The Straits Times
Sep 29, 2016
Hong Kong singers Joey Yung and Hacken Lee were strong rivals in the latest season of popular Chinese singing contest reality show I Am A Singer earlier this year.
Offstage, they are friends of more than a decade who offered each other support when the going got tough in the competition, which Chinese-American pop star CoCo Lee eventually won.
Yung, 36, tells The Straits Times in a telephone interview from Hong Kong: "There was a lot of pressure preparing the song and dance choreography for each round. I was physically and mentally stressed.
"Our family members may not fully understand what we were going through. I was happy to have a good friend by my side. We rooted for each other."
Yung and Hacken Lee's friendship was forged after a radio station music showcase in 2004 and led to a joint concert tour the next year.
Reminiscing the past, she says in a wistful tone: "We barely knew each other back then. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know him. The reception for our one-off show was so good that we ended up touring."
Last year, Yung and Lee, 48, reunited for another concert tour, which comes to Singapore next month.
Reviving the collaborative concert was his initiative, she reveals. He planted the idea of the concert in the head of Yung's management company colleagues at her 33rd birthday party three years ago.
The reunion concert finally materialised last year and kick-started with 12 sold-out shows at the Hong Kong Coliseum before travelling to cities in China and the United States.
Their vocal chemistry will be on display at the show here in duets such as their Cantonese love classic No Delay (2005). They will also be belting out their own hits such as her dreamy tune Unknown and his melancholic song I Cannot Sing.
Yung is more than happy to share the limelight not just for old times' sake, but also because it is less taxing this way.
"If I have to helm the show on my own, it is physically exhausting. In our joint concert, we sing duets and we take turns performing in solo segments. With a partner, he can share the load with me.
"After the joint concert, my voice is usually still in good condition. After one of my solo shows, my voice will usually be hoarse."
Lee - who is married to former beauty queen Emily Lo, 43, and has two boys aged eight and six with her - also seems to be Yung's work spouse.
Yung, who is dating singer Wilfred Lau, 40, often turns to Lee for advice on life and work. "Once, I ranted to him about work over the phone in the midst of his golf sessions and he listened to me patiently," she says.
Quashing rumours of her impending marriage which have been reported in the Hong Kong media, she says:
"I have no plans to wed yet even though I am not getting any younger. Usually Hong Kong female singers aren't that keen to get married because we love our jobs. I do feel fleeting urges to get hitched, but I am in no hurry."
BOOK IT / HACKEN LEE & JOEY YUNG LIVE AROUND THE WORLD IN SINGAPORE
WHERE: Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre, 8 Sentosa Gateway
WHEN: Oct 9, 8pm
ADMISSION: $128 to $288 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)
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