10 October 1963
Hong Kong, China
30 December 2003 (aged 40)
Anita Mui Yim-fong (Traditional Chinese: 梅艷芳; Simplified Chinese: 梅艳芳; pinyin: Méi Yànfāng; Cantonese Yale: muìh yihm fòng; 10 October 1963–30 December 2003, died of cervical cancer) was a legendary Hong Kongnese pop singer and actress. She was extremely well-known as the one of the very few talented versatile celebrities who had a brilliant career in both singing and acting in Hong Kong. Mui had the fame of the Queen of Canto Pop for her vocal authority, sultry alto voice and 21 years of performing career. Because of her ever-changing image, on-stage charism and sexual appeal in her peak years(1985-1991), Mui gained the title, "The Madonna of Asia", even though commonly not acknowledge by her fans.
Mui first entered show business as a singer when she was four and turned professional when she was seven. Anita and her sister, Ann Mui, performed Chinese operas and pop songs in numerous restaurants and nightclubs, until she won the first New Talent Singing Awards in 1982 with the song "Season of Wind" (風的季節), beating over 3,000 contestants. Despite her title as "new talent" at that time, she had already been a singer for over ten years.
Mui's first album was released with the Capital Artist Record Company within a year of the contest. Her debut drew a lukewarm response from the audience. Two years later, in 1985, Mui won her first 10 Best Solid Gold Best Female Singer award. The same award went to her in the following four years. Mui won also best songs awards, both for album songs and movie theme songs.
Mui had her first concert in 1985, lasting 15 nights. In 1987 and 1991, she set attendance records with concert series, 28 and 30 consecutive shows respectively in Hong Kong without counting tours oversea. "The Ever-Changing Anita Mui" (百變梅艷芳) given by media after her live in 1987 became her trademark.
Mui also gained popularity overseas. In 1984, She represented Hong Kong and performed on the same stage with other top Asian artists from Korea, Japan, and Singapore, including Hideki Saijo(西城秀樹) at the Asian Youth Pop Music Concert. She also held a concert in Taiwan in 1988, and became the first artist from Hong Kong to give a solo concert there. That same year, Mui was invited to sing at the 1988 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Seoul, Korea.
In early 90's, Mui briefly retired from stage (with her "Final Concert 91")pursuing an acting career for about 4 years long until she was back on stage again in 1995. Despite of acting was the focus, Mui did not stop releasing albums.
Over the years, Mui has released over 40 albums. Her best was her fourth album, released in 1986 and named "Bad Girl" (壞女孩) which had an eight platinum-selling album (about 400,000 pieces sold) even though the same-titled song was briefly banned from Radio for its raunchy lyrics. She was also the first female artist to break the record sales of 10 million in Hong Kong. She is extremely well known throughout Chinese communities worldwide, especially in Grand China Area(including China Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc).
Mui's acting career was equally memorable. Her first bigger role won her a best supporting actress in Hong Kong Film Awards in 1985 for a Romantic comedy "Yuen Fan"(Fate, 緣份), starring Maggie Cheung and Leslie Cheung. Her breakthrough role in the art film "Yam Gee Kau (Rouge, 胭脂扣 1987)" earned her Best Actress at Asia-Pacific Film Festival Awards, Golden Horse Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards in 1988. Later, she gained some international attention starring in a series of blockbusters. With her strengths in acting, Mui graced in three movies against Chow Yun-Fat including The Better Tomorrow III(1989), in three Jackie Chan movies, four Stephen Chow movies, a Jet Li and two movies starring against Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung. Along with noticeable acting career, songs performed by her thrice won the Best Original Film Song at Hong Kong Film Awards( "胭脂扣" for1988, "似是故人來" for 1992 and "女人心" for 1994). Although later Mui was frequently nominated for various film awards, she settled with another two. On for Best Supporting Actress at Hong Kong Film Awards for Eighteen Springs(1997) and the other for Best Actress in July Rhapsody(2002) at Gold Deer Awards.
The "Anita Classics Moments Live" Concert, held from 6 November to 11 November, 2003 at Hong Kong Colosseum, was her sixth and last concert, in which her final symbolic act was to "marry the stage", which was accompanied by her classic hit "Sunset Melody" (夕陽之歌) as she exited the stage for the final time. Her very last song performed on stage was (珍惜再會時), a rendition of Manhattan's 'Let's Just Kiss And Say Goodbye'.
Mui announced in early September 2003 that she had cervical cancer and was undergoing treatment.
Despite of her strong wills to fight the cervical caner, Mui eventually lost her battle and died of respiratory complications at Hong Kong's Sanatorium Hospital on December 30, 2003 at 02:50 (local time). She was 40 and yet unmarried.
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