Known as "The Chinese Madonna," Anita Mui was a sexy, sassy pop diva from 1980s Hong Kong who managed to keep herself new and fascinating and ever-so-slightly dangerous throughout her career. Unlike some of the other saccharine-sweet starlets that were pumped out by the Hong Kong entertainment factories, Anita was husky voiced and angular, her style ironic and slightly boyish. She was from the very start a very different type of singer, and her public loved her for it. Her outrageous performances were acclaimed, and no-one could equal her for showmanship.
Like most Hong Kong pop stars, Anita also made the move into film, and starred in a number of movies that were met with mixed acclaim. She was also a lifelong friend of Leslie Cheung, the beautiful gay Cantopop star and brilliant actor who tragically took his own life in 2003.
Anita smouldered on stage, with her deep voice and sexy, slightly aggressive demeanour. She also managed to become a star outside of Hong Kong, and was a huge success in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. She had the distinction of being banned in Mainland China, where her sexy performances were deemed pornographic.
I first became aware of Anita when I was in Taiwan in 1994, and she was a huge gay icon even then. Her massive pan-Asian hit 親密愛人 was a great favourite in the gay karaoke bars of Taipei, probably because of its slightly nostalgic feel reminiscent of old Shanghai jazz.
Sadly, Anita also died in 2003, 8 months after her beloved friend Leslie. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died quite quickly, at a tragically young age.
She left a fortune, and much of her money was used to establish charities.
She was a true Diva, and a simply marvellous woman.
So I'm sending out a little prayer in memory of Anita - we miss you, beautiful woman.