Super Girl Zhou Bichang reportedly secretly signed with Lelin record company after unilaterally ending her contract with E. E Media Co. Ltd. at the end of last year, Sina Web site reported Thursday.
After a contract dispute of several months, Zhou reportedly had to pay 5 million yuan (US$621,118) as penalty. Zhou's lawyer has refused to respond to the rumor that Zhou's family mortgaged their house to pay the contract penalty.
Due to the contract dispute, many music labels have been unwilling to sign Zhou. "Zhou has great potential, with a large fan market. However, as a singer, she still needs further improvement because business is business," a senior publicist surnamed Huang said.
As to the rumor that Zhou will sign with Super Girl judge Hei Nan's company, sources close to the company said they had only signed with Super Girls Yi Hui and Ye Yiqian and never heard of any contract with Zhou.
Li Xiang, Hei's publicist, confirmed Zhou's new contract, saying, "I know that Zhou signed with Lelin secretly during the Spring Festival."
According to the Oriental Morning Post, Lelin is headed by Yu Binghan, Hong Kong singer Andy Lau's longtime business partner and vice president of music label NMG Ltd. A press conference is expected to make the news official soon, the paper said.
(Shenzhen Daily March 3, 2006)