Xinyao singer Dawn Gan dies at the age of 55

Xinyao singer Dawn Gan dies at the age of 55
Dawn Gan was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer which affects the soft tissue and usually occurs near the joints of the arm, neck or leg, in 2013.
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

SINGAPORE - Xinyao singer Dawn Gan has died at the age of 55 after a battle with cancer.

Gan was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma - a rare form of cancer which affects the soft tissue and usually occurs near the joints of the arm, neck or leg - in 2013. The following year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The singer revealed in 2016 that she had five operations to remove tumours and a part of her lung.

Veteran xinyao singer and producer Billy Koh, in his 50s, confirmed the news of her death.

“I was in the same class with Dawn Gan in Secondary Two at River Valley High School,” he told The Straits Times.

“Dawn and I were xinyao pioneers in the early 80s,” he added.

Xinyao is a genre of local Mandarin folk-pop music popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Xinyao concert organiser and founder of TCR Music Station Cai Yiren, 53, who has known Gan for over a decade, also said he heard about Gan's death from friends on Saturday (Sept 22).

He had received text messages - some informing him of the death, others asking him if the news was true - but has yet to be in touch with Gan's family.

Gan had been based in Hong Kong in recent years. She was married to a businessman, with whom she has three adult children.

Mr Cai, who has been organising the annual Xinyao Reunion Concert series since 2008, said that he approached Gan to appear at this year's Xinyao 36 Reunion Concert but she declined for health reasons.

This was the first time Gan had opted out of the concert, which she participated in despite her illness in previous years.

Gan's xinyao hits include Water Tales and Your Reflection, and she won fans with her bright pipes and personality. She was also known for Youth 1 2 3, the theme song for the Channel 8 show Happy Trio (1986).

Mr Cai said: "I invited her every year, this was the first year she could not come. She told us she had to rest."

"She was a nice, cheerful, loving person. We've sung xinyao together for so many years, it's quite sad to receive this news," he said.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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