Dick Lee

Richard "Dick" Lee Peng Boon (born 24 August 1956) is a Singaporean singer-songwriter, playwright and film director.

Dick Lee
Richard Lee Peng Boon

24 August 1956 (age 62)
OccupationSinger, composer, songwriter, playwright, film director
Years active1971–present
Jacintha Abisheganaden
(m. 1992; div. 1997)
Parent(s)Lee Kip Lee (father)
Elizabeth Tan (mother)
Chinese name
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinLǐ Díwén
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutpinglei5 di2 man4
Musical career
GenresPop music, Cantopop, musical theatre

Early life

He was born to a Peranakan father, Lee Kip Lee, (who wrote for The Straits Times), and Elizabeth Tan. He was the eldest child in the family of five, with three brothers and a deceased younger sister. He received his early education at St. Michael's School (now SJI Junior) and his secondary education at St. Joseph's Institution.


Early years

Dick Lee started his career in 1971 when, at the age of fifteen, participated in various talent contests with the group, Harmony, and Dick and the Gang (teaming with his siblings). His first album, Life Story, featuring his compositions, was released in 1974.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Lee championed the acceptance of Asian elements in pop music. His pioneering album, Life in the Lion City (1984), won acclaim. But the album that shot him to regional prominence was his 1989 release, The Mad Chinaman. Lee has also won several awards in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. In 1983, he co-produced Zircon Lounge's debut album Regal Vigour.

The 90s

In 1990, Lee moved to Japan where he continued to develop the new Asian identity through his solo work, as well as collaborations with top Asian artistes such as Tracy Huang, Sandy Lam and Japanese group Zoo. He has to date, written numerous songs for top singing talents in Asia.

Transit Lounge, released by Sony, won both critical and general music lovers' praises during the same time when he was also the regional vice-president of Artiste and Repertoire for Sony Music Asia, based in Hong Kong from 1998 to 2000. Everything, released in November 2000 also by Sony Music, features a collection of his works written since the 1970s. In December 2001, Lee and his friend Leonard T contributed a song to a charity CD – Love Is The Answer For Kids With Aids, KK Outreach for Kids Fund. The song "It All Begins With Love" is aired frequently on Singapore's radio stations.

Plays and musicals

Lee has also written many staged musicals including Beauty World (1988), Fried Rice Paradise (1991), Kampong Amber (1994), Sing to the Dawn (1996), Hotpants (1997), Jacky Cheung's acclaimed Snow.Wolf.Lake (1997), Nagraland (1992), Puteri Gunung Ledang (2006) and P. Ramlee (2007). Since 1998, Lee has been the Associate Artiste Director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

In 2000, Lee composed the songs to the musical of Phua Chu Kang, a highly popular sitcom, for the Singapore President's Star Charity Drive. Produced and broadcast by Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), the musical raised over a record-setting $2 million.

In 2002, he wrote and co-directed his first dance musical re:MIX for Singapore Repertory Theatre Young Company (SRT Young Company), as well as a specially commissioned work, Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress, one of the highlights of Singapore's prestigious new cultural centre, The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay opening festival in October that year and a popular re-run in September 2003, and again in 2006. It was directed by Steven Dexter and will go on a world tour in 2008, with the first stop being London's West End.


Lee was appointed the Creative Director for Singapore's 2002 National Day Parade. Coincidentally, his song "We Will Get There" was selected to be 2002 theme song for the parade. Stefanie Sun performed the song and also included it in her own top-selling album. This was his second National Day theme song, having written "Home", performed by Kit Chan, in 1998.

In 2003, he penned the English lyrics of "Treasure The World", the image song of J-ASEAN campaign by The Japan Foundation. Artistes from Japan and 10 ASEAN countries recorded this song for the campaign in English and their respective native languages. In July 2003, Lee was awarded the Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize, an award by the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize committee to recognise an individual's substantial contributions to the arts scene in Asia.

Lee wrote an autobiography, The Adventures of the Mad Chinaman, in 2004.

