SINGAPORE - Home-grown songstress Kit Chan got Sunday's National Day Rally off to a rousing start with her rendition of the National Day Parade classic Home.
Chan is the first celebrity to perform at the occasion more commonly associated with politicians and policy announcements.
The 42-year-old dedicated the song to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Chan was invited to the rally and she offered to perform the song as a tribute to the late Mr Lee.
"I'm attending the NDR for the first time, and I felt it would be timely (to pay a tribute to Mr Lee) - something which I really wanted to do when he passed away earlier this year, but haven't had the chance to," Chan told The Straits Times.
"And this being our Golden Jubilee, I gathered it will add a sense of jubilation to have a song to go with PM's speech."
Thanking Chan before delivering his English speech, PM Lee said he was touched by her offer, and that it was a "fitting tribute and start to the SG50 NDR".
Chan also performed the 1998 NDP theme song as part of the finale act at the NDP on Aug 9.
She had revealed back then that it was likely her final NDP appearance.
She said: "It sure feels special to be singing before the NDR speech. I believe this has never been done before.
This article was first published on August 23, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.
"I feel it is very significant to be singing not just any other song, but Home, which has the special power of uniting Singaporeans."