Anita Mui, 1963-2003

A legend lost with Mui’s passing (The Star Online), Hong Kong star dies from cancer (BBC News, video)

Listen: Xi Yang Zhi Ge (MIDI)

For those of you that aren’t Cantopop fans, Western audiences know Anita Mui as the shopkeeper in Jackie Chan’s Rumble in the Bronx. Those that are more familar with Asian film remember her as Wonder Woman in The Heroic Trio . What has to be remembered is her long time generosity in support of charity and of younger performers that followed her path. I don’t know too many people who have the strength and willpower to do an 8 night in a row solo concert series while suffering from the final stages of cancer.

I knew nothing about Cantopop before my first trip to Hong Kong in 1991. By then Anita had already retired from singing for the first time and was well into her second career in movies. However, one always knew about her career as the running theme and the continual reinvention of Hong Kong entertainment; she wasn’t called the “Madonna of Asia” for nothing. She was part of my education, in my playing catch-up in Asian culture. I know some people snicker when you mention Cantopop and culture in the same breath, but you miss the romance of the Hong Kong people without it. Thank you, Anita.

According to the Star’s article (Malaysia), Anita had said if she had the chance to further her education, she would rather have been a lawyer.

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