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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
Hong Kong pop icon Tam dies
Roman Tam
Tam had a huge following around the world
Legendary Hong Kong pop star Roman Tam has died at the age of 52.

Mr Tam died in Hong Kong's Queen Mary Hospital with his family by his side, his record label said.


Roman was a superstar of our generation

Antony Leung, Hong Kong Financial Secretary
He had been suffering liver cancer for more than a year and was admitted to hospital on Monday after his condition worsened.

Mr Tam was a cultural icon to Chinese communities around the world and had a string of hits in a career spanning 30 years.

"Roman was a superstar of our generation," said Hong Kong Financial Secretary Antony Leung.

"We will miss him very much."

Singer-songwriter

A native of the Chinese province of Guangxi, Mr Tam came to Hong Kong in 1962.

After working as a tailor and a bank clerk, Mr Tam formed his band The Four Steps, making his musical debut in 1967.

As his popularity grew, Mr Tam attracted a huge following in the 1970s and 1980s, performing concerts in the UK and America at the height of his career.

A prolific singer-songwriter, Mr Tam produced 56 albums and recorded the theme songs to several popular television series.

His catchy, sentimental tunes about life's struggles struck a chord with ordinary Hong Kongers and he was credited with transforming the style of Canto-pop.

"His songs are very encouraging but we have very few new ones like his these days," said parliamentary deputy Choy So-yuk.

Mr Tam's career was not without controversy, however, after he performed in drag and posed nude for a magazine in 1983.

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