Their music is listened to all over in China – at dance venues, in shopping centres, as mobile phone ringtones and on social media videos.

It is virtually impossible for mainland people not to know at least a line or two from their songs.

Phoenix Legend regularly attract tens of thousands of people to their concerts. Photo: Baidu

Last year, an amusing anecdote went viral online when a woman in southwestern Guizhou province noticed one of her colleagues was not familiar with some of the band’s well-known songs.

She tipped off the police, rightly suspecting that the man, who was later arrested for espionage, was a spy. After all, what genuine mainland citizen would not know Phoenix Legend’s songs?

Viral videos filmed at the band’s concert held in eastern Jiangsu province in the middle of April showed audiences of 30,000 singing along and waving glow sticks in unison.

Linghua, 43, a music school graduate, met 50-year-old Zeng at a bar in Shenzhen, where he was the music director, in 1998. The pair are good friends but are not romantically involved.

When they first formed the band they performed locally. Then, in 2004, they shot to national fame after taking part in a singing competition, with a song called Above the Moon.

After that, they produced a string of popular tunes, such as Fly Freely, The Most Dazzling Folk Style and Moonlight Over Lotus Pond.

Combined, the four songs have been played online more than 1 billion times, according to the news outlet 163.com.

People joke that the song, The Most Dazzling Folk Style, which was so popular with square dancing groups all those years ago, is the second most famous song in China, after the country’s national anthem.

The band’s fans admire the duo for their down-to-earth style.

It is also said that their lyrics have a wide-ranging appeal, and take inspiration from nature.

Lead vocalist Linghua is from the northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region and has a voice which is emblematic of that region’s penchant for high-pitched songs.

The duo has consistently maintained a squeaky clean image devoid of scandal or drama.

They are popular among all age groups and attracted younger fans after they opened social media accounts and filmed short videos in which they tap into hot topics.

The music duo met in a bar in 1998 but have always rejected any notion that they are romantically linked. Photo: Baidu

They also collaborate with singers who are the idols of younger generations.

The band is scheduled to hold at least three additional concerts across the mainland this year.

More than two million people have said they will buy tickets from the sales platform Damai.

“Do they sell a set of family tickets? I want to take my parents to see the concert?” one person on Douyin asked.

“I’ve been a fan of them for many years. I hope they will hold a concert in my hometown,” said another.

“They seem to have a magic that helps listeners forget any unhappiness. Their rhythmic tunes and readable lyrics can quash bad emotions,” a third person said.