Singer Frances Yip serenades at Valentine's day gig here

Hong Kong singer Frances Yip lives in the same building as her grandchildren in Sydney.
Hong Kong singer Frances Yip lives in the same building as her grandchildren in Sydney. PHOTO: BIZ TRENDS MEDIA

Hong Kong singer Frances Yip relocated to Sydney to be with her grandchildren

Veteran Hong Kong singer Frances Yip, 69, will spend Valentine's Day serenading audiences at a concert here, but when she speaks of love these days, it goes beyond the romantic kind.

Over the phone from Sydney, where she lives, she gushes about her six-year-old grandson George, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour as a newborn.

She says: "My grandson is such a happy child. He is always smiling. I know the path ahead will be tough, but it helps that he has such a jolly personality."

Yip, who successfully battled breast cancer several years ago, adds: "His brain has been damaged, so he isn't like a normal child. He can't walk and gets around in a wheelchair. He can't speak clearly too.

"Sometimes I wonder why this has to happen to a young child. But I look on the bright side - at least he is born into a family who loves him and can afford to care for him financially."

She will perform here on Feb 13 and 14 at Resorts World Sentosa.

  • BOOK IT /FRANCES YIP IN CONCERT 2016

    WHERE: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa

    WHEN: Feb 13 and 14, 7.30pm

    ADMISSION: $68to $188 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)

When the powerhouse crooner is not belting out the 1980s TVB triad drama theme song The Bund on stage, she golfs or plays with her two grandchildren.

The doting grandmother chose to be based in Sydney to spend time with them. Her granddaughter, Zoe, is eight.

Yip, who lives in the same apartment building as her only son's family, says: "I don't want to miss out on my grandchildren's growing years. When they are teens, they won't want to hang out with me."

Her granddaughter gets as much love as her younger brother, says Yip, who picks Zoe up from school and goes swimming with her in summer.

At Yip's Sydney concert last year, Zoe was given an all-access backstage pass and the important task of looking after grandma's earrings.

She recounts with pride: "We wanted to give her an idea of what I do for a living. She was in charge of bringing me the earrings every time I had an outfit change. She's an intelligent girl and she did such a good job."

But while she declares her adoration for her grandchildren easily, her husband of more than 30 years does not get the same treatment. Briton David Lomax, 71, who is also her manager, will accompany her for the concerts here.

Yip says: "We have been married for so long. We will just celebrate Valentine's Day simply backstage."

And he is not likely to buy her flowers. One year, to mark 25 years since they first met, he bought her 25 roses.

She says with a laugh: "I told him not to buy me flowers, but to buy me a bonsai plant because it lives longer. Flowers will wither after a few days."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2016, with the headline 'Doting grandma Yip'. Print Edition | Subscribe