Denise Ho

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Denise Ho
Hocc 2007 cropped.jpg
Denise Ho in 2007
Chinese name 何韻詩 (traditional)
Chinese name 何韵诗 (simplified)
Pinyin hé yùnshī (Mandarin)
Jyutping ho4 wan5 si1 (Cantonese)
Origin Hong Kong and Canada
Born (1977-05-10) 10 May 1977 (age 39)
Hong Kong
Other name(s) HOCC, CC,GOO
Occupation Vocalist, musician, actress, columnist, activist
Genre(s) Cantopop, Mandopop, alternative rock, symphonic rock, synthpop, soul, electronic rock
Instrument(s) Guitar, electronic keyboard, piano
Voice type(s) Contralto
Label(s) East Asia Music (2004–present)
EMI (2002–2004)
Capital Artists (1996–2001)
Years active 1996–present
Ancestry Shunde, Guangdong
Official website [1]

Denise Ho Wan-See,[1] also known as HOCC, is a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer.[2]



Ho was born in 1977 in Hong Kong and received her first primary education at the Diocesan Girls' Junior School. She emigrated with her family to Montreal, Quebec at the age of 11 where she studied and graduated High School (Grade 7 to 11) at Collège Jean de la Mennais, then went on to Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf for a Quebec College Diploma in Arts and Communications.[3] Her music career was launched in 1996, after she won the 15th New Talent Singing Awards in Hong Kong.[4] Her victory not only earned her a recording contract with Capital Artists, but also a chance to become the only female apprentice of her childhood idol, Anita Mui.[3] Her debut EP, first., came 5 years after her victory. During this time, she toured with Anita Mui as a background singer and hosted various TV shows produced by TVB.


After Capital Artists closed, Ho joined EMI in 2002. Although she was only with the company for a brief 2-year period, it was during this time that her musical talents flourished. She teamed up with Ying C Foo (英師傅) for her first EMI label release, hocc². The song "Angel Blues" (天使藍), composed by Ho herself, not only reached top spots on music charts, but according to Ho, it is also her "growing up" song.[2] Another single in the EP, "Rosemary" (露絲瑪莉), written by Wyman Wong, created considerable controversies at the time, as it touched on the topic of lesbianism. This song also marked the beginning of Ho's series of songs containing gay themes. Following the success of "Rosemary" (露絲瑪莉), Ho continued the story of the two lovers in "Goodbye... Rosemary" (再見…露絲瑪莉) in her first full-length album, free love.

The year 2002 proved to be a successful year for Ho. The two singles "Angel Blues" (天使藍) and "Goodbye... Rosemary" (再見…露絲瑪莉) won multiple music awards in Hong Kong, including CASH Golden Sail Music Awards (CASH金帆音樂獎) – "Best Vocal Performance by a Female Artist" for the song "Angel Blues". In the same year, Ho won the renowned "Female Singer Bronze Award" in the Commercial Radio Hong Kong Annual Awards (叱吒樂壇流行榜頒獎典禮).


In 2003, Ho did a "Music is Live" concert with Andy Hui, who is also an apprentice of Anita Mui. Their performance won praise from the critics, and Ho proved to the audience her abilities to perform live as a musician. Later that year, Ho released her second full-length album Dress Me Up!. She was the credited as the producer of the album, indicating that Ho has finally gained full control over her music. In September 2003, Ho's longtime mentor, Anita Mui announced she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Shortly after the announcement, Anita lost her battle against cervical cancer and died on 30 December 2003.

Between 2003 and 2004, Ho took on the role of hosting TVB's weekly live music show, Jade Solid Gold. In 2004, she appeared in Sammi Cheng's 2004 "Sammi vs. Sammi" concert as a cross-dressing cigarette-smoking admirer of Sammi Cheng. Ho's critically acclaimed performance in the short musical segment not only brought attention to the role she played, but also further established herself as a tremendous live performer.


In September 2004, Ho signed a contract with East Asia Music, the sister company of Amusic. The album Glamorous, which pays tribute to the superstars of the 80's, was released in January 2005. It also marked the start of a close collaboration between Ho and the Green Mountain Orchestra band. She was named the Orbis Student Ambassador 2005, and visited Hainan in July. In September 2005, Ho performed in the musical Butterfly Lovers (梁祝下世傳奇) as the leading actress, producer and musical director. Her album of the same name gave her three Number 1 singles – "Becoming a Butterfly" (化蝶), "Lawrence and Lewis" (勞斯.萊斯) and "Coffee in a Soda Bottle" (汽水樽裡的咖啡), which are all based on the story of the Butterfly Lovers, with possible homosexual themes. These singles helped her to receive the "Female Singer Silver Award" at the Commercial Radio Hong Kong Annual Awards 2005 (叱吒樂壇流行榜頒獎典禮).


Ho held her first Hong Kong Coliseum concert "Live in Unity 2006" on 26–28 October 2006. The concert was a great success and was positively received by the public. Ho decided to stage a second concert, "Live in Unity 2007", on 19–20 January 2007 following the original concert's success. Her single, We Stand As One, named after the slogan for the "Live in Unity" concerts, was released on 11 January 2007. Recordings of the concert were later released in February 2007. Ho then went on a worldwide tour, performing in Toronto, Canada and Atlantic City, US.

The significant public attention and positive reception to her music helped her garner the "Female Singer Gold Award" at the Commercial Radio Hong Kong Annual Awards 2006 (叱吒樂壇流行榜頒獎典禮). Ho also sang the Chinese version of Ayumi Hamasaki's song "Secret", known as "Wounded City Secret" (傷城秘密), for the 2006 movie Confession of Pain. She continued as the Orbis Student Ambassdor 2006 and visited Vietnam, and later started her own charitable fund.


In 2008, a new album Ten Days in the Madhouse was released. She produced this album from the viewpoint of society's outcasts and to raise awareness of mental health issues. She encouraged people to understand and find out more about people with mental illnesses and those who formerly suffered from mental illnesses, and care about their needs and situations. Ho encouraged communication between them and the public, ultimately, to achieve social harmony. "Ten Days in the Madhouse" was Ho's most ambitious project yet with the release of a documentary by Hong Kong director Yan Yan Mak (Butterfly) and an exhibition for charity, Ho showed that a multimedia project by a musician can be about something more important than clothing tie-ins.[5]

In 2009, she followed up her plan from the previous year and organised a free concert (a rarity in Hong Kong) called "Happiness is Free" in the outdoor courtyard in Diocesan Boys' School. She managed to book the place because her father was a teacher there. In June, she began shooting a new TVB sitcom titled O.L. Supreme with Liza Wang. In July, she released her new song "The Old Testament" (舊約) and announced that she would hold her "SUPERGOO" themed concerts would be held from 9–12 October that year. Following the concerts, Ho took on a role in the new stage comedy "Man and Woman, War and Peace" (男人與女人之戰爭與和平) directed by Edward Lam. The stage comedy was presented on 13–16 November at Kwai Tsing Theatre in Hong Kong.[6]

In 2010, she started filming a new movie Life Without Principle directed by Johnnie To. She also extended her presence in Taiwan by launching an intensive roadshow program with mini-concerts and interviews throughout Taiwan. In September her first Mandarin album Nameless Poem (無名.詩) was officially released in Taiwan and Hong Kong. After having spent most of her effort in Taiwan and China, her 'Homecoming' concerts were held in Hong Kong from 23–25 December 2010.

In 2011, Ho was nominated for the first time at the 22nd Annual Golden Melody Popular Music Awards as the Best Female Artist in Mandarin. Although she did not clinch the award in the end, she saw the nomination as great encouragement after having spent much effort and time in Taiwan the previous year. She initiated another round of live concerts in Taipei again in June that year.

Late 2012, she was nominated for the first time at the 49th Annual Golden Horse Awards as Best Actress for her performance in the movie Life Without Principle. In the end, Ho lost the award to Taiwan's Gwei Lun-Mei. Ho said she was actually very surprised and a little embarrassed when she received news that she had been nominated for this award, since her role was not really considered a main character in the film. Thus, she took the nomination as an encouragement to work harder on her next film.