In 2004, he joined Singapore Idol as a judge alongside fellow Singaporeans Florence Lian and Ken Lim. He also returned as a judge for Singapore Idol for the second and third seasons in 2006 and 2009 respectively.

On 17 and 18 December 2004, Lee held a 30th anniversary concert, titled Life Stories at the Kallang Theatre. Guest stars included Singapore Idol winner Taufik Batisah and runner up Sylvester Sim, Kumar, ex-wife Jacintha, Koh Chieng Mun, Hossan Leong, and others.

In 2009, he penned the theme song for the APEC Singapore 2009 summit which was performed in front of world leaders such as Barack Obama by Kit Chan during the Singapore Evening at the APEC Singapore 2009 summit on 14 November 2009 at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. He was also the director of the 30-minute musical extravaganza involving 376 Singaporean artistes in a concert extravaganza enhanced by multimedia projections.[1]

In 2010, Lee was the Creative Director of Singapore's 44th National Day Parade.

In 2011, Lee returned with The Adventures of the Mad China man, a concert, and Beauty Kings, an original comedy play.[2]

In 2012, Lee opened MAD (Modern Asian Diner) in Singapore. It is a 5-way partnership with 4 other homegrown local companies namely Tung Lok group, Bakerzin, Bar Stories and Top Wines. Lee also performed — and was a character — in TheatreWorksNational Broadway Company production for the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay's 10th anniversary celebrations.

In 2013, Lee returned to musicals by composing the 90-minute LightSeeker, which premiered at Resorts World Sentosa. He was also named a Steinway Artist and became Creative Director of the revamped Rediffusion Singapore radio station.[3]

In 2014, Lee held a concert, Dick Lee: Celebrating 40 Years In Music, at the Drama Centre.[4] In the same year, a revamped version of his 1997 musical Hotpants was restaged.[5] After his third stint as National Day Parade's Creative Director, Lee will return to helm 2015's golden jubilee show; and he has been tasked to write the next big National Day song.[6]

In 2015, Lee was the creative director of Singapore 50th National Day Parade, where he composed the NDP theme song "Our Singapore", performed by JJ Lin.

In 2017, Lee made his directorial debut with the autobiographical musical film, Wonder Boy.


Having studied fashion design at Harrow School of Art in London, Lee's interest in fashion began at 16 when he designed for his mother's boutique Midteen.

He designed his own labels for his boutique Ping Pong, as well as for Hemispheres, the first young designer store he set up with a partner.

Other forays in the fashion world include Display Director for Tangs departmental store in 1984, fashion editor of Female magazine in 1986 and one of the founders of the Society of Designing Arts, which spearheaded the introduction of Singapore designers to the local fashion market.[7]

From 1982 to 1990, Lee also ran his own event company Runway Productions, which specialised in fashion and tourism events. His company also had a hand in the creation of the Boom Boom Room, a cabaret featuring drag comedian Kumar.

Lee chaired the 2011 Audi Fashion Festival,[7] and in 2014, he was named brand ambassador for Audi Singapore.[8]

Personal life

In 1992, Lee married jazz singer Jacintha Abisheganaden and divorced in 1997. He is a Roman Catholic.


Year Title
1974 Life Story
1979 "Internationaland" (single)
1984 Life in the Lion City

Return To Beauty World

1985 Fried Rice Paradise
1986 The Songs From Long Ago
1988 Connections
1989 The Mad Chinaman

When I Play

1990 Asiamajor
1991 Orientalism
1993 The Year of The Monkey

Peace Life Love
Life Story
Hong Kong Rhapsody

1994 Compass
1995 Secret Island
1996 Singapop
1999 Transit Lounge
2000 Everything
2003 Rice
2004 Life (English compilation album)
2004 Stories (Chinese compilation album)
2010 Life Deluxe
2014 40th Anniversary Collection


Year Award
1995 The Perfect 10 Music Achievement Award
for outstanding contribution in the Singapore music scene

Hong Kong Film Award for Best Original Film Song for "The Search of My Life", the theme song for the film He's a Woman, She's a Man

1998 Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (Compass) Awards for Top Local English Pop Song and Top Local Composer of the Year[9]
1999 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Original Film Song for the theme song of City of Glass

Compass Awards for Artiste Excellence, Top Local Chinese Pop Song and Top Local Composer of the Year[9]

2000 Compass Award for Top Local Composer of the Year[9]
2001 Compass Award for Top Local Composer of the Year[9]
2003 Fukuoka Asian Culture Awards: Arts Award
2004 Compass Award for Best Malay Pop Song
2005 Cultural Medallion Award Winner
2006 Compass Award for Top Local Composer of the Year
2013 Compass Award for Top Local English Pop Song ("Home")[9]


  1. ^ Singapore Evening at The Esplanade – A showcase of Singapore’s unique culture and creative talents
  2. ^ Dick Lee's Fantastic Entertainment Archived 22 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Martin, Mayo (11 September 2013). "Dick Lee back in musical limelight with LightSeeker". MediaCorp. TODAY. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  4. ^ Cheong, Suk Wai (1 September 2014). "Concert review: Dick Lee takes jibes at Singapore but also reaffirms affection for country". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  5. ^ Ting, Lisabel (16 August 2014). "Theatre review: Dick Lee's revamped Hotpants is tighter and funkier". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  6. ^ Chow, Jermyn (11 August 2014). "Dick Lee to write 'the next Home' for S'pore's 50th NDP". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b Jufri, Zaki (19 November 2010). "Dick Lee to chair 2011 Audi Fashion Festival". SG Magazine Online. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  8. ^ Tay, Cheryl (14 February 2015). "Dick Lee: The music man's defining presence". The Straits Times. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e Shetty, Deepika (30 September 2013). "Dick Lee wins Compass prize for Home - 15 years after it was written". The Straits Times. Retrieved 7 March 2017.

External links

18th Hong Kong Film Awards

The 18th Hong Kong Awards ceremony, honored the best films of 1998 and took place on 25 April 1999 at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The ceremony was hosted by Carol Cheng, Cheung Tat Ming, Vincent Kok, Chin Ka Lok and Jerry Lamb, during the ceremony awards are presented in 17 categories.

APEC Singapore 2009

APEC Singapore 2009 was a series of political meetings held around Singapore between the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation during 2009. It culminated in the 17th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) held in Singapore from 14 to 15 November 2009.

Archie Smith (footballer, born 1872)

Arthur Robert Smith (16 February 1872 – 20 July 1961) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Collingwood in the years leading up to and following the formation of the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Smith, who was recruited from Richmond Football Club, was Collingwood's main target up forward during his career. Smith made his VFL debut in Collingwood's inaugural VFL game, against St Kilda Football Club in round one, 1897, and went on to top their goal-kicking in each of his first four seasons. Smith's tally of 31 goals in 1898 was enough to win the VFL Leading Goalkicker Medal. Although he wasn't the most prolific forward for Collingwood in 1901, his 30 goals helped his club reach the 1901 VFL Grand Final, where they lost to Essendon.His career total of 205 goals was a club record until broken by Dick Lee in 1910.

Chip Turner

Samuel Chipman "Chip" Turner (10 July 1893 – 13 June 1978) was an Australian rules footballer who played with South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

South Melbourne first tried to get a clearance for Turner, from Ballarat Football League side Golden Point, in 1915, but he didn't start at the club until 1918 due to the war. He arrived in time to enjoy South Melbourne's successful 1918 premiership campaign and as a full-back in the grand final kept Collingwood player Dick Lee to three goals.Turner had cemented his spot in the team after his strong debut season and played 17 of a possible 19 games in 1919. He spent three more years with South Melbourne before retiring.

City of Glass (film)

City of Glass (玻璃之城) is a 1998 Hong Kong romance film written and directed by Mabel Cheung and starring Leon Lai, Shu Qi, Nicola Cheung and Daniel Wu.

