A family affair

Although singer Sam Hui’s is known to plant kisses on his fans, he says his wife of 42 years never gets jealous. -- PHOTO: UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT
Although singer Sam Hui’s is known to plant kisses on his fans, he says his wife of 42 years never gets jealous. -- PHOTO: UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT

Veteran singer Sam Hui will be joined on stage by his two sons at his concert on Saturday

Sharing kisses with eager fans has almost become a signature component of Sam Hui concerts.

For years, the 65-year-old veteran singer-songwriter has been known to freely plant kisses on his adoring fans - and he lets them do the same to him.

So Singapore fans can expect the same treatment at his concert here on Saturday, he says in a telephone interview.

But does his wife ever get jealous over such actions?

"She's used to seeing it, so she doesn't get jealous," he says breezily in Cantonese from his home in Hong Kong.

"I just love my fans too much, so I want to show them my appreciation. And they see me more as their big brother than anything else. I'm just grateful for their support."

Hui, who has been married to Filipino-American Rebecca Fleming for 42 years, adds that jealousy is not an issue as the couple "trust each other and admire each other".

"We also work on our romance. We travel together and we have candlelight dinners," he says with a chuckle.

He does not say whether his wife will be attending his Singapore concert, but reveals that his two sons, Ryan and Scott, will be on stage to sing a few tunes with him.

His older son Ryan, 37, also designed the posters used to promote the tour What A Wonderful World, while his film-maker son Scott, 35, helmed the concert's promotional video.

One concert guest star who will be greatly missed at the upcoming show is Hui's late older brother Ricky, who died of a heart attack in 2011.

Ricky and Hui were known to have been very close, with Ricky being the go-to guest star for many of Hui's concerts over the years.

Mention his brother's name and Hui sounds incredibly sentimental. "I miss him a lot and I think about him all the time. I often look at his old photographs and think about him."

Has he written a song to remember him by?

"I've just been so busy, I haven't had the time to write a new song for him yet. But I definitely miss him."

Hui, who is widely known as the Father of Cantopop, will belt out his classic hits from the 1970s and 1980s, such as Tsim Sha Tsui Susie and From The Heart Of A Loafer.

Nor will he miss out movie theme songs from popular films such as The Private Eyes (1976) and Aces Go Places (1982), in which he was the lead actor. From the 1970s to the early 1990s, Hui acted in numerous hit Hong Kong movies, including Security Unlimited (1981) and Games Gamblers Play (1974) which were directed by his other brother, Michael.

He will also perform a string of cover tributes to his late Cantopop singer friends such as Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung.

In total, he will be singing 37 songs at the Singapore show, a considerable feat even for a performer half his age.

But he is more than physically fit enough to last the entire set list, he assures you. His three shows in Hong Kong held in April lasted more than three hours each night.

"I've been doing a lot of running, swimming and some karate. And I have been watching what I eat too," he says.

"I usually weigh 82kg, but I'm now only 73kg. I do this to be prepared for my shows, but I think it has also helped me look better and stay young at heart. My life is still full of music and I enjoy the warmth of the audience so I will still perform for them for a long, long time to come."

yipwy@sph.com.sg

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