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 (1972-06-02) 2 June 1972 (age 43)
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 Taiwan
Spouse(s) Kong Hee
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.

Ho started as a pastor when she was 20 years old with her present husband, the convicted criminal[1] Kong Hee, founding City Harvest Church. She was a dedicated pastor before relocating to Taiwan, where she would do most of her recordings, in her late twenties to pursue her dream of becoming a Mandarin-pop singer. She subsequently worked with producers and performers such as Wyclef Jean, Diane Warren, The Underdogs, David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager.[2]

Ho is one of the co-founders of City Harvest Church and its community services and is married to Kong Hee.[3] She resumed her role as the Executive Director of the church in Singapore after two suspension orders against her were lifted in May 2013 by the Commissioner of Charities (COC).[4]

Musical career[edit]

Sun Ho led City Harvest Church's Creative Department from 1992[5] until early 2001, when she resigned and relocated to Taiwan, where she would do most of her recordings, 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[2] 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, based in Taiwan, released a succession of five Mandarin pop albums through Warner Music Taiwan, 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]

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.[2][32][33]

Humanitarian work[edit]

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.[34][35]

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.[36]

The City Harvest trial and other controversies[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 Ho and her husband Pastor Kong Hee, to assist in investigations, after receiving complaints alleging the misuse of church funds.[13][37][38] 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.[39][40][41]

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.[42][43] 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 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, Ho and two others. The COC is considering further course of action under the Charities Act.[44][45] Ho herself has not been charged.[46]

As the trial progressed, it was revealed in court that City Harvest Church spent $500,000 to purchase 32,000 of Ho's unsold albums.[47]

Kong Hee, along with five other board members of City Harvest Church, were found guilty of multiple charges of criminal breach of trust and falsifying of the church's financial accounts. Elaborating on the charges of criminal breach of trust, the court ruled that Ho's perceived success was inflated through heavy sponsorship from church members and supporters to prop up her Mandarin album sales and promote her career.

Among Ho's extravagant expenses, including living in an upscale Los Angeles house that costs $200,000 a month while she was working on her heavily-criticised Geisha and "vampy rapper-singer" production, sponsored from her husband and accomplices' misuse of $50 million of church funds, Ho engaged Grammy-winning producer Wyclef Jean for US$1.5 million with the hope of eventually selling 1.5 million copies of her album. It was this move that substantially increased the amount of money required to fund her album to $11 million. However, in his verdict, Judge See Kee Oon criticised that it was "no more than optimistic hope" for Kong and his accomplice to believe that her debut US album would even be able to sell more than 200,000 copies.

It was also later revealed that Xtron, the sham company set up to hold siphoned church funds for the purpose of promoting Ho's entertainment career, was operating in massive deficit while her Mandarin albums incurred losses.[48]



  1. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/city-harvest-trial-verdict-due-for-six-accused-church-leaders
  2. ^ a b c ""25 tastemakers in asia", Tiger Tales – Inflight Magazine of Tiger Airways". Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  3. ^ Lam Leng Hung, John; Chew, Eng An (5 November 2003). "A Pastor in a Broad Sense". Streats. 
  4. ^ "Ho Yeow Sun to resume executive role in City Harvest Church". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.religionnewsblog.com/2148/poon-says-sorry-pastor-asks-church-to-forgive
  6. ^ Personal communication from Rev. Derek Dunn, Pastor/Manager- HR, Office & Pastoral Administration Departments, City Harvest Church.
  7. ^ Seah, Lionel (8 November 2004). "Faith, hope and Sun". The Straits Times. 
  8. ^ Wong, Kim Hoh (16 November 2003). "Church or Hollywood?". The Straits Times. 
  9. ^ "SINGAPORE: Ho Yeow Sun can't seem to avoid making headlines, and not always in a good way". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  10. ^ ""何耀珊大碟叫好叫座 台北演唱会过千歌迷热捧", YAHOO". Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  11. ^ ""何耀珊档案", www.13520.org". Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "何耀珊:话题女皇". I-Weekly (Mar). 2008. p. 32. 
  13. ^ a b http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_541030.html
  14. ^ a b c ""何耀珊与奥莉维亚纽顿强合唱《Isn't It Amazing》", CE.CN". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  15. ^ ""Making The Brand: Sun Rising", Publication:Billboard". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  16. ^ ""何耀珊《拥抱》荣获台湾7大主流排行榜冠军", CN West". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  17. ^ ""马兆骏生前最后一首歌给何耀珊《拥抱》", 新华通讯社网络中心". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  18. ^ ""FIR友情跨刀创作 制作又献唱何耀珊专辑新歌",Yahoo.com.cn". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  19. ^ ""牛奶尬舞 辣媽電臀狂搖",自由電子報". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  20. ^ ""一杯随你调释"鸳鸯"何耀珊的音乐",中国风网". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  21. ^ ""依樣陽光的何耀珊《收穫》", 3C Music 中文唱片評論". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  22. ^ ""何耀珊《SunDay》", mojim!China Limited". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  23. ^ ""何耀珊上海召开《拥抱》视听会 讲述新专辑背后的故事", qkzz.net". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  24. ^ ""第3张专辑后 何耀珊要办巡回演唱会", Zaobao.com". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  25. ^ ""何耀珊杭州《孤单旅行》 自曝曾患忧郁症想自杀", SINA". Retrieved 30 May 2008. 
  26. ^ ""何耀珊捐百万酬劳建孤儿院 最希望与郑秀文合作", QQ.com". Retrieved 30 May 2008. 
  27. ^ ""Asian Pop Diva Sun Ho Set to Take America by Storm ", Asianbite". Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  28. ^ ""ARTIST – SUN", triple j Digital Music Service". Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  29. ^ ""Singer Sun Ho Is Working with the Best", CCTV International". Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  30. ^ ""Singapore-born singer Sun Ho is working with the best", Channelnewsasia.com". Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  31. ^ ""Singapore's Singing Sensation A Role Model For Young People", eMU News Online". Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  32. ^ ""Ends of the Earth",Discogs". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  33. ^ ""Without Love",Last.fm the social music revolution". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  34. ^ ""A Brief on the Olympic Songfest", 77th Street". Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  35. ^ ""Sun Ho – Beijing Olympics Music Ambassador", Virtualreview china: news and opinion". Retrieved 22 May 2008. [dead link]
  36. ^ ""Multinational choir sings Chinese Olympic Hymn", Chinadaily.com.cn". Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  37. ^ http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4121597
  38. ^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1063720/1/.html
  39. ^ http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC100601-0000111/City-Harvest-probe
  40. ^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1060093/1/.html
  41. ^ http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100531-219380.html
  42. ^ "CAD arrests 5 City Harvest Church members, including Pastor Kong Hee". Channel NewsAsia. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  43. ^ "City Harvest case: Allegedly total of $50m misused". The Straits Times. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  44. ^ "Commissioner of Charities suspends 8 members of City Harvest board". Today. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  45. ^ "Inquiry found misconduct and mismanagement in the City Harvest Church". 26 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  46. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/27/singapore-preacher-charged-wife-singing-career
  47. ^ "CHC spent half a million dollars buying Sun Ho's unsold CDs". Channel NewsAsia. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  48. ^ http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/idea-was-spread-gospel-pop-music

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