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6 things you didn’t know about Leslie Cheung

Karen Chan – Guest Blogger

Any self-proclaimed Cantopop fan worth his or her salt can definitely belt out a line or two from Leslie Cheung’s songs. Singer of countless hits such as ‘Monica’, ‘Big Heat’, ‘Wind Blows On’ and ‘Sleepless Night’ — all of which are still quoted today — Leslie is rightfully one of the ‘founding fathers of Cantopop’. An esteemed singer and venerable actor, nobody has been quite able to fill the void he’s left after his suicide on 1 April 2003.

So you know he sings and you know he acts. What else do you know about him? Here’s a list of trivia about Leslie:

1.He studied textile management at the University of Leeds.

Only for a year though, and then his father fell ill. He never went back to continue his studies after his father recovered. Incidentally, his father’s career was also related to the textiles industry – he was a well-known tailor who created suits for stars like William Holden, Marlon Brando and Cary Grant.

2.He once bought a bowl of fried rice for HKD 250,000.

In the name of charity, of course. An earthquake hit Taiwan in 1999, and many celebrities enthusiastically joined in the fund-raising efforts. The bowl of fried rice in question was cooked by Chan Po-Chu.

3.He was avid mahjong player.

So much so that he reputedly played mahjong for seven consecutive nights.

4.He performed in his first-ever solo concert in 1985.

Following the runaway success of the song ‘Monica’, he performed in a series of 10 concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum – breaking the record for the highest number of concerts for a debut artist at the time.

5.His name, Leslie, was inspired by his favourite movie.

Which was Gone With The Wind. His favourite actor in the movie was Leslie Howard, who played the gentle aristocrat Ashley Wilkes. His childhood name before Leslie was ‘Bobby Frankie’.

6.He ranked number 3 in CNN’s Icon Gallery (Music) in 2010.

He was the only Hong Kong singer to make the list. Other artists who made the top five included: Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Bob Marley.


Karen Chan is a local English copywriter who churns out social posts and taglines for a living. Inspired by her fellow copywriter, she has discovered the joy of working out, and is currently on a quest to live as healthily as her sweet tooth allows. In her spare time, she also loves trying new cafés and restaurants around the city.