LIFE POWER LIST 2015

Pulling off the biggest show in town

9) DICK LEE, 59, creative director of the National Day Parade and composer of theme song, Our Singapore

The National Day Parade is arguably the most spectacular show in town and interest was keener than ever this Golden Jubilee year.

The multi-talented singercomposer Dick Lee was not only the creative director of the entire enterprise, but he was also tasked with coming up with the theme song.

No pressure at all - the song merely had to live up to his previous composition, Home, which was composed for the 1998 parade and has pretty much become the unofficial anthem of the nation.

Lee says of the song Our Singapore: "Looking at the big picture, as part of SG50, I'm very proud of it and I'm very glad I did it because, for a while, I resisted writing something since I've already got Home."

One measure of the song's success is that other acts have already started to cover it and that happened for Home only 10 years after it came out, he says.

It was an extremely eventful year for him as he also wrote the score for The LKY Musical, directed a revival of his stage musical Beauty World, held a solo concert and saw himself immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds Singapore.

In the midst of it all, his mother died in July, one week before The LKY Musical opened and three weeks before the National Day Parade. He says: "It's only now that I'm going away and thinking about what's happened this year. I haven't even had time to grieve."

For pulling off the various projects, including the biggest show in town, Lee lands on the Power List at No. 9.

The Cultural Medallion recipient made his debut on the Power List last year at No. 10 for his showbusiness longevity and for marking his 40th anniversary milestone with a flurry of activities.

Next year, the bachelor turns 60 and in the pipeline are a birthday concert and directing a movie inspired by his growing-up years.

He says: "I've been determined to contribute to the development of Singapore's national identity through popular culture since I was a teenager. I think this has contributed to my longevity.

"Along with my stubbornness not to retire, lah."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2015, with the headline 'Pulling off the biggest show in town'. Print Edition | Subscribe