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Following an Eastern (pop) star

Angela De Claro | March 5, 2012 | Lifestyle Story City Life Profiles News and Features

The name Anthony Neely is virtually unknown around these parts, but in Asia, it makes the girls scream—one frantic fan even became so overwhelmed that she (or he; Neely never actually saw the person) grabbed that gorgeous head of Bieber-ific hair and wouldn’t let go.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Neely went south to attend UC San Diego and, after graduating, tried to convince his parents to let him move to Los Angeles to pursue a job in theater or film. His mother didn’t like the idea but was willing to support him if he moved to Taiwan, her homeland. Neely agreed, and the rest is history, starting with the guest spot he landed in a popular singing competition similar to American Idol and continuing with the string of pop-culture accomplishments listed at right.
As for Neely’s lack of recognition back home, he says he doesn’t mind because he’s enjoying Taiwan’s less structured arts culture. “There are more chances to do crazy, ridiculous things since it’s a new, fresh industry,” he says. But Bay Area fans could get a chance to swoon in May, when he’ll be back to attend the American Idol finale—and a lucky contest winner may get to sit next to him during the show. Bring it, dawg!

August 2009
Neely was the singer against whom each contestant in the elimination rounds was judged on One Million Star, a Taiwanese show patterned after American Idol
October 2009
Featured in Vogue Taiwan
Fall 2009
Signed a six-year contract with Taiwan’s largest record label, HIM International Music
February 2010
Named celebrity spokesperson for McDonald’s
November 2010
Starting that month, “Sorry That I Loved You,” a single from his first CD, got 5 million views on YouTube
December 2010
Cover story in Esquire Taiwan
December 2010
Was the voice of Alvin in the Chinese version of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
January 2011
Began an ongoing tour of China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong
February 2012
One of the main actors in The Soul of Bread, a movie about a love triangle between a young man who’s half Caucasian and half Taiwanese (that’s Neely), the Taiwanese daughter of a country baker, and a young Taiwanese baker


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