One of the “Four Heavenly Kings” who dominated Hong Kong’s music charts throughout the 90s, Jacky Cheung – who turns 59 on July 10 – is a favourite among those who love his rich baritone voice. His start in the music industry hadn’t been smooth. Cheung won the Amateur 18-Hong Kong District Singing Contest in 1984 and while his early albums spawned many timeless hits, his popularity was overshadowed by the kings and queens of Canto-pop such as Anita Mui , Leslie Cheung and Alan Tam. His big break came around 1990 when the Canto-pop giants such as Mui and Leslie Cheung took a step back from the limelight. Mui announced in 1989 that she will not be receiving any awards and Leslie Cheung took what ended up being a six-year hiatus in his career the same year. The entire 90s was the pinnacle of Cheung’s career and every album had multiple hits. Here are some of our favourites. 7 things you didn’t know about Leslie Cheung She is Afar One of the early works by lyricist Calvin Poon Yuen-leung, this song took a departure from romantic, poetic lyrics to a more storytelling approach. The lyrics describe the romance between a young man and a woman who had leukaemia and the aftermath of her passing and the words struck the heart strings of listeners in Hong Kong. For those who are fans of TVB from the 80s and 90s, you’ll spot a fresh-faced Ellen Chan Nga-lun starring in the music video. Crescent Moon Apart from this being a sweet ballad from early in Cheung’s career, it is also when he met his future wife and mother of his children, May Lo Mei-mei. We are witnessing history here guys! You Will Always Be My Love One of those classic hits of Cheung’s before he was crowned one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Canto-pop. This album went on to achieve the IFPI platinum disc award. 10 of Andy Lau’s best films Love You More Each Day Released in 1991, the “Love & Obsession” album was the first step in repackaging Cheung to idol status in 1991; this ballad was a huge hit. Breaking Up in the Rain Another of Cheung’s great ballads and one of the most popular songs from his “True Love Expression” album. Most importantly, this started the denim overalls trend in Hong Kong that is now curiously making a come back. Love Sparks “Marlboro Red Hot Hits” compilation was the equivalent of a Pepsi ad sponsorship in Hong Kong in the 90s, but instead of just one song the whole album was promoted. The marketing always involved an energetic song and this was one of Cheung’s earliest songs that involved a dance routine. The marketing worked and the song was an instant hit. You are the Best One of Cheung’s most popular ballads, this was the anchoring slow song on the popular “Love Sparks” album. Wishing to Follow You All My Life This was one of the biggest songs in Cheung’s career. Wishing to Follow You All My Life won a staggering 20 awards around the region. Oh, and the fact that it shows off his vibrato skills might have something to do with it. Yoshiko Yamaguchi In excruciating slow tempo, this song was a tribute to Yoshiko Yamaguchi, a Japanese songstress who posed as Chinese during the second world war. Many considered her a spy for the Japanese because of this. This ballad appeared in one of Cheung’s less popular albums, “Dreaming of You”, but the song became extremely popular after he performed it in his 1993 concert and remained on his set list for his tours ever since. 6 of Canto-pop star Sammi Cheng’s iconic moments Goodbye Kiss Riding on his success in the Southeast Asian and mainland markets, Cheung released this Mandarin album that wasn’t translated from Cantonese. This song had such a resonance that Danish soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock covered it in English in 2004. Born to be Wild – Legend of the Hungry Wolf Taking a break from ballads, Legend of the Hungry Wolf had a faster tempo and was one of the biggest karaoke hits in the 90s. Love is Forever Going from strength to strength with multiple albums, Cheung took on the challenge of producing the first ever Hong Kong modern musical, Snow. Wolf. Lake. to much success. Starring as the protagonist himself, the female leads were played by Sandy Lam and Kit Chan. 7 biggest snubs at the Hong Kong Film Awards ever Difficult Love A duet sung with Anita Mui a year before her death, this song was the theme song for the 2002 award-winning film July Rhapsody, starring both Cheung and Mui. The song and film resonated with many of his fans with themes of marriage, family and the stresses of living in a city like Hong Kong. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .