Xidan Girl Sings “Angel’s Wings”, Becomes Famous

From Youku:

Recently, a video titled “Xidan underground tunnel girl sings ‘Angel’s Wings'” was warmly received by the internet. Various famous BBS discussion forums and websites immediately reposted this video, while this video’s star was named “Xidan Girl” by the vast majority of netizens. On the 3rd, journalists discovered from Qinghua [Tsinghua] University, Beijing University, Renmin University, and numerous universities’ BBS that “Xidan Girl” has become the focal point of discussions amongst various university forums. Overnight, “Xidan Girl” has already spread to the various corners of the internet. Even netizens have started human flesh search engines, hoping to uncover “Xidan Girl’s” mysterious veil.

From ChinaPet:

…The Xidan Girl Phenomenon…Recently Very Hot Very Hot

In 2009 January 26, a netizen named “alucard77117” uploaded onto Youku a video titled “Xidan underground tunnel girl sings ‘Angel’s Wings'”. In the days after being uploaded, traffic to the video swiftly increased. Beginning from January 31, the traffic shot up and on February 2, it reached its craziest speed, going up 10,000 views each minute. Furthermore, it was swiftly reposted on various major BBS discussion forums, and ranks amongst the fastest rising search engine keywords.

The song sung by the Xidan Girl is An Hu’s “Angel’s Wings”. Using her own sweet singing voice, she made it unforgettable to the people passing, and was named “Xidan girl” by netizens.

February 3, Beijing Evening News reported this news, and at the same time was reposted on Sina News, CCTV, and other famous websites.

Around 6pm on February 3, the number of views for Xidan Girl’s “Angel’s Wings” exceeded 3 million, and was “ding’ed” over 2.2 million times, but afterwards the number of views and “dings” were reset. (link to picture evidencing the count: http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=534248617)

But afterward the number of views continued to rise.

At present, the internet only has two videos of the Xidan Girl singing:

Angel’s Wings http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjgxOTQ0MjA=.html

Do Not Let My Tears Spend The Night With Me http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=532585418

This song is desolate love, is a clear ideal. Sung by Xidan Girl, the music gained an emotional element, rather than just technical expression.

Xidan Girl’s identity has not been confirmed at present, but according to “非我非非我” (this person is the first person to post information, 2008 December 20 posted on Sina), Xidan Girl is surnamed Ren. Netizens went to Xidan underground tunnel to wait for her but did not discover any traces of Xidan girl.

But everyone please note: Xidan Girl is neither “Jiang Hanning” nor is she “Pei Lina”! Although there is very little information concerning her, it is also very difficult to distinguish between real and fake! However, I believe there will be a day the Angel [Xidan Girl] will appear before us! So, everyone please provide reliable information!

Xidan Girl’s name “Ren Yueli” still needs to be confirmed.

The following was a reply posted to a topic about Xidan Girl on Tianya by a netizen with the username 只能说抱歉 [“Can only say sorry”] who says he is the person who filmed the girl and is the “alucard77117” who uploaded the original video to Youku:

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Actually, this is a very simple thing, why did it cause such a big storm like this? I am very perplexed.

I called the girl, and before I had finished speaking, the girl hung up. Actually, I really wanted to apologize to her. If everything that has happened has negatively affected your life, I feel very sorry.

Later, I also sent the girl some text messages, apologizing to her, even understanding that she does not want to be known on the internet, and her reasons for not wanting to become famous. Due to privacy, I cannot disclose the content of the text messages, but in general: Because she is from a poverty-striken mountain area, but because she really likes music, she has not giving it up. Her father and mother have always been working in the city, tuition was too expensive, so she dropped-out and went to the city to play guitar and make money. Several years ago, a family member became sick and whose body has continuously not been well. She had wanted to participate in a televised competition, but it would require spending a lot of money and time, so…she does not want to become famous also for this reason. The basic thing is this, and the rest I cannot say.

The internet is indeed pretty frightening, so I hope everyone can draw a lesson from this. Before filming someone, it would be best to first get their permission because not everyone wants to become famous. They are all ordinary people, and do not want to change their own lives because of the internet. Here I apologize to the girl!! I hope everyone can stop bothering her, we have already affected her normal life.

A copy on YouTube:

Can’t see the above video?

A post on Sou Fun has a few extra videos of “Xidan Girl” but the third one is not certain.

Comments on Youku:

If I were there, I would have thrown her my entire purse! 难过 So good~

Actually, the voice coming out is still relying on this tunnel’s echoes! 汗!!! If she were outside, it would only be average! You can tell just by listening! Actually, the effect is just turning up the microphone’s reverberation!

Brothers [in reply to the above comment], with everyone going one way, you dare go against the current, are you not asking to be yelled at?

Beautiful, moved my soul. Seeing netizens listening to it 30 times at once, I did not believe it.
I did not imagine I have listened over 20 times already.

Really good, a pretty voice to move people, rouse people.
Thank you, and then I hope this website can restore the original number of views [that was reset/lost]. If something was done wrong, netizens would most likely not forgive, because there are more video websites than just you guys. I still wish you can adopt netizen’s suggestions!

Truly beautiful, there are very few songs that can move me.

无语无语无语 Over the past few days, I have listened over 30 times each day.

Truly sung with emotion, like she is sharing her own experiences…

I hope I can continue to hear your songs. If you do not want to enter the entertainment business, and only want to peacefully sing for yourself, you can still find a stable job, for example an administration job. Come out, let us help you. If you want to be yourself, I think everyone would respect you.

I registered/signed up just to support her! Such a warm and clear sound, gives people a “from the heart” touching feeling! Every day I have listened so many times!

赞, stealthily asks, do you/does she have a boyfriend?

These few days, I have been listening on repeat~~and have not felt the least bit sick of this song~~I believe many people are probably like me~~ quietly waiting for the angel in their heart to appear~~

Actually I feel she should not go make albums,
because her voice is natural, without imperfection.
But if she puts out an album, there definitely will be fabrication,
and what she sings out in the end will no longer have this kind of feeling.
Although this kind of singing is not the most ideal, it still very easily moves people.

Sigh, it really makes people sad…
From yesterday to today I have been continuously listening, continuously listening…
Angel, hurry and reveal yourself.
Nobody wants to hurt you.
If you want to live quietly,
just reveal yourself for a moment only and tell everyone how you’re doing,
and then everyone can relax and be okay.

What should be said has been said by all of you, but I still want to know where she is right now? I hope she is doing better!! We all wish her good luck!

I feel there discussion is meaningless! The only truth is her attitude of persevering with music and being positive towards life moving everyone today…

A “ding” each day makes me feel like I have gotten a little comfort. Yueli, bless you. You are singing “Angel’s Wings” but you are using an angel’s voice. 赞

I have been listening to this song since the day before yesterday, and do not know how many times I have heard it.
The more I listen to it, the more sad and depressing it is.
Heartfelt wishes that Ren Yueli will have a smooth future, without having to be a roaming musician.

Having studied music for 8 years…suddenly realize I am like a clown…it sounds so beautiful…finding myself unable to find the right adjective…feeling…yes, feeling…other people’s singing all lack this kind of thing…

I do not hope she will be discovered by dirty humanity, hoping that the pure angel will always be preserved in the heaven of everyone’s hearts.

Must be “ding” up!
This voice is truly too beautiful, giving people a kind of unexplainable feeling! Is it warmth? Or something else. It does not matter, I will just say, The “niu” year [year of the cow] truly has a lot of “niu” people! I hope your future goes smoothly! When you album comes out, I will definitely buy it!

“Ding” [up]: 513,686. “Cai” [down]: 1483. When has Youku had this kind of “battle formation?” [means there are a lot more “up” than “down.”]

I have come back yet again to listen. I have listened N times, but I am angry that the 2.8 million popularity [views] were lost, otherwise if we included the current popularity [views], it would already be over 4 million.

Seeing people talk about it so many times, I felt it was unbelievable, but, I did not imagine I would have listened over ten times…

You reset over 2 million comments, so I will “ding” 20 million for you. 赞赞赞

I hear you are very unwilling to become famous, but there is nothing you can do~ who told you sing so good?
In this universe, to be able to hear such a clear, such a natural sound, feels very good.
Ever since a friend told me about your video, I have watched it for two straight days, really, there is nothing for me to say.
It sounds so good, very clear.
You are that angel.

What do you think of Xidan Girl?

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Kai

    First, mothertruckers!

    I kinda feel bad because I actually thought the EXACT same thing as the second Youku comment above. Heh, but that said, she does sound hauntingly beautiful in the video.

  • So nice~ I am so touched….
    I have heared it from youku at least ten times today.

