A big hon­our

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ -

CALL him Dr Chan. Can­topop star Ea­son Chan re­ceived an hon­orary de­gree in recog­ni­tion of his mu­sic achieve­ments from his alma mater Kingston Univer­sity in Lon­don last month.

Al­most 20 years af­ter his last visit to the univer­sity, he re­turned to be named an Hon­orary Doc­tor of Arts at a grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony for the Fac­ulty of Arts and So­cial Sciences at the town’s Rose The­atre.

A fron­trun­ner of the new gen­er­a­tion of Can­topop mu­sic, Chan left his ar­chi­tec­ture course at Kingston in 1995 to pur­sue a record­ing ca­reer af­ter win­ning a tal­ent awards show in his na­tive Hong Kong.

His sub­se­quent rise to star­dom has seen him carry off count­less global mu­sic awards and led to him be­ing ranked sixth in Forbes’ list of Top 100 celebri­ties in China last year.

Chan, who will re­turn in March to per­form at Lon­don’s O2 Arena, said: “When I first re­ceived the in­vi­ta­tion, I was flat­tered, but I didn’t think I de­served it as I hadn’t grad­u­ated from Kingston Univer­sity.

“But then I showed the in­vi­ta­tion let­ter to my fa­ther and he said he al­ways felt I’d owed him a de­gree in re­turn for the ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tion he had paid for. The more I thought about it, the more I re­alised it was a won­der­ful hon­our and bril­liant recog­ni­tion of my achieve­ment in mu­sic.”

On the trip with Chan, 39, was his wife Hi­lary Tsui, daugh­ter Con­stance, his fa­ther and friends in­clud­ing singers Ed­mund Le­ung, Wil­liam So and Josie Ho.

“I’m still striv­ing and I’m still learn­ing,” he told the grad­u­at­ing stu­dents. “In my opin­ion, suc­cess is hav­ing a kind and lov­ing heart. Noth­ing beats that. Fol­low­ing your dreams is im­por­tant, but fol­low­ing your heart is vi­tal.”

Vice-chan­cel­lor Julius Wein­berg said: “The world may have lost an ar­chi­tect, but it has gained a per­former of the high­est cal­i­bre.” – The Straits Times, Sin­ga­pore/Asia News Net­work

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