Veteran Hong Kong musician and composer Michael Lai passed away yesterday (Dec 1) at the age of 73.
He was best known for composing numerous hit songs for movies and television dramas, including the theme song for the 1980 drama Fatherland, the 1987 movie Rouge, and the 1980 movie Gone With the Wind. Having worked together with Hong Kong singers Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung early on in their careers, Michael was hailed as the “Godfather of Music” in Hong Kong.
In May this year, he was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia, but he recovered soon after. However, his health took a turn for the worst a few months later. Yesterday, a post was made on Michael’s personal Facebook page by his assistant, confirming his death.
“Following the wishes of Boss Lai, we will not reveal any details about his illness, and we hope to be able to handle his after-death matters discreetly,” the post reads.
In 2017, Michael hosted the music programme 50 Golden Classics alongside Hong Kong actress-singer Karen Tong, Hong Kong singer Raymond Cho, as well as his good friend and former flame, Hong Kong actress Nancy Sit. He left the programme in March this year due to illness.
When contacted for a comment, Nancy shared that she had visited Michael in the hospital a day before his passing. She revealed that the 73-year-old passed away peacefully, surrounded by his close friends and loved ones.
“The whole night, everyone sang songs that Michael had composed, especially ‘Xin Gan Bao Bei’,” she said, referring to the 1988 track that was originally performed by Anita Mui. “Michael had requested for me to sing that song during his concert last year. Accompanied by a group of his musician buddies, we sang that song for him at his bedside. Although his eyes were closed, we could feel that he was listening to the song with delight.”