Sakura Teng says goodbye

Sakura Teng says goodbye
Singer Sakura Teng's daughter Amy Ting with her husband Jeff Andrews and children Jade and Logen.

The veteran singer will be quitting the stage after her current string of performances in Singapore and the region

The 1970s a-go-go queen Sakura Teng is calling it quits after close to five decades in showbiz. Fans here can catch her final curtain call in Singapore at a concert this Sunday.

"I never expected to be singing till my 60s. Now I think it's time to say goodbye. I don't want to miss out on my grandchildren's growing up years," says the 65-year-old in Mandarin, sounding effervescent over the phone from Malaysia, where she is currently staying with a friend in Kuala Lumpur.

It is clear that the doting grandmother's priorities lie with her family. She gushes about her two grandchildren - four-year-old Jade and 18-month- old Logen - during the interview with Life!.

The Muar-born singer says she has been missing her grandkids dearly in the past three months since she left her family in the United States for a string of performances in Malaysia and Singapore.

She will be heading back to her Maryland home, where she lives with her only child, physical therapist daughter Amy Ting, and her family, only after another two engagements - a New Year's Eve countdown concert in Genting and a performance on Star Cruises next month.

This is not the first time that Teng has mentioned retirement.

When she was in Singapore for a concert two years ago, she had said in an interview then that it would likely be her last performance.

But the chatty Teng is adamant about her retirement plans now.

"People have said that I belong on the stage. I tend to accede when people persuade me to perform, but this time I won't give in," says Teng, who became an American citizen in 1995.

Still, having started her showbiz career at the age of 17 when she performed regularly at live shows at the New World Amusement Park here, the veteran singer admits that she will certainly miss the stage.

The candid Teng reveals that she satisfies her urge to perform by playing recordings of dangdut, which is Indonesian dance music, as she sways to the beat while doing household chores.

Her discography comprises 50 albums and she can sing in 11 languages, including English, Tagalog, Thai and Japanese. She will be performing at the Kreta Ayer People's Theatre with nine other artistes, including Taiwanese singer Frankie Kao Ling-feng and getai "auntie killer" Hao Hao.

She will be singing at least four songs, and will definitely be displaying her signature yodelling skills.

Although she is a livewire on stage, she reveals that she does not like socialising and prefers keeping to herself at home.

"I just help around the house, look after my grandchildren. I don't really go out. To pass the time, I watch Chinese period dramas." The twice-married and divorced singer is in no hurry to look for her "third spring".

She says matter-of-factly: "It's troublesome to get to know someone all over again. I've had two marriages. All I need now is my family."

Book it LAUGHTER AND SONGS CONCERT 

Where: Kreta Ayer People's Theatre

When: Sunday, 2, 4.15, 6.30 and 8.45pm

Admission: $58, $48 & $38.

Call 6222-3972 or 8481-6639 for details


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