15,000 mourned late Hong Kong lyricist Wong Jim
Updated: 2004-12-06 16:25
Some 35,000 people turned out in Hong Kong for a memorial to late lyricist, songrwriter and entertainer Wong Jim, the man behind some of the Chinese language's best-loved songs.
A handful of die-hard fans had camped out overnight to get into the free event at the 40,000-seater Hong Kong Stadium to mark the death last week of Wong, who succumbed to lung cancer after a four-year battle aged 64.
Late HK Chinese lauguage lyric talentJames Wong(1940-2004) [sohu]
Friends and family took to the stage to offer their tributes to the man dubbed the "King of Laughter" and led a singalong of a handful of his most popular songs which were played over loud-hailers.
Local politicians including lawmaker Martin Lee was among dignitaries who spoke at the event.
Three hours after the end of the memorial, TV images showed hundreds of fans still queuing to lay wreaths and flowers before a huge photo of the entertainer placed at one end of the stadium.
In a career that spanned almost 30 years, Wong established himself as the Chinese equivalent of Tim Rice, writing the lyrics to themes for major movies and TV shows and scoring evergreen chart hits such as "Below the Lion Rock" and "Shanghai Tang".
The charismatic Wong was also well known as a raconteur and was dubbed the "dirtiest mouth in Hong Kong" for his often bawdy jokes and outspoken interviews.
Nonetheless he commanded huge respect within Hong Kong showbusiness and was able to turn his talents to advertising, acting and directing. He also wrote columns for major magazines and newspapers in Hong Kong.