The title of heavenly king comes with great responsibility. Not only do you have to be an all-rounded entertainer, but you also have to project an unrivalled charisma and exemplify an incomparable sense of style. And Leon Lai checks off all the boxes with ease – and in style. His gentlemanly good looks, lithe figure and deep baritone voice propelled him to superstar status in the 90s. Since then, the divine debonair has maintained his presence within the entertainment industry by establishing his own record label, cultivating new artists and developing his acting career. This year, however, it’s all about the music:
Lai wants to spread a bit of love with the greatest hits that have defined his career. Ahead of his sold out Leon Random Love Songs Live in Studio City 2016 concert on 23-24 July, we take a retrospective look at the crooner’s most iconic songs to rediscover how and why we fell for him in the first place.
1. 願你今夜別離去 I Wish You Wouldn’t Leave Me Tonight (1992)
Leon Lai is channeling Tom Cruise and serving up some Top Gun air force realness in this rhythmic ballad. Just look at him pensively navigating a helicopter and riding around on a motorcycle as he reminisces about the one that got away. Even in distress, he rocks a pair of aviator sunglasses and aviator jacket like James Dean. ‘I wish you wouldn’t leave me tonight,’ he sings. We won’t Leon. We’ll be here for you.
2. 那有一天不想你 One Day I Won’t Think of You (1994)
This Spanish bolero inspired ballad really showcased Lai’s boy-next-door look and heroic charm. He sports that 90s middle part haircut and he’s wearing a handsome Mandarin collar jacket. We also absolutely love his look when he’s chasing a helicopter in a white sweater paired with a long trench coat. It’s no wonder that the then bombshell actress Eileen Tung is all into him in this MV.
3. 情深說話未曾講 Heartfelt Words Never Spoken (1996)
Family. Duty. Honour. The hallmarks of a good son. Unfortunately, Leon hasn’t been exercising filial piety lately and is full of regret for not taking the time to call his faraway parents. But who can blame him? He’s busy trying to make it in New York City and he looks great doing so in a black leather jacket. The story ends happily, though – he finally decides to call his parents, so all is forgiven.
4. Sugar in the Marmalade (1999)
The heavenly king isn’t just about heartbreak and sappy ballads. He’s also known for his sunny disposition and those can’t-get-out-of-your-head tunes. Here, he’s putting the sugar back into the marmalade with this catchy summer dance jam (no pun intended) and looking wet and sexy to boot while riding a wave runner in the crystal blue waters of Miami.
5. 全日愛 Love Every Moment of Today (2000)
From the Chinese national anthem to futuristic, techno dance beats – no other song quite characterises Lai’s versatility like this one does. There’s Mortal Kombat-inspired choreography as Lai tries to save the beautiful Shu Qi from his enemy in a very silky kimono top, which is, almost two decades later, currently very on trend with fashion houses like Gucci and Balmain. Leon Lai – timeless fashionista.