Ho Yeow Sun

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Ho Yeow Sun
Chinese name 何耀珊
Pinyin Hé Yàoshān (Mandarin)
Birth name Yeow-Sun Ho (何耀珊)
Born 2 June 1972
Singapore
Other name(s) Sun Ho, He Yao Sun, Sun
Occupation Singer
executive director,City Harvest Church
Genre(s) Pop music,Mandarin Pop
Label(s) Warner Music
Spouse(s) Kong Hee
Official Website www.heyaosun.com
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ho (何).

Reverend Ho Yeow Sun, better known as Sun Ho, is a Singaporean christian evangelist and co-founder of City Harvest Church. She studied at Anglican High School and Victoria Junior College.

Sun started as a pastor when she was 20 years old with her present husband Kong Hee. They both found the christian church which they named it City Harvest. She was a dedicated pastor until she was in her early thirties that she decided to pursue her dream. She began her Mandarin-pop singing career in 2002 and subsequently worked with producers and performers such as Wyclef Jean, Diane Warren, The Underdogs, David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager.[1]

Ho is one of the co-founders of City Harvest Church and its community services and is married to Kong Hee.[2] She resumed her role as the Executive Director of the church after two suspension orders against her were lifted in May 2013 by the Commissioner of Charities (COC).[3]

Life[edit]

Ho was born in Singapore 2 June 1972. She speaks English, Chinese Mandarin, Hakka and Hokkien.[4]

Musical career[edit]

Sun Ho led City Harvest Church's Creative Department from 1993[5] till 2003 when she resigned to pursue her singing career.[6] At the beginning of her pop career, she faced accusations that her dressing was inappropriate for her religious background,[7] and rumours of her using her church's support to aid in album sales.[8][9] After a series of successful concerts,[10][11] she had the opportunity[1] to further develop her career outside of Singapore, focusing on China, Taiwan and the US.[12] In 2010, Sun Ho was questioned by the Singapore Police when City Harvest Church came under investigation for alleged misuse of funds.[13]

From 2002 to 2007, Ho released a succession of five Mandarin pop albums that have either reached double or triple platinum status.[14][15] During this five-year period, Ho worked with composers such as Ma Yufen (马毓芬),[16] the late Ma Zhaojun (马兆骏)[17] F.I.R.,[18] Milk,[19] Arys Chien (深白色),[20] Lee Wei Song (李伟菘),[21] and Tan Han Jin (陈奂仁).[22] "Lonely Travel" was ranked No. 1 on nine top music charts. Her next album "Gain" released in 2006 reached No. 1 position on 10 top music charts.[14] In 2007, Ho released "Embrace" which hit No. 1 on 11 top music charts.[14][23] Her song, "Starting Point", was used as theme song for Singapore TV series "Turning Point" based on real-life inspirational stories, of which Ho was the host.[24]

From 2003 to 2006, Ho's first five English-language releases reached the top of the dance club charts of Billboard Magazine and London-based Music Week, making her the first Asian artist to score successive No. 1 dance hits.[1]

In 2003, Ho broke into Hollywood with her debut American single "Where Did Love Go," produced by David Foster and Peter Rafelson.[25] The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play "Breakout" Chart in December 2003.[26] Subsequently, three of her singles, "One With You", "Without Love" and "Gone" reached No. 1 positions on the Billboard Dance Chart. "Ends Of The Earth" also joined the abovementioned three singles to reach No. 1 positions on the UK MusicWeek Chart.[27][28][29][30][31] Since 2003, Ho has worked with a number of musicians such as Jimmy Harry, Diane Warren, Tony Moran, Chris Cox, Eric Kupper, Jason Nevins, Moto Blanco and the Underdogs.[1][32][33]

Ho became the first Asian pop singer to be invited to the Hollywood Film Festival in 2003. The following year, Ho became the only Chinese singer to be invited to the 46th Annual Grammy Awards 2004[1] and to be an award presenter at the American Dancestar Music Awards 2004.[34] In 2007, Ho attended the 2007 MTV Europe Awards, making her the first Asian pop singer to be invited to the awards ceremony. Sun also was invited to attend the Grammys in year 2007 and 2010.

In 2007, Ho collaborated with writer/producer and Fugees co-founder Wyclef Jean on the track "China Wine." The music video was directed by Wayne Isham and featured Tony Matterhorn and Elephant Man alongside Wyclef and Sun.[35] Wyclef was also co-writer and executive producer of Ho's English album, due for release in 2009.[1] In 2008, Ho was featured in an opening spot on Wyclef's American and Canadian concert tour, and invited to appear in his music video, "Fast Car", featuring his duet with Paul Simon.[36] She also performed "China Wine" with Wyclef at the SonyBMG Europe Music Awards After Party.

Songwriter Diane Warren also composed the song "因為有你 (Because You Were There)" for Sun's "Embrace" album.[37][38]

Ho recorded a song for Olivia Newton-John's benefit CD produced by Amy Sky, "Songs of Hope and Inspiration: Olivia and Friends”[39]

For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ho worked together with music composer David Foster & Carole Bayer Sager to submit a song composition titled "The Light."[40][41]

Ho released her US single "Fancy Free" on 14 September 2009 and the director for the music video was Joseph Kahn. Her English album "Cause A Ruckus" is due for release in late 2009.[42]

On Monday, 4 August 2014, it was revealed in court that City Harvest Church spent half a million dollars buying Sun Ho's unsold CDs numbering at least 32,000 copies.[43]

Humanitarian work[edit]

Ho worked as a counselor for troubled teens from 1996 to 2001 at City Harvest Social Services,[44] a social organisation which she has personally founded[34] Since establishing her career as a pop artist in April 2002, she continues to be involved in fundraising for various charitable organisations.[34] Her humanitarian team was involved in the Tsunami Disaster Relief Operations (2005), building of schools and medical clinics in Indonesia and China as well as orphanages in Sri Lanka.[45] In 2002, the Junior Chamber of Singapore awarded Ho with "The Outstanding Young Person Award."[31] Subsequently, Ho represented Singapore in the global TOYP ceremony and was awarded the "Outstanding Young Person of the World Award" in 2003.[31][46]

Ho has donated money from her royalties to build schools in Chongqing, Guizhou and Henan (China). She also sponsored a computer lab for the school in Liaoning, China. In 2007, she visited Henan Province where her donation of RMB350,000 (SGD70,000) paid for the rebuilding of a rundown school and its teaching facilities.[47]

In June 2007, Ho was appointed the Music Ambassador for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Songfest by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.[48][49]

In August 2007, Ho was named the Charity Ambassador of Love for Asia's first Special Olympic World Summer Games. At the Special Olympics Charity Gala held on 11 August 2007, Ho auctioned off two personal items to raise RMB600,000 (SGD120,000) for the Special Olympic Games. Together with Sun Nan, she also performed the Special Olympic official theme song "We Are Together."[50]

In February 2008, Ho sang the inaugural Mandarin rendition of the 100-year-old Olympic Hymn at the opening of the "Olympic Philately & Cultural Tour" launched by The Beijing Olympics. Held at the Royal Theatre within the Forbidden City, Ho was accompanied by a choir of overseas Chinese from 16 different nationalities.[51]

2008 Sichuan earthquake[edit]

In May 2008, Ho gave 500 tents to aid as temporary shelter for displaced families of the earthquake in Sichuan, China. Along with her personal donation, Ho also gathered some friends to raise RMB650,000 (SGD129,000) to buy stationery and educational supplies for the children.[52][53]

Ho performed on CCTV's charity program as part of the "Rebuilding The Homeland With One Heart" project to help the quake victims. Other activities of the project include inviting Sichuan artists to Singapore to hold an art exhibition which will showcase the courage of the quake survivors, as well as setting up an education and music foundation for the orphans and other victims of the earthquake.[53]

Her latest single, "Eternal Blossom" was broadcast over radio stations as a song of encouragement for all the earthquake victims.[54][55]

Other endeavours[edit]

In July 2005, Ho opened a streetwear boutique, SKIN Couture, at The Marina Square (Singapore), which carries apparels and accessories from American labels such as True Religion, Antik Denim, Bejeweled, etc.[38] She opened her second store on October 2006 at The Heeren Shops (Singapore) carrying Japanese labels like Queen of a Luxury Lover, Double Standard, Chelseagarb, etc.[56] Ho and her SKIN partners acquired exclusive distribution for Ed Hardy in Singapore, and opened its first flagship store in Asia at The Heeren Shops (Singapore) on 29 October 2005.[38]

Fund probe[edit]

On 31 May 2010, the Office of the Commissioner of Charities and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police began to call up more than 18 individuals linked to the City Harvest Church, including church founder Pastor Kong Hee and his wife, Sun Ho, to assist in investigations, after receiving complaints alleging the misuse of church funds.[13][57][58] The police was looking into financial transactions involving the possible falsification of accounts and criminal breach of trust amounting to millions of dollars which dated back a number of years. The authorities said that regular church activities and services for the congregation need not be disrupted during ongoing investigations, which is expected to take several months.[59][60][61]

In June 2012, Kong Hee and four other members of the church were arrested by the CAD. All five face multiple charges of criminal breach of trust, while three face multiple charges of falsifying accounts of the church.[62][63] On the same day as the initial arrests, the COC released a press statement detailing the results of its inquiry. It stated that there were misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity. There were irregularities of at least $23 million in the charity's funds, which were used to finance Sun Ho's secular music career to connect with people. Approximately S$3 million of donated and tithed money was used for Ho's expenditures. Eight members were suspended from their duties with the charity. The eight included the five arrested, Sun Ho and two others. The COC is considering further course of action under the Charities Act.[64][65] Ho herself has not been charged.[66]

Awards[edit]

Live Concerts[edit]

  • “Embrace 2007” Concert[67]
From April to July 2007, Sun performed in 4 concerts throughout Asia to a total audience of more than 13,000.[11]
  • "Gain 2006" Concert[11]
On 16 July 2006, Ho performed in a one-night concert held at the National Taipei University Stadium to an audience of close to 10,000 people.
  • KTU "Beatstock" Concert[68]
On 21 August 2005, Ho opened the second day of the Beatstock Dance Festival, organised by KTU, a radio station in New York with a listener-ship of over two million. Ho was the only Asian artist invited to perform at this event which saw over 16,000 people party over a two-day period.
  • "Lonely Travel 2003/2004" Concert[69]
From October 2003 to May 2004, Ho has performed in 80 concerts throughout Asia to a total audience of more than 280,000.[70][71]
  • "Sun With Love 2002" Concert[72]
Ho performed 30 concerts in Asia from April 2002 to December 2002 to a total audience of 118,000.[73] At the two-night "Sun With Love" concert in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, she sang to more than 21,000 fans.

Television performances and broadcasts[edit]

This is a summary of Television performances and broadcasts made by Ho Yeow Sun.[74]

  • HONG KONG (4 August 2007)
Ho's performance at the Hong Kong Metro Music Awards was broadcast on TVB Jade Station.
  • HONG KONG (1 July 2007)
Ho performed "live" at Hong Kong Chinese Pop Music Media Awards 2007 and broadcast nationwide.
  • SINGAPORE (12 September 2004)
Ho performed "live" at the President's Star Charity that was broadcast nationwide.[75]
  • SINGAPORE (1 May 2004)
Ho's three-hour "Lonely Travel Concert 2004" was nationally broadcast as part of Channel U's May Day Celebration.[75]
  • SINGAPORE (11 April 2004)
Ho performed "live" at the National Kidney Foundation charity show that was broadcast nationwide.[75]
  • SHANGHAI, CHINA (27 March 2004)
Ho performed "live" at the Shanghai International Fashion Show that was broadcast nationwide.[75]
  • SHANGHAI, CHINA (10 March 2004)
Ho's three-hour "Lonely Travel Concert 2004" was broadcast on Shanghai Eastern TV.[75]
  • HUBEI, CHINA (2 March 2004)
Ho performed in a three-hour solo TV show on HTV.[75]
  • BEIJING, CHINA (27 February 2004)
Ho's made-for-TV special was broadcast nationwide on China's CCTV, the largest TV network in Asia.[75]
  • JAKARTA, INDONESIA (26 December 2003)
Ho's one-hour performance at the Jakarta Tennis Stadium was broadcast on Metro TV nationwide.[75]
  • GENTING HIGHLANDS, MALAYSIA (15 November 2003)
Ho's performance at the Malaysia Hit Award was broadcast nationwide on NTV 7.[75]
  • TAIPEI, TAIWAN (24 October 2003)
Ho's one-hour "Sun With Love II Concert" was broadcast nationwide and internationally on Dong Feng TV.[75]
  • SINGAPORE (6 September 2003)
Ho's performance at the Singapore Hit Awards was broadcast on MediaCorp Channel 8.[75]
  • HONG KONG (3 August 2003)
Ho's performance at the Hong Kong Metro Music Awards was broadcast on TVB Jade Station.[75]

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External links[edit]