Liu is the youngest son of a well to do family and a favorite of his mother. He had initially planned to follow the path of his siblings, a brother and two sisters, to further his education overseas after college. However, this was shelved after he won the singing contest which led to a contract with the Taiwan TV station, Tai Shi at the age of 17.
Liu first started performing with his band - Zheng Wu in Xu Hui Zhong Xue, a Catholic school he attended. According to Liu, his interest in music was encouraged by a priest who was a fan of pop music there.
His first album Nuo Yen (The Promise), released in 1975, launched his singing career when it became an instant hit. Liu’s path to super-stardom was smooth, due to his distinctive vocal styles and good looks. Early in his career, he often wore a white scarf when performing and this evolved into his signature look.
He won the prestigious Jing Zhong Jiang for Best Male Singer three times, in the year 1980, 82 and 83. At the height of his career, Liu commanded an appearance fee of NT$240,000 per night. He released close to 40 albums and acted in over a dozen movies, in which he co-starred with some of the most popular female actresses like Brigitte Lin, Shirley Lu and Sylvia Chang.
In 1983, the then 30-year old Liu announced unexpectedly that he would give up the limelight and focus on developing his career backstage. In numerous interviews, Liu explained that he could see no further breakthroughs and wished to retire at the peak of his career. He wanted to expand his horizons and not limit a lifetime to entertainment business.
He subsequently set up a production company "Fei Ying" to groom young talents but the company was wound up in 1991 when he immigrated to the United States.
In 1991, he consented to a rare phone interview with a Singapore radio station during which the usually private Liu talked briefly about his personal life. He described his childhood as happy and himself as an easy going and optimistic child who was quite oblivious to his future career as a singer as he had no interest in music till he was in college. As to why he remained unmarried, Liu attributed it to his independent character and a reluctance to settle down. He felt that a long term relationship required a level of commitment and responsibility that were difficult to maintain in the entertainment industry. Despite his then 30 odd years, he felt that he has yet to achieve a level of maturity necessary to play the role of a husband and father. Asked if it was due to that fact that he loved himself so well that he did not require love from another, he laughingly replied, "It appears to be a little problem there"
Though Liu is known for his glamourous image, he revealed that the glittering outfits and flashy stage performances were part of the deliverables as a celebrity. Now retired from show biz, he confessed to a preference for comfortable and simple clothes. His taste for food is also undemanding and is happy with a bowl of Zha Jiang Mien and dumplings. His first love is travel, especially to big, modern cities that offer arts and culture like New York and Tokyo. He once said that he doesn't like staying in hotels when he travels and his dream is to have a "small apartment in every city I love".
Despite his superstar status, Liu maintains an impeccable reputation in the entertainment industry. Insiders describe him as gentlemanly, quiet and reserved off stage.
Liu now resides in New York. He is said to be a savvy property investor with assets spanning many countries. He has no plans to return to show business.