President's Star Charity to have beneficiaries performing alongside artistes for the first time

SINGAPORE - When homegrown guitarist Yan Neil Chan play the well-loved Bill Withers song Lean On Me at this year's President's Star Charity (PSC) show, he will be doing so with visually impaired musician Robert Tan, bringing new meaning to the lyrics.

This is one of the highlights of this year's show, which will have beneficiaries performing alongside artistes for the first time. Singapore indie band The Sam Willows will be playing their original song For Love, with visually impaired violinist Sophie Soon from iC2 Prephouse, a low vision training school. Previously, beneficiaries and artistes performed to raise funds for the charity event but did so in separate items.

"This would bring the collaboration between artistes and beneficiaries one step further. They start to know each other better and work hand-in-hand to achieve a goal," said producer Teo Christina Jolene, 29.

The show will be hosted by artistes Gurmit Singh and Joanne Peh.

Featuring the theme, Reach Out and Touch Lives, the show will also offer fun items such as a Battle of the Sexes segment. Female artistes such as Tabitha Nauser and Vanessa Fernandez will pit their vocal cords against male performers such as Sufie Rashid and Tay Ping Hui.

There will also be a lip synch challenge where artistes such as Pierre Png and Chua En Lai square off against a team including deejays Rosalyn Lee and Sonia Chew.

The show will feature international acts like Malaysian singer Yuna and Zen Japanese dancer Miyoko Shida Rigolo.

The Government had earlier set aside $250 million to match donations to the social services sector dollar-for-dollar this year under a Care and Share fund to encourage donations and volunteerism in the lead-up to Singapore's 50th birthday. This fund will be used to match charity donations dollar for dollar in PSC show, said President Tony Tan Keng Yam in a press release. "I hope that Singaporeans will continue to give generously... and work together to make Singapore a more caring and compassionate society," he added.

Last year's show, which starred 1980s British pop star Rick Astley, raised more than $5 million.

The President's Star Charity will be shown live on Sunday, Nov 2, on Channel 5 from 7.30pm to 10pm. Viewers can call 1900-112-8821 for a $5 donation, 1900-112-8822 for a $20 donation and 1900-112-8823 for a $100 donation. Proceeds will go to 64 charities and phone lines are open now.