Veteran entertainer Frankie Gao (高凌風) died of complications from leukemia last night at a New Taipei City (新北市) hospital. He was 63.
His assistant, surnamed Chao (趙), confirmed that Gao passed away at 7:50pm at the Taipei Tzu Chi General Hospital in Sindian District (新店).
Gao had a long career in show business, including more than three decades as a singer and host of variety programs on TV and live-stage performances.
During his heyday as a singer in 1980s, he became known as the “The Frog Prince” (青蛙王子), and was in high demand for performances at night clubs around the nation.
Among his most popular songs are Burn, Phoenix, Burn (燃燒吧!火鳥), Fire in the Winter (冬天裡的一把火) and Dear Heart (心上人).
Gao had an unorthodox stage style, including his fondness for talking about risque topics.
Gao was plagued by a number of controversies throughout his career, including three marriages that ended in divorce, heavy debts due to gambling, alleged involvement with gangsters and his condemnation of medical treatments for his leukemia by doctors last year.
He was scheduled to hold a concert in Taipei on March 8, and his friends said last night that the event would now become a memorial to pay tribute to him.
Show host Chang Fei (張菲), a good friend of Gao, said that he was in contact with veteran singer Yu Tian (余天) about the event and would discuss with other entertainers how to give their friend a well-deserved final tribute.