Frances Yip

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Frances Yip
Chinese name葉麗儀 (traditional)
Chinese name叶丽仪 (simplified)
PinyinYè Lìyí (Mandarin)
Jyutpingjip6 lai6 ji4 (Cantonese)
Hong Kong
OriginHong Kong
Years active1969–present
Voice type(s)Coloratura Contralto
Associated actsCathy Sharon (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Children1 son (born 1970)
AncestryTaishan, Guangdong
MTV Asia Awards 2009 (commonly an Hong Kong)

Frances Yip Lai-yee (born 1947) is a Hong Kong English pop and Cantopop singer. She is best known for performing many of the theme songs for television series produced by TVB in the 1980s and early 1990s.


Born in 1947, Yip is of Hakka ancestry, and is the youngest of 5 siblings. She grew up in a rural area in Hong Kong, and studied in St. Clare's Girls' School, an English Catholic school.[1]

Her first singing job was in 1969 when she won a talent contest called Sharp's Night Four Lights Competition on Hong Kong television where she met the composer, Joseph Koo.[1] Koo used Yip to sing commercial jingles while she was working as a secretary in HSBC, one was the jingles was a song about savings account for HSBC.[1][2] Her first record, Bu Liao Qing (Love Without End) was recorded in the same year.[1]She recorded predominantly English covers of Mandarin songs and Mandarin songs then.[2]

In 1972, Yip and Joseph Koo went to Japan's World Singing gathering in Nippon Budokan. In 1973, Yip was working for Cathay Pacific as an Ambassador of Hong Kong under Hong Kong Tourism Board for a year, and her album, Discovery, was based on her experiences traveling.[3] Discovery was sung in nine different languages to represent the 9 major destinations for Cathay Pacific then, and the album inspired a London talent agent to find her.[3] She signed onto EMI records and lived in London for two years.[3]It was a worldwide contract, meaning she can have one English album released in 6 different languages in different areas of the world. Since then, she had renewed her two-year contract until now.

Yip hit international fame with her signature tune, The Bund from the TVB drama of the same title.[4] After she recorded The Bund, she returned to Hong Kong.[3]

In her 45-year career, Yip has released more than 80 albums,[1] mostly of songs in American English, Indonesian, Thai, Malay, Mexican Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog, Hong Kong Cantonese, and Taiwanese Mandarin. She has performed on television, and in films, concerts and cabarets in more than 30 countries on five continents.[1] Her linguistic skills, with unique interpretations of lyrics in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as several other Asian languages, have led to a fan base across a wide range of cultures and countries.

Yip has worked with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Macau Chinese Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Thammasat University Philharmonic Orchestra in Bangkok as well as large orchestras in Kuala Lumpur.

Yip achieved worldwide recognition when she was selected by the Hong Kong government to be a co-presenter at the British Farewell Ceremony to mark the transfer of sovereignty in Hong Kong. The event on June 30, 1997, was watched by a television audience estimated at 120 million, in more than 80 countries worldwide.[1]

In 2012, Yip recorded her first Christian album, Grace and Glory Psalm 84.[5]

Yip is fluent in Chinese (Hong Kong Cantonese and Taiwanese Mandarin) and English. She often spends time in Sydney where her son and grandchildren live.[1]

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, but was considered free of cancer in 2002.[1] To celebrate eight years of being cancer-free, in 2010, she held a charity concert in Kuala Lumpur to benefit cancer research and treatment.[6]

Since 2013, she and her husband have lived in the rural suburbs of Sydney, Australia with their son and grandson. They have Australian citizenship, and also own rental properties in England. She occasionally returns to Hong Kong to perform and make TV appearances.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yan, Seto Kit (25 September 2014). "Hong Kong Chanteuse Frances Yip Celebrates 45 Years in Showbiz". The Star. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b RTHK 香港電台 (2015-08-05), 我們都是這樣唱大的 II:《浪奔浪流》 葉麗儀, retrieved 2017-07-12
  3. ^ a b c d "Frances Yip is Still a Traditionalist at Heart". Asia One News. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  4. ^ Cheang, Michael (23 January 2015). "Celebrate CNY Eve With Legendary Hong Kong Divas". The Star. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ Chen, Vivian (13 December 2012). "Diva Frances Yip Releases First Christian Album". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ Indramalar, S. (16 August 2010). "A New Life for Frances Yip". The Star. Retrieved 21 July 2015.

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