Chopsticks Brothers' honorary award sparks internet anger

Chopsticks Brothers' honorary award sparks internet anger

Mainlanders turn on viral pair Xiao Yang and Wang Taili after they admitted lip-syncing their performance at the American Music Awards

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Chopstick Brothers show off their award at the 2014 American Music Awards.
Chopstick Brothers show off their award at the 2014 American Music Awards.
Photo: EPA

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Xiao Yang (L) and Wang Taili are super happy to have won the award.
Xiao Yang (L) and Wang Taili are super happy to have won the award.
Photo: Agence France Presse

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The pair ham it up for international media.
The pair ham it up for international media.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

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The pair are not really brothers, despite their name.
The pair are not really brothers, despite their name.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

Mainland viral hit Little Apple is a nationwide phenomenon, so questions were being raised yesterday about a US music prize it received after it emerged the Chopsticks Brothers' performance never made it to air.

The song by Xiao Yang and Wang Taili has spawned loads of copies, even in police information videos, with the original and its imitations racking up hundreds of millions of views online.

On Sunday it was given the International Song Award at the American Music Awards, with the mainland’s media saying the pair - who are neither brothers nor composers - performed during the ceremony.

But mainland fans were outraged when the band admitted they had lip-synched their performance, and it emerged the song was recorded during a commercial break, without featuring in the actual programme.

The award itself was presented backstage, rather than on screen, prompting some to wonder whether the band had paid for their triangular glass trophies.

"Chopstick Brothers bought an award" started trending on Sina Weibo.

"I can't stand that the Chopsticks Brothers lip-synched at an overseas awards ceremony!" said one user yesterday. "They’ve lost face for us abroad."

Mark Rafalowski, executive vice president of Dick Clark Productions which produces the show, told the mainland's official Xinhua news agency that both prizes were "honorary" awards based on the artists' demonstrated levels of popularity.

The awards organisers said in a statement it was the first year the International Song Award and the International Artist Award, won by another Chinese singer Zhang Jie, had been included in the line-up.

Neither prize was listed on the producer’s website.

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