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Six degrees

Mark Peters

 

LMF, the local underground hip hop ensemble, return to the stage with their foul mouths and funky beats on March 21. Emerging from the poverty of public housing in 1993, Lazy Mutha F**** (right) began as an alternative to Canto-pop and attempted to establish a unique cultural identity for the youth of Hong Kong by encouraging them to take pride in their rich Chinese ancestry. They did that by swearing and sticking up their middle fingers a lot. While on a six-year hiatus, the band members pursued solo careers; vocalists Kit and Phat formed the rap group 24HERBS while drummer Davy sat behind the kit at various concerts for the "King of Asian Pop", Eason Chan Yik-shun …

Described as the next "god of songs", Chan has always insisted that he has no wish to be just the successor to Jacky Cheung Hok-yau; he wants to build on his own name. During a concert in Hong Kong last year, Chan admitted that his erratic behaviour was due to him being "a little bipolar" and struggling with a phobia of large crowds. In 2007, Chan sparked controversy by calling out a fellow artist for possibly lip-synching at a Hong Kong concert, comments that enraged fans of the accused, Japanese singing sensation Ayumi Hamasaki …

In 2008, the "Empress of Pop", who has sold more than 50 million albums, revealed that she had gone deaf in her left ear. Thought to be afflicted with tinnitus from long-term exposure to loud noises, "Ayu" wrote on her blog that her ear "doesn't work anymore" and that an operation wouldn't help. Hamasaki's Japanese No1 hit single Rule/Sparkle was used as the theme song for the 2009 manga-based action movie Dragonball Evolution, for which the role of Lord Piccolo, the villain, was originally offered to American actor Ron Perlman …

The Golden Globe winner - who, to our knowledge, has never been called a god, emperor or king of anything - reprised his role as Hellboy in 2012, donning the iconic red make-up and horns, which took more than four hours to apply, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Perlman surprised and delighted a six-year-old boy undergoing treatment for leukaemia, whose wish had been to meet the devilish comic-book superhero. In 1993, Perlman starred alongside Gary Oldman and Lena Olin in the crime thriller Romeo is Bleeding, the movie's title taken from a song by beatnik growler Tom Waits …

With a persona of despair and a rasping drawl fashioned by booze, the once heavy-drinking Waits has been a teetotaller for more than 15 years. When asked on a talk show about his former habit, the bar-room balladeer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer replied with typical acerbic wit, "Well, I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." In the late 1970s, Waits often performed his song Small Change in a medley with Big Spender, one of the signature songs of theatrical Welsh singer Dame Shirley Veronica Bassey …

Following the tragic death from drowning of her 21-year-old daughter, Samantha, Bassey lost her voice at an Australian concert in 1985. The now 77-year-old pop diva, blaming herself for the possible suicide, told The Telegraph, "I walked out in front of 10,000 people in Sydney, opened my mouth to sing Goldfinger and nothing came out. I tried again and nothing. It was like a nightmare. I wanted the stage to open up." Bassey's theme song for the 1971 James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever was sampled and used on the track WTF, which featured on the album Finalazy, by indolent rappers LMF.

 

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