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Tan Kee Yun
Friday, May 2, 2014

Showbiz

Jackie is a big brother with big hugs: Joi Chua

The New Paper | Tan Kee Yun | Friday, May 2, 2014

Local singer Joi Chua performing a duet with Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan at his 60th birthday charity concert in Beijing earlier this month.

Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan is no Casanova, says local singer Joi Chua.

Earlier this month, she was invited by the revered screen legend to his 60th birthday mega concert at Beijing Worker's Stadium.

It was a star-studded charity fiesta that saw the attendance of Mandopop A-listers Jay Chou, Wang Lee Hom, Coco Lee, as well as K-pop boy band EXO.

Chua, 35, was not just invited to serenade the 12,000-strong crowd with her hit ballad, Watching The Sunrise With Me. She also got to duet with Chan on his 90s classic Everyday Of My Life, all the while having her hand gently held by the man himself.

"Jackie Da Ge (Mandarin for big brother) is an extremely genuine person. He is super warm and friendly, makes friends easily and likes giving everyone big hugs and pats," said Chua, who was also invited to a private dinner hosted by Chan and his wife, former actress Lin Feng Jiao.

"People who do not know him might find his actions weird and would likely misinterpret his intentions.

"He is actually very cute, funny and easily excitable. I feel he exudes nothing but positive vibes."

Chan made headlines in March when pictures of him approaching acclaimed Chinese folk singer Song Zuying from behind and snuggling cheek to cheek with her at an arts and culture group meeting went viral.

Netizens accused him of flirting brazenly with 47-year-old Song, who is the respected director of a People's Liberation Army song and dance troupe.

Chan dismissed his nuzzle against Song's cheek as an "innocent gesture".

GOSSIP

It was not the first time that Chan had set tongues wagging with his seemingly seductive ways with Chinese female stars.

At a charity dinner in October last year, he was photographed locking fingers with Chinese actress Fan Bingbing under the dinner table.

He was also seen beaming from ear to ear while sitting on the lap of another actress, Li Bingbing.

When quizzed if she or her husband had any initial concerns about Chan's ladies' man reputation prior to accepting the gig, Chua laughed.

"I think it would be silly to entertain such thoughts," she said.

"Besides, right from the start, Da Ge knows I'm married... It was a huge honour for me to be able to perform at the event."

Chua, who recently released her new Mandarin single Glass, added that she was "shocked" when she received Chan's invitation to sing at his birthday concert.

"Prior to this, I have never worked with him before. I don't know him personally," she explained.

"When my manager told me about it, I went 'Huh?' several times. I couldn't believe it."

One can only imagine her happiness after she learnt from Chan that both he and his wife's favourite song was Watching The Sunrise With Me.

The couple had apparently heard it "at least 80,000 times" and Chan "sang along to every word" during Chua's rehearsal.

There is even a rather interesting story about how Chan became a fan of Chua's soothing vocals.

Said Chua: "Da Ge told me he first heard my song on radio years ago when he was caught in a traffic jam. However, the DJ did not announce its title and he decided he would continue listening to the same station day after day with determination, until they played it again.

"When Watching The Sunrise With Me finally played once more, Da Ge quickly recorded it and got someone to find out the song title and singer behind it. And that's how he got to know me."

This article was published on April 30 in The New Paper.

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