There’s Life After Fame — Eason Chan

He’s performed to sell-out crowds in Hong Kong and thrilled fans at Bukit Jalil’s National Stadium in August, but Eason Chan’s personal life has been plagued with problems. Ahead of his upcoming concert in Singapore, he tells Sandra Leong of his determination to persevere.

This year has been a busy one for Hong Kong singer Eason Chan. The Cantopop prince released an EP called Life Continues, held nine critically acclaimed, sell-out concerts (entitled Get A Life) at the Hong Kong Coliseum and chalked up a slew of music awards.

But celebrity also comes at a price and the gossip rags devoted reams of newsprint to Chan’s personal life.

In March, the 32-year-old married his long-time girlfriend and former actress Hilary Tsui, with whom he has a two-year-old daughter, Constance.

Last month, his father Chan Kau Tai, a former building services engineer with the government’s Housing Department, was found guilty of nine charges of bribery.

Quizzed about his father during a one-on-one interview recently at M Hotel in Singapore, a visibly sombre Chan said: "We (his family) are coping okay, life goes on."

Ignoring a minder who stepped in with a curt, no personal questions, please, the singer continued: "It’s an experience, not one that I want everyone to have, but in life, you go through ups and downs and it’s getting better. Always look on the bright side of life, I say."

In the island republic to promote his upcoming concert at the Singapore Expo in January, he was candid about his personal life and even showed photographs of his daughter.

Clad in a T-shirt and jeans from Dior Homme, he also dispelled rumours that he and good friend Nicolas Tse had fallen out. Tabloid talk was that the pair’s friendship was affected after Chan’s wife leaked news of Tse’s secret marriage to Cecilia Cheung to the media.

Chan said: "We’re still very good friends." "This is exactly what we have to face every day in Hong Kong," he said in reference to the rumours.

Of Tse’s hints to reporters that Cheung may be pregnant, he added: "I don’t even know about this pregnancy thing yet. If he’s willing to tell me, he will."

He was happier talking about his music. In the works is a collaborative album with famed composers like Joseph Koo.

He admitted: "This year is a year that I felt a bit lost in my career." After Life Continues, an emotional project dedicated to his new family, he got stuck wondering what to do next.

For now, there is the January concert in Singapore his first gig here to look forward to. But fans hoping to see a repeat of Get A Life, a dramatic production with multiple set and costume changes, may have to adjust their expectations.

"Expect a band show," said Chan, explaining that there were logistical and budget constraints in bringing Get A Life to Singapore.

"The focus will be on the singing. I could jump around and sing, but if it was with no heart, everyone would feel it." The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Eason Chan performs at the Singapore Expo on Jan 6 at 8pm. Tickets at S$68 (RM156.40) to S$148 (RM340.40) are available from Sistic (02- 6348 5555).

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