Chinese Madonna: Cambridge Is “Where It All Started”

A dish washer from the Ugly Duckling Restaurant has been heralded “the Chinese Madonna”.

Madonna r&b ugly duckling

After over 100 MILLION album sales, pop sensation Ayi Jihu returned this week to The Ugly Duckling Restaurant on St John’s Street, where she grew up washing dishes.

But Ayi’s not getting her hands dirty this time. Instead, she presented a gold disc marking her sales landmark to her parents, who own the restaurant.

Ayi was scouted in 2007 by a London record label when working as an extra in a rap video.

She was then whisked away to China to perform in the casinos of Macau, the “Vegas of the East”.

Her RAUNCHY R&B hits and SEXY videos saw her shoot to the top of the Chinese charts, earning her the nickname “the Chinese Madonna”.

According to her website, “most Chinese artists don’t even go there”.


Her provocative promos even attracted attention from the Chinese government: “There’s a lot of things [they] don’t like about it. I haven’t had a problem yet but I know it will come”.

But, for all her fame overseas, Ayi still remembers Cambridge fondly: “I used to sing and dance for the customers… this is where it all started.”

Making the most of her stay in the UK, Ayi’s return closely coincides with the release of her first UK single on September 27th, a cover of 1974 hit “Sad Sweet Dreamer”.

Watch this space…