Obituary: Cantopop's father of concerts

Obituary: Cantopop's father of concerts
Concert organiser Cheung Yiu Wing with singer Leon Lai, whose debut gig at Hong Kong’s Coliseum he put together.

HONG KONG - Cheung Yiu Wing, a leading impresario who gave the biggest Cantopop stars a start in the concert business by putting them on stage in the Hong Kong Coliseum, died of a heart attack on Tuesday, said newspapers. He was 82.

Cheung, who was celebrated as the "father of concerts" in Hong Kong, organised more than 1,500 shows, including Sam Hui's gig at the Coliseum in 1983, the first concert at the stadium which would become a landmark in Chinese pop, said Ming Pao Daily News.

Cheung's most memorable project, he had said, was organising what turned out to be the swansong of Anita Mui, who died about a month after performing eight shows at the Coliseum in 2003.

He said Mui, whose unlucky love life was well-documented in the tabloids, wanted badly to be married, and he arranged for her a moment of wish fulfilment by having her wear a wedding dress at the end of the concerts, reported Ming Pao.

Beginning in the 1980s, he had a hand in the Coliseum debuts of stars such as Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai, Joey Yung, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Miriam Yeung and Sandy Lam.

He got into the concert business not only to make money, but also to realise singers' dreams, even if it meant losing money, said Apple Daily.

When Kenny Bee was bankrupt in 2002, Cheung was the one who organised two gigs for the singer, said the newspaper.

Born in Shunde, Guangdong in southern China, Cheung moved to Hong Kong in his teens to make a living, said Ming Pao. He worked in a cotton factory before moving on to transportation and construction.

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