Born in 1961, 江明學 was a singer/songwriter. His greatest hit was a cover version of famous female singer Sarah Chen’s (陈淑桦）秋意上心头。Apart from Sarah Chen, he had also successfully done very popular cover versions of other female singers like Tracy Huang and Teresa Teng. His winning formula was his raw, unfeigned voice.
From the peak of his career in the 1990s, everything went downhill for the aging star thenceforth. In 2004, he tried to make a comeback by compiling his former hits from defunct recording studios and relaunching them himself in CD. The arrival of readily downloadable mp3 caused him massive losses.
Deep in debt, 江明學 ended up as a street performer and restaurant helper. In fact, he was the first professional singer in Taiwan to have applied for a busking permit. 江明學 finally lost the will to live and hanged himself in his apartment. After his landlady failed to get a response from him after repeated reminders to pay his rent, she broke in with the police and fire department and found his decomposing body on 18 June 2019.
I’m not a fan of 陈淑桦. However, 秋意上心头 is one of few songs of hers that I like apart from 梦醒时分. I prefer 江明學’s version of 秋意上心头. There is no use shedding tears or turning around to hold back something that is destined to go. 江明學 could have been a legend if he had departed when he was still charming millions.
The most beautiful romances are the tragic ones begging for a second chance in the next life. The most memorable legends are those that suddenly depart when they are most adored. As a star, Jiang had unfortunately failed to leave the stage or depart from this world at his most glorious moment.
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