Kuo Ching-fa (???), whose signature Taiwanese-language song "Hot Rice Dumpling" (???) has been popular for more than half a century, died of a heart attack on Saturday. He was 72.
Kuo, dubbed the "singing king of Formosa," was performing at an event to honor senior citizens supported by Fengshan District Office in Kaohsiung when he suddenly passed out on stage. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors failed to resuscitate him.
Kuo showed his talent at the young age of 15 when he took part in a singing contest. He released his first album at 17, and put out more than 100 albums during his lifetime.
His most memorable song was the Taiwanese language hit "Hot Rice Dumpling," which first came out in 1949, four years after the end of World War II.
The song, originally titled "Selling Rice Dumplings"(???), depicted the hard life of the people during the time, and was at one point banned by Taiwanese authorities.
But the song's popularity never faded, and it even became the theme song for Taiwan's baseball team at the Asian Games in Doha in 2006.
Perhaps boosted by the song, Taiwan won its first ever baseball gold medal at the Asian Games that year.
Other Kuo songs such as "The Guitar of the township of hot spring" (??????) and "Chains of Fate" (?????) also became entrenched in Taiwan's popular culture.
He was the first popular singer to perform at the National Concert Hall, and he never strayed far from the stage to the very last moments of his life.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel