Star-studded line-up for mega concert

Some of Singapore's best loved music acts past and present will come together to sing popular songs from the last five decades at a mega concert on Aug 7.

Organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, Sing50 will be held at the National Stadium and is expected to attract 45,000 people.

The star-studded line-up of artists will cut across different genres and languages. They include Cultural Medallion recipients - singer and composer Dick Lee and jazz maestro Jeremy Monteiro - pop pioneer Vernon Cornelius of the popular 1960s band The Quests, Malay rock/folk pioneer Ramli Sarip and Indian singer-songwriter Mohamed Raffee.

Cultural Medallion recipient and singer-songwriter Liang Wern Fook, a pioneer of the xinyao genre of Singapore Chinese songs, will curate a xinyao segment of the show. Also confirmed in the line-up so far are Jeffrydin, a stalwart of the Malay "pop yeh-yeh" scene from the 1960s and 1970s, tabla guru M.S. Maniam and jazz singers Jacintha Abisheganaden and Rani Singam.

Singer and television host Najip Ali, rapper Sheikh Haikel, pop-rock singer Wendi Koh, rocker Douglas Oliveiro and singing mentor Babes Conde will also perform.

Younger talents include rappers Shigga Shay and The Lion City Boy aka Kevin Lester, Singapore Idol 3 winner Sezairi Sezali and indie rock and roll band The Pinholes.

These artists will share the stage with a 1,000-strong choir, a 100-strong orchestra, 50 pianists and 100 rappers, many of whom will not be music professionals but selected through auditions. More names will be announced later.

The concert, held to celebrate the nation's Golden Jubilee, will celebrate songs written, popularised or performed by Singaporeans.

Creative director Jeremiah Choy says the two-hour concert will have three parts - a section featuring the performers singing and playing songs from different eras and genres, a specially commissioned piece played on 50 pianos and a final act where most of the artists will perform the grand finale together.

Veteran performer Cornelius says that Singapore's pop music scene came of age in the 1960s.

"By 1965, there were many bands putting out records and it was evident that Singapore acts could score No. 1 hits. "

Rocker Oliveiro, who first became popular in the 1980s and performs at nightclub Aquanova, says that he is raring to go. The 59-year-old said: "Singapore music has come a long way. I think it's awesome that musicians from the past and present are coming together for a big concert like this."

Rapper Shigga Shay, 23, agreed. "I think it's going to be very interesting to see what artists from different eras can come up with when we work together on this concert."

Ramli, 62, who first came on the scene in the 1970s as singer of rock group Sweet Charity, says that music made in Singapore did more than just entertain.

"Musicians in Singapore have played a significant part in helping society. We've written songs and done shows for things like anti- drug campaigns and raised money for charity."

Jazz maestro Monteiro will perform and curate a segment to showcase local jazz musicians as well as the various forms of jazz made in Singapore.

Rising jazz singer Melissa Tham, 30, will be part of this segment. She said: "It's an honour for me to be on the same stage with the veterans, people who have been around for a long time and have made a name for themselves."

Singer, songwriter and producer Mohamed Raffee, who has worked on soundtracks with celebrated Indian composer A.R. Rahman, will sing in Tamil and Hindi.

"I feel lucky to be part of the Singapore music community," said the 55-year-old. "Even though we might play different genres and sing in different languages, it's common to see us collaborate ."

Student Nur Ashikin Ismail, 20, is looking forward to Sing50.

"I started out by going to gigs by current bands like The Pinholes and through them I was introduced to earlier Singapore bands like The Quests and veteran rapper Sheikh Haikel.

"I'm looking forward to seeing artists from different generations share the same stage at the National Stadium."

Mapletree Investments, Resorts World Sentosa and Zurich Insurance are the main sponsors of the show, which is also supported by Steinway Gallery Singapore.

Tickets will go on sale next month. For more infor-mation, go to

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