Jay Chou (born 18 January 1979) is a Taiwanese musician, singer, songwriter, music and film producer, actor and director. In 1998 he was discovered in a talent contest where he displayed his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for popular Mandarin singers. Although he was trained in classical music, Chou combines Chinese and Western music styles to produce songs that fuse R&B, rock and pop genres. He composes all his own songs, as well as songs for other singers.
In 2000, Chou released his first album, titled Jay, under the record company Alfa Music. Since then he has released one album per year except in 2009, selling several million copies each. His music has gained recognition throughout Asia, most notably in regions such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and in overseas Asian communities. He has sold more than 28 million albums worldwide up to 2010. He debuted his acting career in Initial D (2005), for which he won Best Newcomer Actor in both the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in Curse of the Golden Flower (2006). He produced the theme song for the film Ocean Heaven starring Jet Li. His career now extends into directing and running his own record company JVR Music.