In 2013, Ho continued with the tour of her play Awakening in Singapore and as well in many Chinese cities. The play was well received by the public, and achieved full house attendance in various venues. She also released her second Mandarin album, Coexistence, whose main theme is about embracing the differences in people and providing support for each other. The album achieved good sales in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and as well Taiwan, selling more than 30,000 copies in total. Ho is also holding her third major concert "Memento Live" at the Hong Kong Coliseum from 19–21 October. The concert theme will be memories, and the name "Memento" fits in perfectly because the English definition for it is "something that serves to remind." In the past, people had a set image of Ho, which was very tomboy-like. So this time, she wants to break all these stereotypes (especially after she came out of the closet) and show the audience a more versatile/multifaceted side of Denise Ho, show them her breakthroughs, and most importantly to show them how she has grown since her last Hong Kong Coliseum concert. As well, to go along with the concert's theme of memories, Ho will be releasing a cover album of her mentor Anita Mui's songs, called Recollections, for it has been ten years since she has died. This in itself is a breakthrough for Ho because she, in the past, had intentionally avoided singing her mentor's songs for she thought that Anita Mui's songs were for Anita only and nobody else should sing it. But now, she feels that it is time to let go of certain stubbornness and pay tribute to her beloved mentor.


Ho cites seeds of her activism were sown as a youth who lived through the 1995 Quebec referendum, which instilled in her a sense of social justice and belief in free speech.[3]

LGBT issues[edit]

In 2012, Ho announced her sexual orientation on stage at the "Dare to Love" event at the Hong Kong Pride Parade 2012.[7][8][9] She called herself a "tongzhi" (Cantonese:tongzi), a Chinese term for a homosexual.[7][10] Ho is the first mainstream female singer in Hong Kong to come out of the closet.[11] Since then, she has been involved in the Big Love Alliance (大愛同盟), a civil rights group striving equal rights for the LGBT community.

In 2014, Ho became a columnist for Apple Daily, and was also recognised for her activism for equal LGBT rights in Hong Kong.

Pro-democracy activism[edit]

Ho has been a high-profile supporter of the 2014 Hong Kong protests, and a protester herself. On the subject, she stated, "I saw the students rushing in, then the tear gas... There was no option but to stand up. [...] My favourite thing about Hong Kong is this moment in time – but it's also my least favorite. The most beautiful and the ugliest sides of Hong Kong are both happening right here. The Hong Kong spirit of helping each other out is something that was lost for a long time. But that's making a return. I don't like the greed, the selfishness, and the indifference some people feel towards what's happening in society."[4]

On 5 June 2016, French cosmetics brand Lancôme cancelled a promotional concert by Denise Ho that was scheduled to be held on 19 June in Sheung Wan.[12] This action was taken in response to a boycott campaign launched by the Communist Party-controlled Global Times, which denigrated her for supposedly supporting Hong Kong and Tibet independence.[12] Lancôme also added, in a Facebook post, that Ho is not a spokesperson for the brand.[13] The Tibet allegation appeared to have stemmed from Ho's May 2016 meeting with the Dalai Lama.[12] The cancellation drew a heavy backlash in Hong Kong.[12][13] Some Lancôme shops in Hong Kong were shut down during the protests.[14] Ho says that citizens' wish for self-rule ought not to be considered a crime.[3]



The following are songs which have not appeared on any of Denise Ho's albums:


  • 2003 – Music is Live 03 Andy Hui X Denise Ho (許志安 X 何韻詩 2人交叉組合拉闊03)
  • 2005 – Good Morning! Manhattan (早安啊! 曼克頓)
  • 2005 – Butterfly Lovers – The Musical (梁祝下世傳奇 舞台劇)
  • 2007 – HOCC Live in Unity 2006 – We Stand As One 演唱會 Live Karaoke


  • 2003 – Music is Live 03 Andy Hui X Denise Ho (許志安 X 何韻詩 2人交叉組合拉闊03)
  • 2005 – Butterfly Lovers – The Musical (梁祝下世傳奇 舞台劇)
  • 2007 – HOCC Live in Unity 2006 – We Stand As One 演唱會 Live Karaoke
  • 2007 – Small Matters
  • 2008 – The Decameron (十日談)
  • 2009 – "Happiness is Free" Live (快樂是免費的 音樂會)
  • 2009 – HOCC Supergoo Live 2009 Karaoke
  • 2010 – HOCC Homecoming Live 2010
  • 2012 – Awakening Documentary
  • 2014 – Memento Live 2013 Concert
  • 2015 – 十八種香港伊館站 REIMAGINE LIVE DVD



TV series[edit]


