Thủy.  She would be invited back by the executives at Thúy Nga to appear on two more volumes of the Paris By Night series in 2007:  as a singer of Vietnamese pop music performing with Phương Hồng Quế a medley of songs written by Nhật Trường on volume 85 filmed in Toronto, Canada and again as an actress in another comedy skit, Chồng Chúa Vợ Tôi, along with Kiều Oanh, Kiều Linh and Lê Tín on volume 90 filmed at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California.  From 2010 until 2016, Ngọc Đan Thanh co-hosted a total of 12 volumes of the popular live show video series produced by Asia Entertainment alongside Nam Lộc and Thùy Dương from volume 67 to volume 78.  In addition, she also performed several medleys in duets and as part of ensembles teamed up with others including her old singing partners, Phương Hồng Quế and Tuấn Vũ, as well as Trung Chỉnh, Huy Sinh and Thiên Trang.  Her accomplishments as an actress in films, as a performer of Southern Vietnamese folk opera, as a singer of Vietnamese pop music and as an emcee of variety live shows clearly are the reasons why Ngọc Đan Thanh has been considered one of the most diverse talents among Vietnamese entertainers worldwide.

Thanh Lan (left) and Ngọc Đan Thanh (right)
 at taping of Asia Entertainment's Volume 78
(Segerstrom Center of the Arts, Costa Mesa, California - August, 2016.)

Ngọc Đan Thanh Facebook Page

Friday, September 8, 2017

Johnny Dung

Johnny Dũng (1967-    ) is an overseas Vietnamese singer who sings in Vietnamese, English and French.

Born on March 27, 1967 in Đà Lạt, Vietnam, Johnny Dũng resettled in Virginia during the early 1980s.  After graduating from a 4-year university with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, he decided to relocate to Southern California in the early 1990s to pursue his dream of a career in music.  He first collaborated with the label, Trường Thanh, then billed as Hoàng Thanh, in his debut appearance on video of a song called Đêm Cuồng Điên in 1993.  Shortly thereafter, he changed his professional stage name to Johnny Dũng when he began recording for Ý Productions, which was headed by the husband-and-wife team of singers, Ý Nhi and Kenny Thái.  In 1994, Johnny Dũng teamed up with singer Y Phương to produce a duet album, Chờ Nhau Trong Mưa.  That same year, he would also make an appearance on volume 3 of Vân Sơn Entertainment's Nụ Cười và Âm Nhạc video series in a duet with singer Ngọc Anh of the song, Thoáng Đam Mê.  Toward the end of 1995 during one night while performing at the Diamond Nightclub in Fullerton, California, he was spotted by Trúc Hồ and Thy Vân, the owners of Asia Entertainment.  During his entire 2-year stint with Asia Entertainment during the 1990s, Johnny Dũng would only appear as part of a trio alongside Gia Huy and Nhật Quân on each consecutive volume of the label's live show music video series and was denied the opportunity to appear as a solo performer.  Disillusioned with Asia Entertainment, he left the label in 1997 and signed with Tình Productions.  Right around this time, Johnny Dũng teamed up with a female singer newly arrived from Vietnam by the name of Minh Tuyết to form a duo.  For the next several years, Johnny Dũng and Minh Tuyết would become one of the most successful singing duos in the overseas Vietnamese music industry.  For the remainder of the 1990s and well into the 2000s, he continuously dished out studio albums released by Tình Productions, followed by another label, Nhạc Trẻ.  In 2002, as Minh Tuyết would go onto signing an exclusive contract with Thúy Nga, Johnny Dũng would be invited back to Asia Entertainment.  This time around, he was able to appear on Asia Entertainment's live show video series both as a solo act, as well as part of ensembles with other artists.  Among his most memorable solo performances on video for Asia Entertainment include such songs like Quê Mẹ (written by Thu Hồ), Đồn Vắng Chiều Xuân (written by Nhật Trường) and Mẹ Tôi (written by Nhị Hà).  Johnny Dũng had also performed on for Asia Entertainment's live show video series as part of ensembles alongside various artists such as Hồ Ngọc Như, Thiên Kim, Mạnh Đình, Hà Phương and Diệp Thanh Thanh.  In 2004, he made his second departure from Asia Entertainment to form his own label, Johnny Dũng Music.

At the height of his singing career and following the passing of his beloved mother during the mid 2000s, Johnny Dũng made the decision to return to college to study biology.  After completion of his studies earning a second degree as a biology major, Johnny Dũng started his own business.  He is the founder, CEO and president of Lotus by Johnny Dũng, a successful cosmeceutial manufacturing and distribution company of Korean and Japanese herbal supplementary products.  Johnny Dũng previously had also worked as a full-time high school math teacher, in which he had maintained simultaneously throughout the years when his singing career was in full swing.  He is also known as Brian Hoàng.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Trang Nhung

Trang Nhung (1973-    ) is a Vietnamese singer.

Trang Nhung on Season 1 of Tuyệt Đỉnh Tranh Tài (2014)
She was born on August 24, 1973 in Hạ Long Bay of Quảng Ninh Province in Northeastern Vietnam.  Her father is renowned Northern Vietnamese folk singer and businessman Tô Lịch.  Trang Nhung studied at the National Conservatory of Music (Học Viện Âm Nhạc Quốc Gia) in Hanoi.  In 1999, Trang Nhung entered the nationally televised talent competition show,  Liên Hoan Tiếng Hát Truyền Hình Toàn Quốc, and became one of two contestants awarded with a full scholarship at Vietnam's Military Academy of Performing Arts (Cao Đẳng Văn Hóa Nghệ Thuật Quân Đội) in Hanoi along with singer Hồ Quỳnh Hương.  After a lengthy absence away from the spotlight, in 2014 Trang Nhung appeared competing on the popular television show, Tuyệt Đỉnh Tranh Tài (The Ultimate Entertainer), hosted by comedian/emcee Trấn Thành and equipped with a panel of celebrity judges which consisted of film director Lê Hoàng, Vietnam's pop music diva Hồng Nhung and overseas Vietnamese singer Ý Lan.  At 40 years old and a mother of 4 children, Trang Nhung was the oldest finalist placing third in the competition.

Throughout her career, Trang Nhung has recorded, produced and released a total of 9 studio albums.  Her latest album, Tưởng Nhớ Đại Tướng, a tribute to national war hero, Võ Nguyên Giáp, was released in 2014.  All tracks on the album were original songs written by Trang Nhung in dedication to the late general.  The album was recorded and released 100 days after his passing.

Since 1996, Trang Nhung has been married to multi-millionaire conglomerate businessman, Ngô Nhật Phương, who is 13 years her senior.  Together, they are proud parents of 4 children.  During the late 1990s, Ngô Nhật Phương was convicted of embezzlement charges and was imprisoned for several years.  Since his release from prison in the early 2000s, Ngô Nhật Phương has managed to reestablish his import/export multi-lateral empire and is considered to be one of the wealthiest businessmen of Vietnam today.


Lee Nguyen

Lee Nguyễn (1986-    ) is an American professional soccer player of Vietnamese descent currently signed as an outfielder with the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer.

Born on October 7, 1986 in Richardson, Texas to parents whom were both Vietnamese immigrants, he was given the name, Nguyễn Thế Anh, at birth.  During his senior year at Plano East Senior High School in Plano, Texas, Lee Nguyễn received the National Gatorade Boys Soccer High School Player of the Year Award.  After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Indiana University where he played for one season during his freshman year and was selected as National Freshman of the Year in 2005 by Soccer America and Soccer Times.  On February of the following year, Lee Nguyễn turned professional when he signed a 3-and-a-half-year contract with the Dutch Eredivisie team, PSV Eindhoven.  Dissatisfied with PSV Eindhoven, he requested an early release from his contract and joined Randers FC of the Danish Superliga on January 31, 2008 where he would make 23 appearances.  On January 18, 2009, Lee Nguyễn signed a lucrative contract with Hoàng Anh Gia Lai of Vietnam for one season making him the very first American-born professional athlete to be recruited by the Vietnamese Super League.  During his tenure with Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Lee Nguyễn scored 13 goals and 16 assists in 23 appearances.  The following year, he signed with Becamex Bình Dương FC for one and a half seasons.  While playing for the Vietnamese Super League, Lee Nguyễn claimed his Vietnamese citizenship by descent and is now a dual citizen of Vietnam and the United States.

After several years as a professional soccer player in Vietnamese Super League, Lee Nguyễn decided to return to the United States in December of 2011.  He inked a multi-year deal with Major League Soccer on December 7, 2011.  After 3 preseason appearances with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Lee Nguyễn was selected by the New England Revolution.   Since 2012, Lee Nguyễn has scored a total of 48 goals for the New England Revolution and was twice voted by fans as the team's MVP of the years 2012 and 2014.  He had also made the finals for the MLS Goal of the Year Award in 2012 and 2014.  In 2016, Lee Nguyễn became captain of the New England Revolution.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thuy Khanh

Thúy Khanh (1983-    ) is a popular overseas Vietnamese pop singer and DJ.

She was born on November 26, 1983 in An Giang province of Southern Vietnam.  At the age of 17, Thúy Khanh left her native Vietnam to resettle in Southern California as a foreign exchange student.  Shortly thereafter, she opened a small Vietnamese restaurant with the money sent from her parents back in Vietnam in which she ran to generate income while attending college in Orange County, California.  Thúy Khanh had befriended a fellow classmate who happened to be the younger sister of famous overseas Vietnamese singer, Như Quỳnh.  It was Như Quỳnh's mother who would help introduce Thúy Khanh to the owners of Tình Productions, a prominent overseas Vietnamese music label based in Orange County, California.  From then on, Thúy Khanh's career as an overseas Vietnamese pop singer was launched.  The first single recorded by Thúy Khanh under the Tình Productions label was Không Đau Vì Quá Đau (written by Quang Huy) in which she had also appeared on video on volume 15 of the label's live show music video series, Tình Yêu, Quê Hương và Tuổi Trẻ in 2008.  Her diverse abilities to sing in diverse genres of Vietnamese music ranging from traditional pop to dance and hip-hop appealed to a wide variety of viewer audiences which led the executives at Tình Productions to feature Thúy Khanh on the next 3 consecutive volumes of the Tình Yêu, Quê Hương và Tuổi Trẻ video series.  During her tenure with Tình Productions, Thúy Khanh recorded a total of 5 solo studio albums which included Khóc Cho Người Đi (2008), Tại Em Yêu Đơn Phương (2008), Cơn Mê Tình Ái (2009), Làm Sao Quên Được Anh (2009) and Níu Kéo - Đã Qua Hết Rồi (2010).  In 2010, Thúy Khanh signed with another overseas Vietnamese music label, Rainbow Productions.  She has recorded duets with various other artists including Kevin Khoa, Chi Dân, Hồ Quang Hiếu, Lương Gia Huy, Hồ Anh DũngHuy Vũ and Gia Huy.  

In recent years, Thúy Khanh has achieved tremendous success as a DJ in addition to her singing +career.  She continues to perform at live shows worldwide at a nonstop pace and also fulfills numerous bookings to spin records at nightclubs all over Vietnam.  Currently, Thúy Khanh is ranked as one of the 3 most in-demand DJs of Vietnam.

Thúy Khanh has been married to Vietnamese-American businessman, Diệp Phước Thịnh, since 2000.  The couple are proud parents of a son.  They divide their time between homes in Virginia and Ho Chi Minh City.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Tan Tai

Tấn Tài (1938-2011) was a legendary performer of Southern Vietnamese folk opera known as "cải lương".

Born as Lê Tấn Tài in An Giang Province located in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam in 1938, he grew up in a working class family.  At the age of 21, he left home to pursue his dream of becoming a Southern Vietnamese folk opera actor.  In 1963, Tấn Tài won the Thanh Tâm Award, South Vietnam's equivalent to a Tony Award, for Best Male Performer for his portrayal of Điệp Nhứt Lang in the play, Cát Dung Phương Tử.  Prior to 1975, he earned the nickname, "Hoàng Đế Đĩa Nhựa" (King of Vynil), for his numerous audio recordings which total over 400 "cải lương" soundtracks.  Tấn Tài became one of the wealthiest performers of Southern Vietnamese folk opera prior to 1975.  Among his most popular plays include Bóng Hồng Sa Mạc starring Minh Phụng, Mỹ Châu, Diệu Hiền and Dũng Thanh Lâm, Chuyện Tình An Lộc Sơn starring Thanh Nga, Thanh Sang and Ngọc GiàuChiều Đông Gió Lạnh Về starring Minh Phụng, Mỹ Châu and Thanh Thanh HoaKhi Rừng Mới Sang Thu starring Minh Phụng, Mỹ Châu, Thanh Sang and Diệp LangAnh Hùng Xạ Điêu starring Thành Được, Kim Ngọc, Thanh Sang and Mỹ Châu, Cô Gái Đồ Long starring Ngọc Giàu, Phượng Liên and Thành Được, Hẹn Một Mùa Xuân starring Út Trà Ôn, Minh Phụng, Thanh Việt and Văn Chung, Manh Áo Quê Nghèo starring Lệ Thủy and Nạn Con Rơi starring Hùng Cường and Bạch Tuyết.