  • Think

    is she playing guitar with woolly gloves??? is that possible?

  • The John

    Something about this reads of all strangeness….

    Since, she is unknown it is weird that she wouldnt use her recent fame to get signed. In China, it happens that quick. If a record label is willing to sign those 2 annoying lip-sync guys, why not her? I feel, if she is really in dire straights, why not go for the top. She could pay her expenses from dropping out of school. It is much better, being a music beggar. At least, if she went back to the same place to play, many people would find her. I guarantee a company would pick her up, not because of the singing only, but the popularity. Which brings me to a stupid thought… I can’t help it though. What if she really isn’t as poor as some says she is? Would that stop her from wanting people to find out… There are a few students from the music university, that do the same thing. They come from ok families, but sing in the street. I got a few friends that do that. I really don’t see any harm, but I could see how it could become terrible, if people find out personal information that disproves her being in poverty.

    Another strange thing, why is this so popular? Her voice is affected by the tunnels clearly. The echo is really deep. There are many singers like her in the tunnels of China. Famous rocker, Xu Wei used to do the same thing in Beijing/Xian. Only, he was actually homeless. I find it weird that it happened to be her that blew up. Especially, after seeing much more moving street performers in China. After reading the comments, I expected a god-like song that would bring tears to my eyes. Instead… I found a something not too moving. I think angel is a little bit of an over-statement… I played it 2 times and I think that is enough for me.

    I just smell strange written all over…

    Then again, we shouldn’t let this deter us from listening to a good song.

    • C

      Yo. Getting signed is not as easy as using ‘her recently gained fame’ to get signed. The record company has to go to her.
      And on top of all the liabilities (that I don’t feel inclined to think of/list) of taking in the “poor girl singing in the subway”, they have to fund her. Sure, she has a good voice. But how does the company know she will ‘earn it all back’? In that case, they would only be losing money because they’ve invested so much into making her the album in the first place.

  • 哈哈哈

    What I do know is that the emoticons at youku are so mind-bogglingly irritating I want to strangle someone when I see them.

  • The John

    AH! I just watched the Do Not Let My Tears Spend The Night With Me. She has an amp and mouthpiece attached to her face. She set the reverb to balance with the tunnel echo. Quite clever. Sounds good. By the way, DNLMTSTN is waaaaaaay better than angel wings.

  • outside the box

    I have to give my props to this girl…she has an amazing talent

    Even so, I can only think that this is a viral/guerilla marketing effort for this artist. If so, they did a great job.

  • totochi

    How come it’s always some poor girl from the country? Anyway, that’s a nice guitar… looks like an Ovation Elite. Not cheap. Unless it’s a local knock-off. And her voice sounds amplified. Is that an amp she’s sitting on?

  • bob

    she’s sitting on an amp.

    One thing I don’t understand: She’s playing for money in the tunnel, but once she blows up on the Internet, she hides and does not want to be noticed? Just doesn’t make sense to me…

  • fireworks

    Sometimes people just want to busker are doing it because they are in dire straits. However, I am not suprised she shunned publicity because being a busker in China is still a “no face” job. Nobody wants to be stigmatized by being the busker “xindian girl” even though she has talent or can get a break from the music industry.

    Its not the exact rags to riches story that is everyone’s flavour.

  • William

    She sounds very good, and that’s all I have to say about it.

  • Kai

    @ The John:

    Bro, I think its the lyrics. Do you understand Chinese? That might be one key reason why the song resonates more with Chinese listeners than maybe foreigners. I’m not sure but I heard the song was also associated with the Sichuan Earthquake, so that might tug at a few heart-strings too.

    @ 哈哈哈:

    LoL, yeah, they’re a bit odd.

    @ bob & fireworks:

    Yeah, it could be an issue of face, for herself or for her family. Maybe she doesn’t want her family to know she dropped out, or that she’s singing for money on the streets (to help out her family?), or that she’s singing at all (if her family is against her pursuing music). Shrug, hard to say, this is all possible but but even I don’t really want to jump to the “oh, its about face again” conclusion without knowing more.

    Anyway, where’s the power source for that amp? Is it in her backpack? Is she carrying around one of those jerry-rigged car batteries I often seen with street vendors? Or is her backpack covering an electrical socket or something?

  • too yellow


    It’s possible with a large sized pick. (From the sound, she’s definitely using a pick)

    I don’t this there is AMP involved, sound should be microphone in, since it’s sounded richer than what cheap pickups can record. (I don’t think she has the money to buy those $4000 electrical acoustics….). This means the guitar track is either added later, or the video camera have some damn good microphones.

    Good singing, hope she can make it big.

  • Matt

    There is no way this is fake, you are stupid.

  • The John


    I got you on the lyrical tip. They are good. But, angel wings is not a new song. Im not sure about the other one. Well, at the end of the day… Face or not… I think its still strange for someone not to take advantage of such a good situation. The label execs must be salvating…. Unless something in her story doesn’t check out. The guitar and amp are very expensive from the looks of things. Also, to those saying that was her pure voice, they have no idea of how to use EQ for live musical affect. I guess im still in the I dont understand the big fuss crowd. I am even more in the “why don’t you utilize this moment” crowd.

  • The John

    Also, she was clearly wearing a microphone.


    Do you really believe that? I think for most poor people, the idea of face is not as big as helping ones family. I know a ton of poor people that wish they had even a chance to make money to help their family. How do I know this? I was poor once. I definetly couldn’t afford an expesive guitar, amp and had enough physical energy to sing amplified songs. I still think there something strange about this whole thing. Don’t get me wrong… this girl can sing.

    My general feeling:
    Leave this girl alone. That’s it. If she cares about face so much, that she is unwilling to use her new chance to bring her family out of povery, that is beyond strange. Which is why I feel her story MAY not check out. We need more information. But, doing that may intrude on her. So, instead of saying angel or devil, poor or rich. We should just recognize the moment for what it is. A fun musical moment….

  • The Grudge

    Stop The Presses!!!

    Breaking News: A video of a beggar girl singing a moving song with a below average Chinese style saccharine pop voice gets millions of views on a retarded and censored Chinese video sharing site.

    Out of proportion you say?

    Another fine example showcasing how a lemming society looks like.

    Thanks for sharing.

    My general feeling: Get a life!

  • I love that song…

  • Tom2

    This clip is a great water cooler topic for the thousands of young office workers doing the daily grind – the story of this situation will come and go, with many copy cats to follow. Anyone sitting in a Beijing underpass, freezing while belting out a tune should get a pass from us all on the reasons why.

    Would be a great giggle clip to see a foreigner having the courage to do the same thing – there would be no ‘mianzi’ in that.

    Perhaps you are on of the ‘disgruntled foreigners’ from the last thread?

  • The Grudge

    Funny how every time if a negative opinion is stated, people assume it’s automatically coming from a foreigner.

    I just hate the Chinese Netizen mob mentality.

    This silly ability to turn out an insipid fart into a national phenomenon in a couple of hours is pathetic and denote a profound social immaturity.

  • Tom2

    Perhaps you are on of the ‘disgruntled foreigners’ from the last thread?

    Please note the perhaps – but your reply and the writing style is adding to the assumption. I don’t think your opinion is negative; it just seems to be a very open ended comment on the topic, with odd choices of words.

  • Herbie

    The guitar is an Ovation or copy of, it has a round ceramic bowl back, piezo electric pick up and is plugged into the combo she’s sitting on, its powered by batteries inside her kit bag and there’s a little mic on taped on top of the guitar for her voice (there’s pre-delay in the sound)……. just guessing. Anyway she’s doing a great job!

  • The Grudge

    “it just seems to be a very open ended comment on the topic, with odd choices of words.”

    I think that’s the essence of a comment isn’t ? And hopefully the choice of words is mine and not yours, right ?

    I’m not asking anybody to agree with me, I’m just stating my opinion. I’m not looking for approval of my pairs.

  • Tom2


    I thought by contributing to the responses, you were opening your entry to comment from your peer’s. I think that the essence of a comment is to have a point. Your use of retarded, insipid fart, pathetic, etc, to describe the scene presented leads me to believe that you could be perhaps a ‘disgruntled foreigner’ – either a ‘waiguoren’ or a ‘waidiren’, but someone who is unhappy with their surrounds. All comments are good, some just better than others. Good luck to the ‘Xidan Girl’ for her 15 minutes of fame – whether it is local Youku or foreign YouTube.