  • 2001 – This Summer This Moment (森美小儀歌劇團 – 十九樓1/2的夏天)
  • 2003 – A Lover's Discourse (戀人論語 – 您愛我妳不愛我)
  • 2003 – Camp David (森美小儀歌劇團 – 大衛營)
  • 2003 – Music is Live 03 Andy Hui X Denise Ho (許志安 X 何韻詩 2人交叉組合拉闊03)
  • 2004 – Good Morning! Manhattan (森美小儀歌劇團 – 早安啊! 曼克頓)
  • 2005 – Butterfly Lovers – The Musical (梁祝下世傳奇 舞台劇)
  • 2005 – Chivas 903 Wyman Wong A Man & A Pen Concert (芝華士903友情夾GIG 黃偉文 A Man & A Pen 音樂會)
  • 2006 – One Living Planet Music United Live 06 (世界地球日音樂會06)
  • 2006 – Moto 903 Music Playground – Anthony Wong X Denise Ho X Pixeltoy (Moto 903 新樂潮拜音樂會 第三潮 – 黃耀明 x 何韻詩 x Pixeltoy)
  • 2006 – (新城原聚力音樂會)
  • 2006 – HOCC Neway Clour Music Live 2006 (NCM!ive 向HOCC狂呼音樂會)
  • 2006 – Music is Live Golden Ten (拉闊黃金十年音樂會)
  • 2006 – Summer Sault charity variety show 06
  • 2006 – HOCC Live in Unity 2006 (何韻詩二零零六演唱會)
  • 2006 – World Children's Day Concert (麥當勞世界兒童日2006音樂會)
  • 2006 – Our Golden Hits Concert (我們的世紀金曲演唱會)
  • 2007 – HOCC Live in Unity 2007 (何韻詩二零零七演唱會)
  • 2007 – Metro Media HOCC & special guests (新城何韻詩好友音樂會)
  • 2007 – HOCC showcase 07 MUSIC MATTERS (25–26 Aug 7)
  • 2009 – Man and Woman, War and Peace (男人與女人之戰爭與和平)
  • 2010 – Riverside (Taipei 2010/7/21) 《公館河岸留言》(台北)
  • 2010 – Music is Live Anthony Wong x Denise Ho x Jan Lamb (黃耀明x何韻詩x林海峰 903拉闊音樂會)
  • 2011 to 2013 – Jia Baoyu/Awakening (賈寶玉)
  • 2013 – HOCC Coexistence Concerts 2013 (何韻詩共存演唱會2013)
  • 2013 – MEMENTO Live 2013
  • 2014 – Shirley Kwan & HOCC Concert 關淑怡和何韻詩H K演唱會 (Reno, NV, USA)
  • 2015 – 十八種香港 伊館站 REIMAGINE LIVE
  • 2015 – 十八種香港 Live@Hidden Agenda
  • 2015 – 十八種香港 Macpherson Woods 2015

Stage (as a guest)[edit]

  • 2000 – Music is Live Eason & Friends (Eason & Friends拉闊音樂會)
  • 2001 – Elva Hsiao Concert (蕭亞軒夏日的精彩演唱會)
  • 2002 – Metro Media Eason & Girlfriends Mini Concert (新城唱好Eason & Girlfriends音樂會)
  • 2004 – 903 Edison's Live (903陳冠希香港地夠膽死音樂會)
  • 2004 – Sammi vs Sammi 2004 Concert (Sammi VS Sammi 2004 演唱會)
  • 2005 – Wilfred Lau 903 Hit 4 on Fire 0813 Concert (劉浩龍 加州紅903熱火樂團音樂會)
  • 2005 – Reflection of Joey's Live 2005 (容祖兒演唱會2005)
  • 2007 – Show Mi Sammi Concert 2007 景福Show Mi 鄭秀文2007演唱會)
  • 2007 – Lokamochi Mamiba (森美小儀歌劇團)
  • 2008 – The 27th Hong Kong Film Awards Presentation Ceremony (第二十七屆香港電影金像獎頒獎典禮)
  • 2009 – Sammi Love Mi World Tour Hong Kong (Love Mi 鄭秀文世界巡回演唱會 香港站)
  • 2012 – Concert YY (黃偉文作品展)
  • 2013 – Jam Hsiao Wish Love Live (蕭敬騰演唱會 20130831)



See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Eason Chan 陳奕迅
New Talent Singing Awards winner
Succeeded by
Wilfred Lau 劉浩龍