2.5 million people watch Sam Hui's free online concert


Sam Hui ran through his catalogue of hits during performance broadcast from Harbour City but without a live audience.

Canto-pop legend Sam Hui called on Hong Kong-ers to remain united and positive during a free online concert broadcast on Sunday as the city battles the coronavirus pandemic.

The 71-year-old singer played some of his greatest hits during the show that began at 5pm and was shown on television and live-streamed on social media.

Hui urged locals to work together and stay optimistic during the difficult times. “The beauty of life is that there are a lot of things that come suddenly without warning and are out of our control, ” he said. “But if we can maintain positive energy ... rainy days will go at last one day. Every cloud has a silver lining.

The economic downturn brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the local entertainment industry. Hui promised to donate HK$250,000 (RM138,890) to workers of sound production company Tom Lee Engineering who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Tom Lee handled Hui’s first performance at the Hong Kong Coliseum in 1983 and has often managed the sound for his shows.

The one-hour performance was staged on the rooftop of the Harbour City shopping complex at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront against the backdrop of the Victoria Harbour skyline as the sun slowly turned the blue sky to a soft yellow.

Hui began with a cover of Roman Tam’s Below The Lion Rock, an informal anthem of sorts for the city that calls for solidarity and rising above discord.

Armed with his acoustic guitar, he ran through about 20 other songs, including some of his greatest hits such as Bauhinia, Cherish, In the Same Boat, and Eiffel Tower Above The Clouds, all tributes to the affection Hong Kong people have for their city.

His son Ryan joined him for a cover of the The Beau Brummels’ 1960s hit Just a Little.

According to the organisers, a global audience of more than 2.5 million watched the live-streamed concert via Facebook and YouTube.

Due to restrictions on large gatherings, the performance took place without a live audience.

Facebook user Little Sally, from the United States, was among the worldwide audience and left a message in Hui's social media page: “It’s 5am in the US! Fans here are not sleeping because we could not miss this. We love you Sam Hui!”

Chris Loh wrote: “Greetings from Singapore. Thanks for all the positive songs during this dark period. Stay safe and strong! Sam is (the) best!".

Kirabo Kuganja, wrote: “Greetings from Uganda, East Africa! So appreciative of your generous spirit! God bless you and your family!”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor earlier urged fans to watch the show, adding that high-quality concerts produced in the city would be an “important element in the recovery of our economy”.

Known as the “Father of Canto-pop”, Hui rose to fame in the 1970s and after decades of performing, staged a series of farewell shows in the early 1990s. But he has regularly emerged from retirement to the delight of his fans.

In 2004, Hui held a series of concerts to boost the morale of residents affected by the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome. – Ng Kang-chung/South China Morning Post

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Sam Hui , Hong Kong singer


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