  • The John


    Let it go man… Just let it go… ha ha ha. You becoming comical. Everyone has the right to comment. I, in no way think of Kai is being pompous (sp). Eitherway, staying on the topic at hand. I find the song grows on you…

  • Kellen

    not at all surprised it blew up given some of the crap that i see become popular on youtube.

    i’d chalk her shyness up to a) shyness and b) face. it could be she thinks her parents won’t consider it a reputable vocation and possibly selfish of her to want fame. that’s not me, that’s my reasoning of why it might be something she wants to avoid.

  • Peteryang

    keep in mind that you are only 1/6000000000 of this world (possibly less), and this is teh interweb, a battleground in the form of electron collision triggering a bunch of 101001010001010001010100110001, so if some nerds are angry that other nerds are being nerdy, my advice is Start Menu — Turn Off Computer — Turn Off.

    btw CCTV building is burning as we speak, watch: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzEwMjM1OTY=.html

  • Russ O’Connell

    I don’t understand a word of Chinese, but the singer has a good voice, I would like to hear her with good equipment on a sound stage. I thought she had good range, she didn’t seem to be struggeling at the top end, very pure sound. I will listen again, probably often. I wish her well.

  • Jordan

    I’m sure there are a lot of talented Chinese people out there, I mean, 1.3 billion, there’s got to be a lot of hidden talents, know what I mean… But making it in the music business might take a lot more.

    Damn, I better not call my comment here my opinion, or I’ll get trashed here… hehe…

  • You guys have too much time on your hands…

  • NJ

    I work at a media company and in my spare time listen to buskers either where I am based or when I am visiting other cities, because we can find good raw and interesting talent that way. Also because it can be fun and interesting for me.

    Less than a quarter of those we approach are interested in pursing music professionally. Many just want to make a little money and not have to face the pressures or scrutiny of being famous. If it is a hobby, they like performing for small crowds and enjoy it for that reason, they do not want to face scrutiny on a mass scale and lose their passion for music.

    In particular, many young women want to avoid the pressure of having to use their body to make their way in music. I certainly understand this, as in many cases it is a true and unfortunate situation in our industry. To sign with our company there is not this pressure (at least not in my department), but later having to work with certain producers, actors, directors or musicians, there is an increased chance of this. Perhaps this girl knows that.

    If I’d heard her in the subway or where ever, I would have dropped a tip and my card in her guitar case asking her to call our office for a chat.

  • I have deleted all of the fighting comments.

    You are wasting my time.

    This is the conclusion:

    Kai is Kai. He has been on chinaSMACK a long time. Everyone know he writes a lot and likes to waste time arguing with people who waste his time.

    troll is smickno. He is angry at Kai because of a fight in another post so now he wastes everyone’s time trying to attack Kai all the time because he enjoys wasting time.

    Tom is Bobby Boberton and recently started to waste his time and my time because he continue complaining about Kai in this post after complaining about Kai in another post.

    This post is about Xidan Girl. Thank you to the people who can comment about her or this story.

  • jinsic

    U guys’re gonna have to step it up. Grammatical error arguments are effin boring as are people being ignorant because they’re scare and/or afraid to debate.

    I for one enjoy reading these. ^o^ cheers

  • BBSguy

    Ohhhhhhhh snap! Owned by Fauna.

  • SSJPabs

    I suppose, but it’s a bit sad. I would certainly send a few dollars her way. I think the internet might be able to help her and her family member monetarily so she can tend to them more fully.

  • Joe #2

    Very beautiful. Wish I could drop some money in her guitar case. We never hear any songs that beautiful from the street performers around here.

    And for those commenting about the acoustics, it may be true, but it just shows that she picked a good venue and a good song. That’s part of performing too.

    I only wish they had another recording where the people in the background weren’t as noisy.

  • Peteryang



  • jinsic

    I would take her for my wife

  • Kai

    @ jinsic:

    LoL, that reminds me of the the translated comment above where some guy randomly asks if the girl has a boyfriend. For some reason, it was just hilarious to me.

  • Tata

    There’s a more recent video of her singing on stage in case you haven’t seen it.

  • mr destructo

    I will destroy her ASAP

  • Jim

    It’s a beautiful bell-like voice, much better than many famous singers. Too bad she doesn’t have a recording contract.

  • DoDo

    She with Chaste Soul to sing a song feeling soft and smooth.
    comfortable and peace.

  • me

    does someone have the pinyin songtext of that song?
    i cant read chinese characters so pinyin is the only way for me how to learn that song

    • me

      got the songtext :-)

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  • samoilija

    very very good…. thumbs up!!!