Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Three PTS programs pay tribute to Frankie Gao

Staff writer, with CNA

Veteran entertainer Frankie Gao performs in an undated photograph. Gao died of leukemia on Monday.

Photo: CNA

The Public Television Service (PTS) yesterday began broadcasting three programs to commemorate the late Taiwanese singer-entertainer Frankie Gao (高凌風).

The programs feature a concert in Taipei by the singer, a PTS show in which Gao talked about his life and career, and a PTS recording of his music performances.

The concert was broadcast yesterday and will be broadcast again on Saturday; the interview will be broadcast on Sunday and the music performance today, tomorrow and on Saturday, PTS said.

Gao died of leukemia on Monday at the age of 63. He passed away at a hospital in New Taipei City (新北市)with his family at his bedside.

Dubbed the “Frog Prince” (青蛙王子), the singer was known for his flamboyant attire and energetic dance moves in the 1970s and 1980s. His hit songs included Burn, Phoenix, Burn (燃燒吧!火鳥) and Fire in the Winter (冬天裡的一把火).

Gao achieved local fame in the 1970s and became a household name in Taiwan after singing the theme song of the popular film Girlfriend (女朋友).

Gao turned to business in the 1980s at the height of his career, but the club that he opened was later forced to close down after a government crackdown on the sex industry.

He was also the target of a gangster shooting in the 1980s.

The controversial entertainer suffered a low period in his career that picked up again with his appearances on parody shows on TV from 2001, in which he impersonated well-known public figures.

In recent years, his appearances in the media were often related to quarrels with his ex-wife Chin Yu-chuang (金友莊), from whom he had a bitter divorce. Chin was Gao’s third wife.

Gao had been scheduled to hold a concert on March 8 to celebrate 40 years in the entertainment business.

Singer and former legislator Yu Tian (余天), a close friend of Gao, has expressed hope that a memorial concert will take place instead.

“How can someone so cocky be gone?” Yu said tearfully late on Monday night.

Taiwanese comedian Chu Ko Liang (豬哥亮) was also choked up, saying: “I respect him, he was brave... I am really sad,” after learning about the death of his long-time friend.

Chinese actress Zhao Wei (趙薇) and Taiwanese actress and TV hostess Lily Tien (田麗) were also among the celebrities who took to the Internet to mourn the death of the entertainer.

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