Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tuan Anh

Tuan Anh (1948-    ) is a Vietnamese-American singer and entertainer.  He first rose to prominence in the overseas Vietnamese community of the United States in the early 1980s.  Among his many distinguishing trademarks include his powerful voice, quick-witted comedic persona and signature style of dress, which has often been referred to as either being "flashy", "flamboyant", "provocative" to even "offensive" by some.  Regardless of such controversial attributes associated with Tuan Anh, he has managed to have a highly successful career as an entertainer for Vietnamese audiences all over the world for over three decades.

Prior to resettling in the United States in 1979, Tuan Anh had come from an affluent family in South Vietnam.  Born on November 25, 1948, Tuan Anh grew up in Saigon and graduated from the prestigious Petrus Ky High School.  After graduating from high school,  Tuan Anh attended the University of Saigon, School of Science.  Once resettled in the United States at the age of 30, Tuan Anh finally began to pursue his dream of a career as a professional Vietnamese singer.  In a short period of time of less than two years, Tuan Anh's popularity with overseas Vietnamese audiences led him to perform at live shows for Vietnamese communities across the United States.   Performances for overseas Vietnamese communities in several cities in Canada would follow, along with shows in Europe and Australia.

During his early years as a professional Vietnamese singer, Tuan Anh quickly achieved notoriety largely due to his distinct appearance on stage as many members from his audience had taken his persona for shock value.  The media within overseas Vietnamese communities initially had dubbed him as the "Vietnamese Boy George", which at first had been viewed as negative press, but instead resulted in his favor as his popularity would increase dramatically which coincided with the amount of publicity generated from the media.  Tuan Anh's enduring career and sustained popularity through the years eventually has earned him the much deserved respect from Vietnamese audiences worldwide as a serious performance artist.  As a live performer, Tuan Anh was one of the biggest headliners at Vietnamese cabarets and nightclubs in Orange County, California such as Tu Do, Caravelle, Ritz and Queen Bee.  While on tour at various major cities for Vietnamese communities all over the world, he has been one of the biggest crowd pleasers among Vietnamese singers.  Show after show, fans would line up to request Tuan Anh to perform a list of songs that have become known as his signature songs like Kiep Dam Me, written by Duy Quang, Khuc Thuy Du, written by Viet Dzung, Trai Tim Nguc Tu, written by Duc Huy and Chiec Ao Ba Ba, written by Nhat Truong.  Among his most popular songs sung in English include The Power of Love, I Who Have Nothing and Unchain My Heart.  Tuan Anh became the first superstar among overseas Vietnamese male artists whose celebrity status reached ranks that were comparable to such big names of legendary performers since prior to 1975 such as Elvis Phuong, Che Linh and Duy Quang.  His wide diversity as a vocalist surpasses that of most other Vietnamese singers, as Tuan Anh has the astounding ability to perform in all sorts of different genres of music, ranging from traditional Vietnamese popular music to more modernized Vietnamese ballads and even Euro New Wave and dance music.  In addition to his native language of Vietnamese, Tuan Anh sings in French, English and even Chinese.  As one of the most bankable headliners at Vietnamese live concert shows worldwide, in addition to his singing Tuan Anh continues to wow audiences on stage with his comedic antics and professional showmanship.  One of his most memorable performances during the 1980s was at the Anaheim Convention Center in 1988 during a highly publicized, sold out live concert event which featured Taiwanese film and television actor Chin Han, known as Tan Han by his Vietnamese fans, as the main headliner.  The show was hosted by emcee Viet Thao and also included a gala of some of the top performers among Vietnamese singers during the time such as Lynda Trang Dai, Carol Kim, Kim Anh, Phuong Hoai Tam, Tuan Dat and Lucia Kim Chi.  Despite Chin Han's much anticipated appearance at the concert given how the popularity of Taiwanese and Hong Kong dramas during the 1980s with Vietnamese fans was at its peak, the performer who ended up stealing the show that night was none other than Tuan Anh.  The sold out audience of nearly 10,000 in attendance simply went wild when he performed a cover of legendary composer Ngo Thuy Mien's classic, Tuoi 13, in which Tuan Anh delivered flawlessly in the falsetto register matching that of Thai Thanh's soprano range.

Tuan Anh greeting fans at a live show

During the 1990s with the onset wave of massive popularity in music video live shows released by several major production labels such as Thuy Nga Paris, Asia Productions, Van Son Entertainment and Mây Productions in the overseas Vietnamese music industry, in order for Vietnamese singers to either reach or sustain top billing status an unofficial requirement was to appear on these video productions as frequently as possible.  The tremendous exposure gained from appearances on Thuy Nga's wildly popular Paris By Night series during this decade created a slew of new superstars among Vietnamese entertainers such as Don Ho, Ai Van, Nguyen Hung, Thanh Ha, Luu Bich, Manh Quynh, The Son, Thien Kim, Nguyen Ngoc Ngan and Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen.  Asia Productions were right behind Thuy Nga as a starmaker powerhouse with a list of new crop that included Nhu Quynh, Lam Nhat Tien, Lam Thuy Van, Trish Thuy Trang and Shayla.  Van Son Entertainment first introduced Hoai LinhTu Quyen, Truong Vu and Tam Doan onto the scene.  May Productions, to a lesser degree, helped launch the careers of Thuy HangPhi Nhung, Philip Huy and Diem Lien with their debut music video appearances on the Hollywood Night series.  Top performers from the 1980s and decades prior that were able to sustain their star power into the 1990s did so with such video appearances like Khanh Ha, Elvis Phuong, Lynda Trang Dai, Huong Lan, Ngoc Lan, Y Lan, Khanh Ly, Thanh Lan, Thanh TuyenTuan Ngoc, Thai Chau and Che Linh.  It should be noted that Tuan Anh was the only performer who had sustained his star power and appeal with audiences without much exposure from music videos.  His only appearance on music videos produced by one of the four major labels of the 1990s was on volume 1 of Asia Productions' Dem Saigon series with his performance of his signature song, Trai Tim Nguc Tu.  This star power of his remained throughout the 1990s, 2000s and continues to this day.

Tuan Anh records mostly for his own label, Tuan Anh Productions, that has been in operation since the early 1980s.


Tuan Anh on Facebook


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  2. and who is Tuan Tu, can anyone answer this?

    1. Hi there, JoeMeek! First, I'd like to thank you for having visited Your viewership is much appreciated. To answer your question, I personally have never met or worked with Tuan Tu. During the years (1994-2001) when I was really active as a performer in the overseas Vietnamese entertainment industry, I had never even heard of him. I'm assuming that could have been because Tuan Tu hadn't started singing professionally yet. I'm really not sure, but that would be my best guess. Since then, even though performing is no longer my full-time profession I have remained a fan of Vietnamese music and yet I have never bought any CDs, music video DVDs, etc. that had anything recorded by Tuan Tu. I simply had no idea who he was. Finally, sometime in the year 2012, while I was out of town to perform in a show in Houston (every once in a while, I'll still get bookings here and there.... Thank goodness, for those folks in the business who still remember me and know that I'm not dead. LOL), I ran into someone while at a Vietnamese restaurant in Bellaire who I initially had thought was Tuan Anh. I was really excited since it had been years since I had last seen my good friend and former colleague, Tuan Anh. I then got up out of my chair to rush over to him as I had planned to greet him with a big hug. But as I got closer, I then discovered that in fact the person I had seen from afar was definitely not Tuan Anh, but someone who appeared to be a celebrity impersonator of Tuan Anh. I thought to myself, "Good thing it was during the daytime, otherwise if the setting had been darker like around nighttime I would have most likely made a complete fool out of myself." I could only imagine how embarrassing it would have been if I had thrown my arms around him, saying, "Hi, anh Tuan Anh, how have you been, brother?" just so that I would find out that I was actually hugging a complete stranger who had no idea who I was, either. Hahahahahahaha......

      Later that night at my performance, I had asked a few of the bandmembers if they had heard of this celebrity impersonator of Tuan Anh. That's when I found out his name is Tuan Tu. Apparently, he has performed at live shows in Houston and other cities with major Vietnamese communities around the United States and is a rather good singer. But unlike a typical celebrity impersonator, Tuan Tu does not lip-synch Tuan Anh's recorded songs nor does he impersonate Tuan Anh's singing voice. Instead, Tuan Tu sings with his own natural voice which has an entirely different sound than Tuan Anh. I've heard that Tuan Tu has been generally well received by audiences during his live performances. Other than that, I don't know anything else about this performer named Tuan Tu. However, I'll say this..... Although I don't doubt that Tuan Tu is a talented performer, there really is one and only one Tuan Anh!

      That is why Tuan Anh, a true Vietnamese celebrity and not any Vietnamese celebrity impersonator, is honored with a full feature/bio here on

  3. CAROLINA CLEARANCESApril 25, 2018 at 7:05 AM

    I'm working with a film production who would like to use a photo of Tuan Any from the 80s or 90s as set decor in the film. Can you please let me know who to contact for permission? Thank you!
    Cindy Laraway