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  • Born

    20 July 1954 (age 62)

Lo Ta-yu or Luo Dayou (Traditional Chinese: 羅大佑; Simplified Chinese: 罗大佑; Pinyin: Lúo Dàyòu) is an influential Taiwanese singer-songwriter who, during the 1980s, revolutionized Chinese pop and rock music with his melodic lyrics, his love songs, and his witty social and political commentary that he infused in his more political songs, often to the point that some of his songs were suppressed in Taiwan and China during the 1980s. He is recognized as a major cultural icon in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

Stylistically, Lo Ta-yu defies classification. His early music in particular shows strong folk roots, and many of his songs tap into native Taiwanese cultural influences. Some songs are reminiscent of 1950s American diner and soda shop rock, and others exhibit a 1970s lounge lizard growl. What captured the hearts of a generation, however, were his lyrics, touching on issues of life, attitudes, social responsibility, and the political problems of both China and Taiwan with an underhandedly critical strain of dark humor. The lyrical style is not particularly artsy or complex, but rather conversational; the cleverness comes in the meaning, not how the words are put together.

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