DOWN MEMORY LANE: Almost exactly a decade ago, a legend passed away, leaving behind considerable legacies in music and film as well as in charitable work and humanitarian causes (such as establishing a nursing home in San Francisco and the Anita Mui True Heart Charity Foundation). In Causeway Bay, an Anita-mui themed cafe called “Happiness Moon” (囍月) is also dedicated to her legacy.

During her short 40 years (10 October 1963 – 30 December 2003), Anita Mui 梅艷芳– a Hong Kong singer and actress — made major contributions to the cantopop music scene, and remained in the spotlight for nearly 20 years and was only halted in 2003 by the surprising diagnosis of cervical cancer. She died at the early age of 40 after giving her classic 2003 farewell concert!

In the above video, Anita Mui talks about her missed opportunity to be just an ordinary woman, to get married and be loved by a man – a wish so simple which is achieved by billions of women on this planet and yet so evasive to one so successful! Well life is indeed unpredictable *sigh*

Anyway, she set attendance records with concert series in 1987 and 1991, and her 40-plus albums sold more than 10 million copies. Her fanbase reached far beyond Hong Kong into much of Asia, such as Taiwan, Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as the international market where she once held a sold-out concert at Hammersmith, London, England, where she was dubbed the “Madonna of Asia”.

Personally, I was blessed to have attended a few of her concerts LIVE in Singapore in the 1980s sometimes even sitting right at the first row where she was famous for her outrageous costumes (typically seven changes of outfit in a concert) and high-power performances in combination with contralto vocals, which are rare in female artists.

Last but not least, it is also worth mentioning that during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Hong Kong, she initiated a fund raising concert titled the 1:99 Concert to raise money for SARS-affected families. In 2003, she wrote and published the book The Heart of the Modern Woman (現代女人心). Profits from the book went to the “Children’s Cancer Foundation”.

Here are some of my favorite songs by Anita Mui: