Dick Lee bigraphy, stories - Religion

Dick Lee : biography

24 August 1956 -

Richard "Dick" Lee Peng Boon (born 24 August 1956) is a Singaporean pop singer, composer, songwriter, and playwright. He is best known as a Singapore Idol judge, but often too as spokesperson for the New Asian generation.

He was born to a Peranakan father, Lee Kip Lee, (who writes for The Straits Times), and a Chinese mother, Elizabeth Tan. He was the eldest child in the family of five, with three brothers and a deceased sister. He received his early education at St. Michael's School (now SJI Junior) and his secondary education at St. Joseph's Institution. In 1992, he married jazz singer Jacintha Abisheganaden and divorced a few years later. He is a Roman Catholic.

Career

Early years

Dick Lee started his career 1971 when, at the age of fifteen, Dick participated in various talent contests with the group, Harmony, and Dick and the Gang (teaming with his siblings). His first album, Life Story, featuring his compositions, was released in 1974.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Dick championed the acceptance of Asian elements in pop music. His pioneering album, Life In The Lion City (1984), won acclaim for just that. But the album that shot him to regional prominence was his 1989 release, The Mad Chinaman. Dick has also won several awards in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

The 90s

In 1990 Dick moved to Japan where he continued to develop the new Asian identity through his solo work, as well as collaborations with top Asian artistes like Sandy Lam from Hong Kong and Japanese group Zoo. He has to date, written countless songs for the top singing talents in Asia.

Plays and musicals

Dick is also passionate about musicals. He has written many staged musicals including Beauty World (1988), Fried Rice Paradise (1991), Kampong Amber (1994), Sing to the Dawn (1996), Hotpants (1997), Jacky Cheung's acclaimed Snow.Wolf.Lake (1997). Nagraland (1992), Puteri Gunung Ledang (musical)(2006) and P Ramlee (musical) (2007) toured Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong in a sold-out season. Dick continues his love for theatre by being Associate Artiste Director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre, an appointment he has held since 1998.

For 2000, Dick composed the songs to the musical of Phua Chu Kang, a highly popular sitcom, for the Singapore President’s Star Charity Drive. Produced and broadcast by Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), now known as Mediacorp Studios (MCS), the musical raised over a record-setting $2 million dollars.

In 2002 he wrote and co-directed his first dance musical re:MIX for Singapore Repertory Theatre Young Company (SRT Young Company), as well as a specially commissioned work, Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress, one of the highlights of Singapore’s prestigious new cultural centre, The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay opening festival in October that year and a popular re-run in September 2003, and again in 2006. It was directed by Steven Dexter and will go on a world tour in 2008, first stop London's West End.

New millennium

A dream come true for Dick was to be appointed the Creative Director for Singapore’s 2002 National Day Parade. Coincidentally, his song We Will Get There was selected to be 2002 theme song for the parade. Top Singapore-born Chinese pop superstar Stefanie Sun performed the song and also included it in her own top-selling album. This was his second National Day theme song, having written Home, performed by Kit Chan, in 1998.

In 2003, he penned the English lyrics of Treasure The World, the image song of J-ASEAN campaign by The Japan Foundation. Artistes from Japan and 10 ASEAN countries recorded this song for the campaign in English and their respective native languages. In July 2003, the highest honour to Dick’s works came in the form of the prestigious Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize, an award by the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes committee to recognise an individual’s substantial contributions to the arts scene in Asia.

Lee wrote an autobiography, The Adventures of the Mad Chinaman, in 2004.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine