International recording artiste Jessie Chung is taking over the international music scene by storm! Released back in August, Jessie’s debut album There You Are stormed into two of Taiwan’s most authoritative and prestigious music charts, taking a top 2 position in Five Music’s International Chart and another one in i Radio’s International Chart. Jessie Chung ranked above many international artists on Five Music’s International Chart, including Sia, Ariana Grande, Celine Dion, etc., and placed right next to Lady Gaga. On i Radio’s International Chart, Jessie Chung even surpassed Lady Gaga. She is the only Malaysian singer to enter Taiwan’s Five Music’s International Chart, and to add frosting on the cake—the total music video views on YouTube for Jessie’s latest album surpassed 3 million within two months.
There You Are boosted Jessie Chung’s popularity and pushed her sales to unprecedented heights. Seeing potential in her, Jessie’s record label decided to wrap up the production of Be Strong and release it in advance. Be Strong is set to be released on December 15th.
A few days earlier, Jessie Chung journeyed to the shores of Lancelin and the Pinnacles Desert in Cervantes, WA to get her “Be Strong” music video filmed. In the desert sparsely populated by pinnacles—weathered pillars of limestone—Jessie stood under the scorching sun for more than eight hours and even stretched out her body on the sand. At the end of the session, her skin was severely sunburned, and she had to be sent to the hospital to seek medical attention.
Jessie mentioned that before shooting, a staff member reminded her to put on sunscreen and carry out other measures to get adequate protection from the sun. However, she didn’t take any action upon hearing the advice since she was in a rush. She found out afterwards that all personnel had taken some form of protective measure. During filming, the possibility of getting sunburned never occurred to Jessie at all, since a deceptive, chilly breeze blew from all sides. Not until the filming completed did Jessie realize that there was a tingling sensation in her skin. While inspecting, she realized that her skin had started to redden, peel, and swell as a burning sensation erupted throughout her whole body. The staff immediately sent her to the hospital for treatment, and the doctors who treated her told her that her sunburns were dangerously severe, and that it would take a while to heal.
In another scene, Jessie Chung had to brave the waters. “The wind was fierce and unforgiving, and the towering wall of waves rolled in constantly. Standing in the water and getting beaten by the waves soaked me down to the skin. I was so cold my whole body shivered uncontrollably. On a few occasions, I barely got swept away by high waves. Sigh! I thought I’d taken a toil while filming the previous music videos, but this one blew all of them out of the water. I endured many hardships this time, I really feared for my life!”
The director also asked Jessie to run barefoot on the shore. However, the beach’s surface was uneven and hidden with sharp rock fragments and seashells, and Jessie paid the price for the romantic scene. While running on the beach, her feet was slashed by razor-sharp fragments in the sand multiple times, causing her to lose her balance and fall. Her palm and knees were also scratched, and the unbearable pain forced tears out of her eyes.
Afterwards, Jessie saw a few messages left by fans on Facebook, telling her to be careful while staying under the sun. Although the accident had already taken place, she was nevertheless grateful to everyone’s concern for her. Since her sunburned areas will need some time to recover, her schedule would have to be delayed, and she would not be able to meet her fans temporarily.
P.S. December marks the beginning of summer in Australia, which means that the Southern Hemisphere is closer to the sun. “Be Strong” was filmed near the Antarctic area, which has an immense ozone hole above it. Long term exposure to UV radiation without a layer of ozone protection will result in serious consequences, and may even lead to skin cancer. Every year, around 1,200 people die from skin cancer in Australia.