The tale of two Suns couldn't be more different.
Even as one Sun continues to shine, the other Sun continues to seek stardom.
One was plain, the other glamorous.
One didn't have much financial support, the other had her pastor husband and an entire church congregation behind her.
And yet Stefanie Sun is the best-selling recording artiste in Singapore today.
Ms Ho Yeow Sun, also known as Sun Ho, has been chasing after stardom for more than 10 years but has yet to come anywhere near Sun's success.
Sun is unlike the glamorous divas - think Faye Wong and Sammi Cheng - who have dominated the music scene in Hong Kong.
Yet she holds her own in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
How did she achieve so much with so little? Who made her so?
Unlike Ms Ho, the odds were stacked against Sun from the start.
She was fresh out of school and was more comfortable speaking English than Mandarin, unlike talented singer-songwriters like Emil Chau and A*Mei, who scored hit after hit in Taiwan.
But Sun's self-titled debut album, She Is Sun Yanzi, went on to sell 150,000 copies within the first month of its release in June 2000.
While Ms Ho had the backing of her charismatic husband, Kong Hee, and his 33,000-strong City Harvest Church congregation, the woman largely known to have helped kick-start Sun's career is Ms Kathleen Tan.
Then managing director of Warner Music Group in Singapore, Ms Tan says: "Stefanie Sun has sheer talent that money can't buy.
"Of course, there are many other factors that make a star, but talent is the basic prerequisite.
"If I, as the managing director, and my counterpart in Taiwan didn't believe in that talent, she would not be what she is today."
Ms Tan is now the regional commercial head at AirAsia.
She says: "While we knew we had a talent with us, we also knew that we needed to do something different. If we had launched her album in the usual way, we might not have struck gold.
"Some people thought it was a risk that I was taking, but I had confidence after hearing her voice. I knew we had a winner once we adopted the right marketing strategy."
Sun's early mentors, Lee Wei Song and Lee Si Song, had approached Warner Music Singapore for a recording contract in 1999.
At that time, it was rare for record companies to sign on local acts.
"Most of them preferred to import releases and market them here. They were usually big names or upcoming names that had already gained a following," says Ms Tan.
"What we had to do was just to bring the artistes here on promo tours."
She adds: "But I felt that we should take a new route and groom our own talent."
One challenge that set Sun back was her raw-face appeal against that of others who exuded glitz, glamour and sexiness.
Ms Tan notes: "Stefanie was also more comfortable speaking in English than in Mandarin.
"She's friendly, but somewhat shy and quiet. We even had to put her on a media training course so that she could speak comfortably and handle the media."
But for a Singaporean singer to be successful, "you must start elsewhere... Singapore is just too small", adds Ms Tan.
Still, she insists: "But I can't claim all the credit... We worked very closely with our team in Taiwan and we hit on the idea of making use of the Internet, which was at its peak then."
The team decided to cut a sample of Sun's song, Cloudy Sky, and had it played on music-linked websites and Warner Music's official homepage.
Except for the singer's name and the song title, the only information in the tagline was something like, "There's never been before a 22-year-old singer like this girl", says Ms Tan.
"We played the song continuously and those who heard it loved it. And the one-line Hokkien chorus in the Mandarin number - 'tee aw aw' (black sky) - was a childhood rhyme that resonated with everyone. It had mass appeal.
"The song went viral. There was a buzz and people's interest was piqued. They were hungry for more."
To launch Sun's debut album, Ms Tan recalls how she decided to host a media party at the now-defunct Sparks disco in Ngee Ann City.
Other than the local media, Warner Music Taiwan arranged for the music industry's top brass to fly to Singapore.
"We didn't spend a million dollars, but we spared no effort to promote her like we'd normally do with top names such as A*Mei and Madonna.
"By that time, there was enough interest in her that the regional media wanted a slice of her."
Ms Tan reckons that it was also fortunate that Sun has several other factors in her favour.
"She has an endearing personality that people take to instantly. She's not pretentious. And, because of the right timing, she was the fresh face that people were waiting for."
It helped too that Sun came from a good family background, was brought up well and has a degree in business studies.
She had graduated from Nanyang Technological University a month earlier, in May 2000.
Then, of course, there was the famous autograph session in Taiwan which was disrupted by a man waving a gun.
The man rushed on stage, grabbed Sun and fired a shot in the air at the Sogo Department Store in Chungli, a town near Taipei.
Security guards rushed immediately to subdue the man, suspected to be mentally ill, and handed him to the police.
