ENTERTAINMENT
14/04/2018 11:57 BST | Updated 16/04/2018 08:49 BST

Jessie J Wins Chinese Singing Competition, Explains She Did It To ‘Break Down Boundaries’

'It's not about the money, money, money...'

It’s fair to say that when it was reported that Jessie J was taking part in a Chinese singing show as a contestant rather than a judge, a fair few eyebrows were raised.

But not only did the British singer take part - she’s also gone on to win it.

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Jessie J

The former ‘Voice’ judge has just been crowned the winner of ‘Singer’ - essentially the Chinese version of ‘X Factor’ - except all of the contestant are established singers.

The 30-year-old was the first international star to take part in the competition and beat off stiff competition from a host of well-known singers from Asia.

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Jessie with her winner's trophy.

Since winning the show, the ‘Price Tag’ singer has taken to Instagram to explain her decision to take part, admitting that many people were “shocked” when she decided to sign up.

She writes: “Last year I was asked to compete in a singing competition in China. Performing alongside the biggest established singers / artists across Asia. I was the first international artist to ever be asked / compete. An honour alone.

“I know a lot of people were shocked when they found out. Like why would I compete in a singing competition… I’m probably the least competitive person I know.”

A post shared by J E S S I E . J (@jessiej) on

Jessie goes on to explain that she wanted to participate to “bridge the gap between two cultures.”

She says: “I said yes because I LOVE to do the unexpected and I LOVE to represent the UK and singing everywhere I go. I LOVE to sing. But also it was an opportunity to bridge a gap between two cultures.

“For them to see a western performer and hear music some had never heard before and visa versa. For the performances to be seen by millions outside of China and visa versa. And those people to discover the show was the best part.

“The respect being shown for both cultures and the love was <3. Seeing the boundaries break down and the rules be shifted made this whole experience incredible.”

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She concludes: “China is an amazing place and so different to anywhere I have ever been. I have never been made to feel more welcomed and loved as I have done here.

“My team and I have been in China for 3.5 months. It’s been an amazing learning experience for all of us! We worked hard! THANK YOU! I love you all!”

Jessie ended up winning the competition - the first international star to do so - with 47.49% of the vote, way ahead of second-placed Hua Chenyu who bagged 25.65% of the public vote.

The former Brit Award Critics’ Choice winner has previously spoken out about the lack of recognition she gets in the UK, claiming she’s far better received in the States.

The singer admitted it does get to her that she’s often overlooked in terms of homegrown talent in the UK, and has never been invited to perform at the Brit Awards, despite having three number one singles under her belt.

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She told Women’s Health in 2016: “It makes me sad. I’ve done the Grammys, the VMAs… my profile in America is that I’m kind of celebrated as one of the greatest singers and I love it.

“I wanna be up there with the Celine Dions, the Whitneys, the Beyoncés and Arethas. I go hard because I hope and pray that one day, people look back and go, ‘She could really f**king sing, you know.’ Which is why I keep going.”