Taiwanese boyband 5566 had their long-awaited reunion last October at the Golden Bell Awards, more than five years after their official disbandment in 2008.
Former leader Tony Sun was a guest on a recent episode of Taiwanese variety programme Super Followers, where he opened about the struggles that both he and the group went through prior to the disbandment, naming their former manager, Sun De Rong, along with Yoga Lin and Mayday as his benefactors throughout his long, bumpy career.
Letting on that he first started out in showbiz after he was talent-spotted during a talent contest when he was 16, he added that it seemed like his career was going well when he first started out. However, after serving his mandatory military service, he was informed by his label that they had “no plans at all for you,” but that they were unwilling to dissolve the exclusive contract that he had with them.
For two years or so, he was put on the sidelines and was struggling so badly financially that he had to resort to walking into banks to pick up free bottles of water to quench his thirst. “At the time, I was totally spent. I really couldn’t hold on for much longer (because) I was so tired,” he confessed.
Thankfully, the stars aligned and he met De Rong, who decided to pay the penalty for ending Tony’s contract early after a discussion with the singer. He started managing the young celeb and debuted him as the leader of idol group 5566.
In short, Tony said that De Rong was “my saviour”, but things weren’t all smooth-sailing from then. For the two to three years prior to the group’s disbandment, Tony felt that there was something odd going. He intended to bid farewell to the limelight and instead shift his focus on working behind-the-scenes, but shelved those plans when he realised the immense cost tied to starting his own production company.
However, 5566 was receiving fewer and fewer jobs as time went by, and in the final six months prior to disbandment, the group had absolutely no income. Tony went on to share that he finished spending all the savings that he had three years after the group disbanded, and coupled with his much-publicised divorce with actress Angel Han in 2015, caused his life to reach yet another low point.
Letting on that fellow musicians Yoga Lin’s invitation for him and band mate Zax Wang to guest at his concert, along with Mayday’s invitation for 5566 to sing at their gigs were like lights at the end of the tunnel for him, Tony mused that the group’s performance at the Golden Bell was when group activities truly kicked off once again.
Confessing that he has no idea on how long their current return in popularity will last for this time, the 39-year-old mused that the most important thing is to be prepared for every possibility in life. He shared, “As long as you’re ready to do something, you have to stick with your decision till the very end.”
Photos: PBE Media