Family and friends bid farewell to late xinyao singer Dawn Gan at Hong Kong memorial service

Family and friends bid farewell to late xinyao singer Dawn Gan at Hong Kong memorial service
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

HONG KONG - A memorial service for xinyao pioneer Dawn Gan, who died last month at the age of 55, was held on Monday (Oct 8) at the Methodist International Church of Hong Kong.

A report by Lianhe Zaobao said that local celebrities including Gan's contemporaries from her xinyao days - such as music producer Billy Koh, Ocean Butterflies Music co-founder Colin Goh, concert organiser Cai Yiren and film director Jack Neo and his wife - were in attendance.

Gan's husband, her three children and her family in Singapore, including the late singer's two brothers, were also seen at the service. She had two sons and one daughter, aged 21 to 26.

Gan, who had been battling a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma since she was diagnosed in 2013, resided in Hong Kong for many years before her death. In 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She revealed her condition to the public in 2016 and said that she had five operations to remove tumours and a part of her lung. She died on Sept 22 in Hong Kong this year.

The memorial service, located in Wan Chai, was decorated with white flowers. Two heart-shaped wreaths made of pink roses were also placed beside Gan's picture by her family.

The hall was also filled with wreaths of flowers with condolences to Gan's family.

Gan's bubbly personality and bright pipes made her a star in the days of xinyao, which is a genre of local Mandarin folk-pop music popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Many of her songs were written by fellow xinyao pioneer Liang Wern Fook, including her signature song Youth 123 and the hit ballad Your Reflection.

Her passion for xinyao and singing continued well past the genre's peak. She performed for a crowd of 2,000 fans at Bras Basah Complex in July 2014 for the xinyao documentary The Songs We Sang (2015).

She also participated in the annual Xinyao Reunion Concert series organised by Mr Cai since 2008, even after she was diagnosed with cancer. Although she was invited to perform this year, she declined due to health reasons.

Two concerts will be held locally in memory of the singer.

On Wednesday, TCR Music Station, founded by Mr Cai, will hold the Missing Dawn Concert at level 9 of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre at 8pm. While all tickets to the concert have been given away, those without tickets can watch the live broadcast on level 7.

Veteran singers Roy Loi, Hong Shao Xuan and Maggie Teng will make appearances.

Another concert, titled Embracing Dawn - Farewell For Dawn Gan, will be held at Capitol Piazza on Sunday, at 4pm. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. The venue will be able to hold 1,000 people and a live screening that can accommodate up to 600 people will be held outside the venue. Attendees are to dress in white.

Liang, Neo and other xinyao singers are expected to be at the concert, which will also be screened live on 96.3 Hao FM's Facebook page.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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