Coleman Medal

The Coleman Medal is awarded yearly to the Australian Football League player who kicks the most goals in home-and-away matches in that year. It is named after John Coleman, the former Essendon full forward whose career of 537 goals in 98 games was cut short by injury.

Dick Lee (basketball)

Richard "Dick" Lee was a public relations worker for the Anaheim Amigos of the American Basketball Association during the 1967-68 season. He eventually found himself on the Amigos' active playing roster as the team struggled with finances and injuries.

The Anaheim Amigos were one of the least successful teams in the ABA. Attendance at their games was rumored to dip into double-digits, and the team ultimately lost about $500,000 before being sold and moved to Los Angeles. Injuries struck the Amigos towards the end of the 1967-68 season, but the team was so strapped financially that they could not sign any established basketballers as replacements. In order to have a full roster, team owner Art Kim decided to activate PR man Dick Lee as a player. Though Lee was not expected to receive any playing time, the Amigos coach was forced to use him in two games because Lee's teammates were in foul trouble. Playing at the forward position, Lee grabbed one rebound and is credited with one assist. Lee played college basketball at the University of Washington.

Dick Lee (disambiguation)

Dick Lee (born 1956) is a Singaporean pop singer, composer and playwright.

Dick Lee may also refer to:

Dick Lee (footballer) (1889–1968), Australian rules footballer

Dick Lee (basketball), American basketball player and public relations worker

Dick Lee Ming-kwai (born 1950), former Commissioner of Hong Kong Police

Dick Lee (footballer)

Walter Henry "Dick" Lee (19 March 1889 – 11 September 1968) was an Australian rules footballer in the (then) Victorian Football League (VFL).

Lee was one of the first great forwards in Australian Football with an ability to win the ball on the ground or in the air.

In 1996 Lee was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame and two years later was named in the Collingwood team of the Century.

Ernie Lumsden

Ernest 'Ernie' Lumsden (27 June 1890 – 8 August 1982) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Collingwood and Essendon in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He was also known by his nickname 'Snowy' and was a cousin of teammate Dick Lee.A utility player, Lumsden started his Collingwood career in 1910 but struggled to hold his place in the side with just 15 games in three seasons. As a result, he crossed to Essendon in 1913 where he played mainly as a forward, topping their goalkicking in 1914 with 28 goals. He had more success in his second stint at Collingwood, getting regular games and playing in the club's 1917 and 1919 premierships, in a forward pocket.

Harold Robertson

Harold John Robertson (9 April 1895 – 19 March 1935) was an Australian rules footballer who played for South Melbourne in the VFL. His brother was Austin 'Ocker' Robertson.Full-forward Harold Robertson kicked 38 goals in 1919, which was enough to top South Melbourne's goalkicking and he set a VFL record in their Round 12, 1919 match against St Kilda at Lake Oval when he kicked 14 goals, half of them in the final quarter. It easily beat the previous league record of 11 goals shared by Dick Lee and Jim McShane, not bettered until 1929 when Gordon Coventry managed 16. Robertson's 14 goal haul was also the first time that someone from South Melbourne had kicked 10 or more in a match and it was not until 1933 that it occurred again, with Bob Pratt achieving a mark twice in a season and then going past Robertson's tally the following year when he kicked a bag of 15.

Robertson played in South Melbourne's 1918 premiership team, kicking two goals from a half forward flank in their five-point victory over Collingwood in the Grand Final.

Home (Kit Chan song)

Home (家), sung by Kit Chan, was composed by Dick Lee in 1998 as the first in a series of yearly songs commissioned for Singapore's National Day Parade, together with the other NDP song that year titled as City For The world. It has English and Chinese versions, both sung by Kit. In 2004, it was remixed for three child soloists, one of whom was young actress and singer Shanice Elizabeth Nathan. The children were accompanied by a girls' choir and the piece was reused as the National Day song for 2004. In 2010, Kit performed the song at the 2010 National Day Parade.In 2011, the music video of a new arrangement of the song was launched on Total Defence Day. Kit is the executive producer of the music video. The new arrangement was performed by 39 local singers (including Kit), accompanied by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Jacintha Abisheganaden

Jacintha Abisheganaden (born 3 October 1957), also known as Jacintha or Ja, is a Singaporean singer and actress. Jacintha studied at the National University of Singapore with a degree in arts, majoring in English literature. She is a founding member of performance company TheatreWorks.

