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Yip Wai Yee
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014

Showbiz

Paula Tsui: Lasting star power

The Straits Times | Yip Wai Yee | Saturday, Jul 19, 2014

Paula Tsui is known for her husky voice as well as her tiny waist and flamboyant gowns.

Legendary Hong Kong singer Paula Tsui is such a huge star that she can pretty much get any of her A-list celebrity compatriots to make guest appearances at her shows.

Her concerts held in Hong Kong earlier this year featured the likes of Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng and even veteran Taiwanese star Fei Yu-ching.

So is getting them to join her on stage as easy as making a quick phone call?

She is coy. Speaking to Life! in fluent Mandarin ahead of her concert here next month, the elegant 65-year-old says carefully: "I think in general, most stars would be okay with performing at my concerts. But I won't just call them up and ask them to come, because they could be busy, or are too shy to say no.

"I would never want to create that awkward situation where they have a hard time rejecting me."

That, surely, is a clear sign of how big a star she is. After all, who dares reject someone who is widely dubbed Chinese pop music world's "diantangji gehou", or Hall of Fame Diva?

Although there will be no guest stars at her show at Resorts World Sentosa next month, her fans in Singapore are sure to be excited, given that it is her first major concert to be held here - not counting the occasional performances at various nightclubs decades ago. What took her so long to head here for a show?

"It's all about trust," she says of her professional relationship with Mr Keith Sim, the head of Biz Trends Media, which is organising her show. 

"With Keith, I feel an instant sense of security, going by the way he works. You know, to be a singer and to agree to get on stage and perform a good show, we need to feel that security and mutual trust.

"Of course, I've had many opportunities to come to Singapore for a concert before, but if that trust isn't there, then it won't work out. If I feel that sense of security, then I can put on a good show."

She was originally scheduled to perform an invite-only concert here for just one night, for corporate partners and sponsors. Upon hearing the news, disgruntled fans bombarded Biz Trends with calls and more than 1,000 e-mail messages to lobby for a ticketed show.

The company's e-mail server crashed, the fans' point was made strongly and another show, for the public on Aug 2, was added. Tickets are still available but are selling fast.

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