On January 27, 2011, Tấn Tài passed away at the age of 72.  His two sons, Tấn Beo and Tấn Bo, are established comedic actors of stage and film.

Vietnamese Celebrity Homes Part 5b

Here are 5 more beautiful homes owned by your favorite Vietnamese celebrities.

1.  Actor Quyền Linh and his wife live in this beautiful mansion located in the 7th district of Ho Chi Minh City.

2.  Overseas Vietnamese singer/DJ Thúy Khanh lives in this beautiful, spacious home she recently bought in Virginia.  Whoever said that overseas Vietnamese entertainers' lives aren't so grand?

3. Former Miss Vietnam titleholder-turned film and television actress Hà Kiều Anh and her husband, Lý Quí Khánh, divide their time between their two homes:  a mansion located in the 2nd district of Ho Chi Minh City priced at $20 million USD and a penthouse located on the 20th floor of the King's Tower in Vũng Tàu priced at $1 million USD.

Living Room of Hà Kiều Anh's Penthouse in Vũng Tàu

Terrace of Hà Kiều Anh's Penthouse in Vũng Tàu

Hà Kiều Anh sits in the living room of her beautiful penthouse in Vũng Tàu.

4. Singer Tuấn Hưng owns two houses in Hanoi; a modest house where his family lives located next to the historic Hồ Hoàn Kiếm Lake and a penthouse where he and his wife live in the Thanh Xuân district.

Singer Tuấn Hưng's Hanoi house photographed during his wedding reception.   

Living Room of Singer Tuấn Hưng's Hanoi Penthouse

5. Singer Trang Nhung and her husband, businessman Ngô Nhật Phương, are owners of this luxurious 6-story mansion located in the Tân Bình district of Ho Chi Minh City.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ha Kieu Anh

Hà Kiều Anh (1976-    ) is a famous Vietnamese actress and former Miss Vietnam beauty pageant titleholder.

She was born on May 17, 1976 in Hanoi.  Her paternal grandfather was Hà Văn Lâu, who was a United Nations representative of Vietnam.  Her maternal grandfather was Vương Quốc Mỹ, who was head of Vietnam's ministry of construction.   At the age of 5, her parents divorced and Hà Kiều Anh moved to Ho Chi Minh City with her mother.  In 1992, while at the age of 16, Hà Kiều Anh entered and became the youngest to ever win the Miss Vietnam national beauty pageant.  That same year, she also made her film debut in Người Tình trong Mơ.  Her other acting credits in film and television include Lục Vân Tiên (2004), Đẻ Mướn (2005) starring Chi Bảo, Phương Thanh and Kim ThưÁo Lụa Hà Đông (2006) starring Trương Ngọc ÁnhQuốc KhánhTú Trinh and Như QuỳnhVán Cờ Tình Yêu (2007) starring Helen Thanh Đào and Huy KhánhHạnh Phúc Có Thật (2009) starring Ngân KhánhĐại Gia Đình (2010) costarring Quyền LinhLối Sống Sai Lầm (2010) starring Vân Trang and Con Gái Vị Thẩm Phán (2014) starring Huy Khánh and Thân Thúy Hà.

Throughout her professional career, Hà Kiều Anh has been just as famous for her roles on television and film as with her involvement in scandals.  In 2003, her name was dragged through the Vietnamese tabloids due to alleged sales of illegal cellular phones by her ex-husband, Nguyễn Gia Thiều, CEO of Đông Nam Company.  And while filming the television mini-series, Lục Vân Tiên, in 2004, topless photos of Hà Kiều Anh along with another former Miss Vietnam beauty pageant titleholder and actress, Ngô Mỹ Uyên, were leaked to the public and ended up in heavy rotation throughout the internet.

In 2007, Hà Kiều Anh decided to give love and marriage another try with Vietnamese celebrity home builder and remodeling contractor Lý Quí Khánh.  The couple are proud parents to two sons and a daughter.


Vietnamese Celebrity Homes Part 5b