In remembrance of the late Hong Kong superstar, Anita Mui (1963 – 2003)


Year 2003 was a tragic year for Hong Kong not only due to the SARS outbreak but also in entertainment industry when two of the very iconic stars, Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui died in that particular year. This year, on April 1st, a tribute and a memorial concert was made to mark the 10th anniversary of Leslie’s death. Now, on 30th December, the same would be organized in memory of Anita Mui Yim-fong (10 October 1963 – 30 December 2003), as she had left us exactly a decade ago.

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‘Anita Mui’ is a familiar name to all Chinese. Before she turned into a highly successful singer and actress, she experienced much hardship in her childhood and had to entered show business at the age of 4 to support her family. She then joined the first New Talent Singing Championship in 1982 and won the first place, hence starting out her route to success and fame. In subsequent years, popular for her distinctive voice, she won huge number of awards including Best Female Singer award consecutively from 1985 to 1989 and Gold Song Gold Award in 1989 for the song ‘Sunset Melody’ which became one of her signature songs throughout her career. She had released over 30 albums and organized nearly 300 live concerts, and reached peak of her singing career to the point that she is recognized as the ‘Madonna of the East’ in the West, Cantopop diva and queen particularly in 1980s.

At the age of 28, she stepped down from the industry to make way for newcomers and she had mentored several of them, most notably, Andy Hui, Denise Ho, Edmond Leung, and the band ‘Grasshopper’. She returned from retirement in 1994, and in 1998 at the age of only 35, she was awarded RTHK Golden Needle Award, being one of the youngest recipients of the lifetime achievement award. Besides singing, she had also starred in over 40 films in 20 years of her acting career. She was known to portray all kind of roles from comedy to tragedy with immense effort and her hard work won her Best Actress at the Golden Horse Awards, Asia Pacific Film Festival and also in Hong Kong Film Awards for her role in film ‘Rouge’. This made her the first Hong Kong music queen to be equally rightful to be known as film queen. Her other notable films are A Better Tomorrow 3, The Top Bet, Justice My Foot, Fight Back To School 3, The Heroic Trio, Wu Yen, and July Rhapsody (her last film).

She was also actively involved in charitable works. She had established ‘Anita Mui True Heart Charity Foundation’, a nursing home in San Francisco, a fund-raising concert for SARS-affected families, etc. Her tremendous contribution to the entertainment industry and also in charity made her to become one of the most loved stars and her death in 30th December 2003 was a very heartbreaking news to all. She died from cervical cancer at the age of 40, and before she left, she organized a series of immensely touching farewell concerts to say goodbye to her fans on stage. Her funeral in January 2004 was attended by many celebrities and thousands of fans.

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She was most famous particularly in 1980s, at the time when I do not even exist yet. However, even younger generations knew her well, a proof of her fame that never fades even to this day, a decade after her death. She remained as one of the most prolific icons from Hong Kong. On the other hand, tonight, there will be a memorial concert organized by her close friends, Jacky Cheung and Eric Tsang in honour of her legacy. Anita Mui (1963 – 2003) will be forever remembered.

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UPDATE – I had just watched the two and a half hour live broadcast from Hong Kong of a tribute programme and a memorial concert (mentioned in previous paragraph) to the late Anita Mui. Very touching and a great effort. They made it a great emotional ‘surprise’ party to her as everyone do remember Anita till this day. I am glad to find huge number of very popular celebrities (Eric Tsang, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, Maggie Cheung, Sammi Cheng, Anita Yuen, Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Miriam Yeung, Andy Hui, Edmund Leong, Denise Ho, Sandy Lam, A-Mei, George Lam, Alex To, etc) going up on stage to sing or to deliver heartfelt speech. A very meaningful memorial concert to Anita Mui. I also like the short front programme before the concert when they show bits of Anita’s popular songs, her background, her time on winning awards, her scenes in some films, etc.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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