Popular Chinese folk-pop singer Dao Lang has made his first foray into the international-music market with the April 20 release of a CD-DVD package titled "Thank You," which Universal Music Group Inte

Popular Chinese folk-pop singer Dao Lang has made his first foray into the international-music market with the April 20 release of a CD-DVD package titled "Thank You," which Universal Music Group International is issuing outside of China.

While Dao Lang sings entirely in Mandarin, his music has the distinctly Central Asian flavor of Xinjiang, an autonomous region of northwestern China where the artist has lived for several years. In January 2004 he signed a multi-year deal with UMGI as an artist and producer for territories outside China. The deal also extends to artist development for acts on his Gau Yu label.

According to UMGI, Dao Lang's debut album, "The First Snowfall of 2002," hit two million units of legitimate sales in mainland China and 60,000 units across southeast Asia. His second album, "Autumn Maple Tree in Kashigaer" from 2004 sold one million legitimate units in China and 20,000 units in other Southeast Asian territories.

Three of his best-ever hits - "The First Snowfall Of 2002," "Lovers" and "Punishment To Careless Impulse" - have sold more than 10 million mobile ring tones each in China.

"Our partnership with Dao Lang is far beyond a standard artist signing deal," said Universal Music China and Hong Kong managing director Hung Tik in a statement. "I believe in him, his talent and his musical abilities. Besides having him on board, we also have his label Gau Yu and the artists he has and will sign. Together, we can find, groom, develop and promote exciting new Chinese artists to the world."

Commented Universal Music South East Asia president Harry Hui: "An artist like Dao Lang is a rare treat who comes along every 10 years or so. He will have a long, successful career with Universal Music in and outside of China."

Universal says that the artist will embark on his first-ever world concert tour in the second half of this year.

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