Singaporeans are quick to opine that we hardly have any local talent, curiously enough, we often think that it’s a rare find on our sunny island, especially when it has to do with the creative industry. The support we show by watching their films, going to their shows, or reading their books pales in comparison to our appetite for content produced elsewhere. It’s great that foreign entities have recognized them and celebrated their achievements, but first having a strong local following on their journey towards international stardom definitely doesn’t hurt. Here are some Singaporean talents who have made it on the international stage, and here’s to hoping we can nurture more local creatives.
In 2016, the 21-year-old attained Singapore’s first-ever Olympic medal in swimming for the 100m butterfly race, simultaneously beating world-renowned Michael Phelp’s Olympic record by 0.75 seconds. Although he has been winning medals since the age of four, we haven’t heard of him before this momentous event. After his victory, Singapore held a victory parade for Schooling with much fanfare, with SMRT even launching a Joseph Schooling concept train that ran on the tracks for almost a month! Milo also appointed him as their new brand ambassador, further reinforcing that moment of Singaporean pride with the ubiquitous malt drink.
One of Singapore’s senior actresses, Fann has gained regional exposure and popularity across Asia. She is also the first Singaporean to enter Hollywood, starring in the 2003 film Shanghai Knights! Her illustrious career has seen her collecting and being nominated for a great many local and international awards, the most recently prominent one being the Most Popular Asian Actress in the 2013 China HuaDing Awards. Although she has been in the spotlight for a long time now, Fann continues to be a household name in Asia with her perfect complexion and down-to-earth nature.
Having sold more than 30 million records, Stefanie is well-known regionally, and is Singapore’s pride and joy. At the 12th Taiwan Golden Melody Awards, she was nominated in 6 categories, even surpassing big names like Jay Chou and Karen Mok for title of Best Newcomer, Best Composer, and Best Composition. Everybody definitely remembers her performances at the National Day Parade, and to further cement Stefanie Sun as a Singapore icon, she was placed as a wax figure in the Madame Tussauds Singapore collection!
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