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Hong Kong CantopopA Concise History$
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Yiu-Wai Chu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390571

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390571.001.0001

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An Age of Glory

An Age of Glory

The 1980s

(p.69) 4 An Age of Glory
Hong Kong Cantopop

Yiu-Wai Chu

Hong Kong University Press

Throughout the 1980s, superstars such as Leslie Cheung, Alan Tam, and Anita Mui surpassed their predecessors by developing Cantopop into a multi-media business that also straddled the borders of neighbouring regions. These superstars staged hundreds of concerts in the newly built Hong Kong Coliseum, with a seating capacity of more than 10,000; concerts thus became a highly profitable business. Cantopop successfully helped Hong Kong establish its leading role in the multi-billion dollar idol business of popular culture. Whilst Cantopop was orchestrating a spectacle of consumerism, it was not hopelessly standardised; although it was unabashedly commercial it was also vigorously hybridised. Not unlike Hong Kong, which assimilates different cultures, Cantopop’s renditions of Euro-American, Japanese, Mandarin, and even Korean songs made it a vibrant hybrid of different music cultures.

Keywords:   Cantopop megastars, Concert industry, Music awards, Cover versions, Diversity

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