List of Collingwood Football Club leading goalkickers

The following is a list of Collingwood Football Club leading goalkickers in each season of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League) and AFL Women's.

Roy Moore (Australian footballer)

Roy Moore (22 December 1914 – 4 June 1973) was an Australian rules footballer who played with South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL) during the 1930s. His father Herbert Moore played a game for South Melbourne in their premiership year of 1909.

Moore, a forward who liked the torpedo punt, came to South Melbourne from the Sandhurst Football Club in Bendigo. He kicked 52 goals in his debut VFL season. Two of those came in South Melbourne's losing 1935 VFL Grand Final team, where he replaced the injured Bob Pratt at full-forward, and he also kicked two goals in another losing Grand Final the following season.

Late in the 1937 season, against Fitzroy at Lake Oval, Moore bagged a career best nine goals, despite the entire South Melbourne team managing just ten in the entire game. Only Collingwood's Dick Lee has kicked that many goals in a game where only one other kicked a major score. A leg injury restricted his appearances towards the end of his career but Moore managed to finish as his club's top goal-kicker in 1938 with 34 goals. He represented the VFL on one occasion, in a game against the VFA.

Seventeen (1916 film)

Seventeen is a lost 1916 American comedy silent film directed by Robert G. Vignola and written by Booth Tarkington and Harvey F. Thew. It is based on Tarkington's novel of the same name which was published earlier the same year. The film stars Louise Huff, Jack Pickford, Winifred Allen, Madge Evans, Walter Hiers and Dick Lee. The film was released on November 2, 1916, by Paramount Pictures.

Singapore Idol

Singapore Idol is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by MediaCorp Studios and FremantleMedia Operations BV. It began airing on MediaCorp Channel 5 on 9 August 2004, as an addition to the Idol franchise based on the UK show Pop Idol, and became one of the most popular shows in the history of Singaporean television.

The concept of the series is to find new solo recording artists where the winner is determined by the viewers. Through telephone and SMS text voting, viewers have chosen as winners Taufik Batisah, Hady Mirza and Sezairi Sezali.

The series employs a panel of judges who critique the contestants' performances. The original four judges during season 1 were singer/songwriter Dick Lee, Florence Lian, record producer Ken Lim and singer Douglas Oliverio. In season 2, all the judges from season 1 returned to the show except for Oliverio who was replaced by singer Jacintha Abisheganaden. In season 3, Abisheganaden left the judging panel and the rest of the judges returned to the show. From the start, the show has been hosted by Singapore celebrity and funnyman Gurmit Singh. Radio deejay Daniel Ong was the co-host of the show for season 1 and 2, while season 2 winner Hady Mirza replaced him as the co-host during season 3.

Vic Thorp

Victor Charles Thorp (25 October 1890–1 October 1941) was an Australian rules footballer for the Richmond Football Club in the Victorian Football League between 1910 and 1925.

Nicknamed "Flippa", Thorp was the first true champion player to emerge at Richmond after their admission to the VFL in 1908. A natural defender who showed great judgement, superior ball skills and fierce concentration, Thorp was considered the best player in the game at his position, full back. His battles with Collingwood forward Dick Lee were a highlight of the era. Thorp was one of many great players who grew up in the shadow of the Tigers' Punt Road Oval and served the club loyally for many years, thus influencing the development of the parochial culture of the Richmond club.

Wonder Boy (film)

Wonder Boy (Chinese: 音为爱; pinyin: Yīnwèi Ài) is a 2017 Singaporean coming-of-age musical film directed by Dick Lee in his directorial debut, and co-directed by Daniel Yam. An autobiographical film, it stars Benjamin Kheng as a younger version of Lee.

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