Was that part of the marketing strategy?
Ms Tan laughs: "Seriously, I don't know. If it was, let's just say I was kept in the dark."
She Is Sun Yanzi topped the charts for five consecutive weeks and, back home, advance orders for the album hit 7,500 copies, a rare feat for a newcomer.
Sun snagged another achievement when she bagged the Best Newcomer Award at the annual TVB 8 Mandarin Music Awards 1999/2000, organised by Hong Kong TVB, just three months after the launch of her debut album.
Ms Tan says: "She beat favourites such as Jolin Tsai and Elva Hsiao, both from Taiwan. But that was only the beginning."
Sun then went on to topple Hong Kong's top Cantopop star, Sammi, Cheng in record sales.
By October, sales of the album in Taiwan hit 300,000, compared to 100,000 of Cheng's Mandarin release, To Love.
Only NT$300,000 (S$12,700) was spent to promote Sun's debut album, whereas Cheng's record company invested a hefty NT$20 million.
Sun's cheery, pixie face was soon seen in commercials hawking a slew of products including sanitary napkins, Subaru Impreza cars and clothes by mass fashion retailer Hang Ten.
But it was hard work and not overnight success, Sun stressed in an interview then: "People think I became something from nothing all of a sudden. But I have paid the price. I have worked very hard for it."
That included toiling over her second album, My Desired Happiness.
Gearing up for her first big concert in Taiwan left her with an acne outbreak that left scars visible even with thick make-up.
She was also down with stomach cramps.
Sun remains Singapore's best-selling star, not just at home, but in Asia.
In China, her albums have sold close to 10 million copies.
All in, she released 10 music albums, and won more than 200 music awards and accolades.
Mr Lim Sek, chief executive of entertainment company Music & Movement, says: "Stefanie's success is truly a case of 'tian shi di li ren he' (a saying that means all the stars and forces align).
"She was at the right place at the right time. It was a natural formula for success. People saw her as a breath of fresh air. She's also loveable and has this girl-like appeal that's very real."
Such factors are critical.
The record company can spend a lot but, he says: "If the artiste does not have any 'guan zhong yuan' (audience appeal), it's going to be an uphill task for the management."
Mr Lim, who has worked with Sun on her concerts, reckons that her success comes from the fact that she is easy to work with.
"Stefanie knows what she is doing, but she also cooperates and listens carefully to what her talent management has planned for her. She does not throw any diva tantrum even when she hits stardom."
In 2004, Sun took a one-year break but returned with a bang to become the first Singaporean singer to scoop the Best Mandarin Female Singer award in Taiwan's Golden Melody competition.
Three years later, she went on another two-year hiatus and returned in 2009 to stage her concert, The Answer Is... Stefanie Sun World Tour 2009, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Sun, who married Dutchman Nadim van der Ros in March 2010, held their customary Chinese wedding banquet on May 8 the same year.
The couple are expecting their first baby early next year.
This Sun always rises
1997: Sun, 19, takes up singing at the Lee Wei Song School of Music.
Two years later, her mentors Lee Wei Song and Lee Si Song help her sign a contract with Warner Music Singapore.
2000: Graduates from Nanyang Technological University with a degree in business studies in May.
Launches her music career a month later. Her debut album, She Is Sun Yanzi, a hit in Taiwan, sells 150,000 copies within a month of its release. In Singapore, advance orders peak 7,500 - a rare feat for a newcomer.
Her album tops the best-sellers chart for five consecutive weeks.
September 2000: Wins Best Newcomer at the TVB 8 Mandarin Music Awards 1999/2000 in Hong Kong, beating hot favourites like Taiwanese singers Jolin Tsai and Elva Hsiao. In December, her second Mandarin album, My Desired Happiness, is out.
2001: Wins Best Newcomer at Beijing's Channel V music awards.
In May, she wins Best Newcomer at Taiwan's Golden Melody Awards in Kaohsiung. In July, her third album, Kite, sells 200,000 copies in Taiwan and 20,000 copies in Singapore within a week of its release.
September 2001: Wins five awards at the Singapore Hit Awards. In 11/2 years since the release of her debut album, the 23-year-old soars past fellow citizens Kit Chan, Mavis Hee and Tanya Chua to become the most successful Singaporean singer in terms of regional sales and popularity.
Her three Mandarin albums have sold over 1.5 million copies in Taiwan, Mandopop's brutal testing ground.
