The singer who never left

The singer who never left
BACK: Local singer Lisa Wong, who was bedridden for 11 years due to a stress-related illness, has been performing at concerts in Canada, Hong Kong and here.

Lisa Wong may be 64 but her schedule is as packed as ever.

She is gearing up to do a concert at Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada, on March 29.

She said excitedly: "Oh, I enjoy it very much. The bigger the crowd, the better."

The casino's Entertainment Centre has a seating capacity of about 5,000and her manager told Wong that tickets are going fast. Her series of six concerts last year at Hong Kong's Sunbeam Theatre and Tuen Mun Town Hall, each with a capacity of about 1,300, were always sold out. Not bad for a singer who was famous in the 70s for her hit Cantonese song, Lovesick Tears.

Lisa started singing in 1968 and by the 1970s, had cut more than 57 records in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

In comparison, pop star Britney Spears has 24 albums.

It wasn't all good for Lisa.

A few years after leaving the music industry in 1982, she was struck with a stress-induced illness that left her bedridden for almost 11 years.

"I constantly felt weak and nauseous. I had difficulty opening my eyes, even when I went to the doctor," she said.

When she woke up in late 1999, she discovered mobile phones and karaoke.

She said with a laugh: "It was like Back To The Future.

"My friend passed me the phone and I didn't know which buttons to press. She asked me to answer the phone for her and I was thinking, 'Can you remember I was bedridden? I don't know what this is, and you asked me to answer it for you'," she said.

Now she even has a Facebook page which connects her to her friends and fans.

"During our time, we didn't accept the older singers. That's why I was very surprised before I went back to singing. (Fellow 70s Singaporean singer) Ling Seow asked me to go back. I said no, I'm old," she said, explaining her initial hesitation.

"I thought he was making fun of me. Then he said, 'No, I'm also singing' and he is one year older than me. He encouraged me to go back to my singing.".

And she is not easing up on her passion anytime soon.

"I want to make Singapore proud. I'm not being boastful, I find that to be able to do my country proud makes me happy."

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