Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
7 March 2016
The shocking news about her bandmate and good friend Selina Jen's divorce broke the night before Hebe Tien's solo concert in Singapore on Saturday.
But she made no mention of the divorce when she sang to an audience of 8,000 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium as part of her If World Tour.
The closest reference the 32-year-old Taiwanese singer of Mandopop trio S.H.E made was a throwaway line she said before ballad Still In Happiness.
She said: "Staying happy no matter what, I think that's the most important."
Jen, 34, announced her divorce from lawyer Richard Chang, 43, on her Facebook page last Friday.
Jen said she had not played her role of a wife well because she still focused on work after getting married.
The split was amicable and Jen and Chang stressed in separate Facebook posts that they were ending their near five-year marriage to keep their "kinship and friendship" alive.
On Saturday, Tien and the other S.H.E member, Ella Chen, 34, released a joint statement through their record label HIM International Music, saying: "We support and respect the decision made by our lao po (wife in Chinese). We will always be by her side, regardless of what happens."
The New Paper spoke to S.H.E fans at Tien's concert and all expressed shock at Jen's divorce.
Ms Aileen Teo, 25, a multimedia producer, said: "I didn't expect it. I thought Selina's accident brought (the couple) even closer. They've been through so much together."
She was referring to an on-set explosion in Shanghai in October 2010 that left Jen with scars on her body.
Her road to recovery was long and Chang was by her side throughout. He even published a book in 2011 about her ordeal.
Ms Esther Goh, 23, a Nanyang Technological University undergraduate, said the divorce was shocking because "there were no signs of their relationship turning sour".
"That said, Selina's post was very forthcoming. Her tone was calm and she had clearly planned to share the news with her fans. I find her very brave," said Ms Goh.
The fans were not surprised by Tien's decision not to touch on the topic during her gig.
"Besides being a supportive friend, Hebe is very professional. She is not the sort who would let personal matters affect her performance," said Ms Kelly Wu, 33, a planning analyst.
Ms Teo agreed, saying: "Out of the three S.H.E girls, Hebe has the best vocals, but she is the most private."
Tien, often recognised as the most reserved member of S.H.E, pulled off her sold-out show with aplomb.
It helped that her solo material had a heavier rock edge than S.H.E's cutesy tunes. And she was not averse to radical rearrangements of her popular hits.
For example, LOVE!, Tien's whimsical acoustic ditty, was delivered as a ferocious headbanging anthem.
The bachelorette did not banter much with the crowd, who included celebrity fans such as local singer Mavis Hee, star hairstylist David Gan and Malaysian actress Jesseca Liu.
But she did crack the occasional, self-deprecating joke.
She urged fans to shout "melt the iceberg" (referring to her icy persona) and when her male guitarists donned realistic Hebe Tien masks, she said: "How come both of you don't look happy? Oh, I see, that's because Hebe Tien wears this perpetual cold expression."
This article was first published on March 7, 2016.
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