Award-winning xinyao lyricist Jo Heng dies aged 59

Singaporean xinyao lyricist Jo Heng, or Xing Zeng Hua. (PHOTO: Facebook/Jo Heng)

SINGAPORE — Award-winning xinyao lyricist Jo Heng, who wrote songs for singers like Eric Moo and Jacky Cheung, has died from cancer at the age of 59.

Reports say Heng, who was also known as Xing Zeng Hua, suffered from lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. She died on Thursday morning (9 January).

Xinyao, which is Chinese for “Singapore songs”, is a uniquely Singaporean genre of Mandarin pop songs which was popular from the 1980s to 1990s.

Heng wrote the lyrics to the song You Are My Only One by award-winning Malaysian singer Eric Moo, also known as Wu Qi Xian. Moo was also part of the xinyao movement.

Here is Moo singing You Are My Only One:

Heng also wrote the words to Hong Kong pop superstar Jacky Cheung's 1995 song A Thousand Sad Reasons. The song won the Top Local Chinese Song at the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore awards in 1997.

This is a performance by Cheung of A Thousand Sad Reasons:

Singaporean musician Liang Wern Fook, who was part of the xinyao movement too, posted a tribute to Heng on social media on Thursday. He wrote “goodbye” in Chinese along with a photo of a poem, of which the first two lines were from You Are My Only One.