British singer Jessie J is best known for “Bang Bang”, her 2014 top-10 hit with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, but on Monday night she added another entry to her resume: winner of “Singer”, a Chinese reality-TV singing contest that has been described as China’s version of “The X Factor”.
As The Telegraph reports, Jessie J was the first-ever singer from outside Asia to be invited to compete in the popular singing competition, which attracts an astounding 250 million viewers.
This is a remarkable turnaround for the singer, who once sat on the other side of the judging table as a judge on the U.K. version of “The Voice”. While many found her decision to compete in a Chinese TV singing competition puzzling, she explained her reasoning in a lengthy Instagram post after her big win.
“Last year I was asked to compete in a singing competition in China. I know a lot of people were shocked when they found out. Like why would I compete in a singing competition… I’m probably the least competitive person I know,” she wrote.
Noting that “a billion people watched” her winning performance, she described the whole thing as “an amazing learning experience… I won the show last night. But what we all won was the beginning of something really magical.”
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Last year I was asked to compete in a singing competition in China. Performing alongside the biggest established singers / artists across Asia. I was the first international artist to ever be asked / compete. An honour alone. I know a lot of people were shocked when they found out. Like why would I compete in a singing competition… I’m probably the least competitive person I know. I said yes because I LOVE to do the unexpected and I LOVE to represent the UK and singing everywhere I go. I LOVE to sing. But also it was an opportunity to bridge a gap between two cultures. For them to see a western performer and hear music some had never heard before and visa versa. For the performances to be seen by millions outside of China and visa versa. And those people to discover the show was the best part. The respect being shown for both cultures and the love was ❤️ Seeing the boundaries break down and the rules be shifted made this whole experience incredible. China is an amazing place and so different to anywhere I have ever been. I have never been made to feel more welcomed and loved as I have done here. My team and I have been in China for 3.5 months. It’s been an amazing learning experience for all of us! We worked hard! THANK YOU! I love you all! 💫 I won the show last night. But what we all won was the beginning of something really magical. I am so happy I got to play a part. Here is to me being the first but not the last international artist to be on SINGER. And for the boundaries to continue to be broken. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU! I still cant believe I came 1st! 🏆 Last night a billion people watched the show | MAD ✨😭🙏🏻🌹❤️
Check out her winning performance: an emotional rendition of the Dolly Parton-penned Whitney Houston hit “I Will Always Love You”: