A big honour
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