January 2002: Releases Start, which comprises cover versions of both English and Mandarin songs and two new songs. In August, sings the National Day theme song, We Will Get There.
August 2003: Sings another National Day theme song, One United People. Takes a one-year break in 2004.
2005: Becomes the first Singaporean to win the Best Mandarin Female Singer award in Taiwan's Golden Melody Awards. In September 2006, Sun inks a deal with a new record company, EMI Music's Capitol label.
December 2006: She is the first local celebrity to have an orchid, Dendrobium Stefanie Sun, named after her.
March 2007: Releases her album, Against The Light.
On having more say on her albums, Sun says: "I used to think like I better shut up or I'll sound like a diva, but now I just keep throwing it out because I think everyone wants the album to be great."
Takes a break from the music scene that year.
Sun also receives the Singapore Youth Award (Arts and Culture) the same year in recognition of her commercial success in the music scene and for her contribution to the local and international communities.
2009: After a two-year hiatus, stages The Answer Is... Stefanie Sun World Tour 2009 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in July; 7,500 people attend.
In 2010, Singapore Tourism Board appoints her the tourism ambassador for Greater China.
2011: Marries Dutchman Nadim van der Ros on March 31. They hold customary Chinese wedding banquet in May.
At the Singapore Hit Awards in November, she clinches five of the seven categories in which she is nominated.
In December, she is picked to write about her bilingual efforts in former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's book, My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey.
Now: She is due to give birth to her first child by next February. Over the course of her career, she has released 10 albums, won more than 200 music awards and accolades and has become one of the best-selling artistes in Asia.
She has sold close to 10 million albums in China.
- Additional reporting by Ng Hui Wen
This Sun is always nice
Sun Ho's been praised and razed after her husband and CHC leaders were charged with criminal breach of trust to support her music career. But what do people who know her and have worked with her say? Maureen Koh and Benita Aw Yeong report.
"I want you guys to know that Sun Ho is on the train to world domination."
- US choreographer Laurieanne Gibson, best known for her work with Lady Gaga, Diddy and Katy Perry and her reality show, Dance Scene. Uploaded on YouTube on Sept 30, 2009
"She's sharp, she's quick, she understands it. Let's get the list straight now - Beyonce, Destiny's Child, Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige, Whitney Houston, Shakira, Sun... What all of these women have in common is that they all bring their culture, and exactly where they come from to the music, and they don't compromise where they come from and try to adapt to your style.
So they're basically like, this is who I am and this is what I represent and I'm going to put my people on the map, and you're either going to ride with me, or not ride with me."
- Wyclef Jean, Haitian-American musician and record producer, talking on a video uploaded to video-sharing site Dailymotion on June 19, 2008. He produced China Wine.
"She's branding a great name here. Her music is very uplifting and emotional. She's doing the same genre as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and she just needs more exposure."
- Deejay Mike Rizzo from New York radio station WKTU, in an interview with The New Paper in 2004.
"She was very authentic, polite and treated people well. This didn't change even after she became famous."
- Celebrity hairstylist and CEO of Monsoon Hair Group Addy Lee, who has known Ms Ho for more than 10 years, speaking to TNPS last week.
"I was depressed and had given up on everything. I just sent her a message to tell her goodbye.
She was doing a show or something, but she immediately directed someone to call me.
A team came to my home and helped me through the most difficult times of my life.
After she was done with work, Sun called me and assured me that I could still call her anytime if I needed."
- CHC member Adeline Khoo, 45, who was on the verge of suicide and had sent Ms Ho a message about 10 years ago.
"She's media-savvy and knows how to offer the right answers to our questions.
You don't get the feeling that she's pretentious, unlike some of the celebrities whom I have interviewed.
But what I found strange was that when she (and Kong Hee) moved into their previous home at River Valley, they were the ones who contacted us and offered us the story."
- U Weekly's entertainment reporter Darien Choong, 36, who has interviewed Ms Ho several times since she first launched her album.
"I had hate mail from some of her supporters and church members. I described the album as 'tasteless' and 'a waste of money'.
But I met Sun at an event (after the second bad review) and when she knew who I was, she said, 'I'll keep working hard and I'm confident one day I'll change your mind.'
I was impressed, but sadly, that chance never came. And I don't think she can revive her singing career now."
- Retired freelance music reviewer George Tan, 54, who panned two of her albums, Sun With Love and Embrace, in the now-defunct Woman's World.
This article was first published in The New Paper.