Death of Taiwanese singer caused by cardiorespiratory failure

10/09/2016 06:31 PM
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(Photo courtesy of Chengsheng Broadcasting Corp.)
(Photo courtesy of Chengsheng Broadcasting Corp.)

Kaohsiung, Oct. 9 (CNA) The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office has determined that cardiorespiratory failure led to the death of 72-year-old singer Kuo Ching-fa (郭金發), who collapsed on stage as he was singing his signature song on Saturday.

No outer injuries were found, and both prosecutors and the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Kuo said there was no need to dissect the body for a further examination, the prosecutors' office said Sunday.

Kuo's remains were returned to his family so that it can arrange a funeral for the legendary singer, the office said.

Kuo, dubbed the "singing king of Formosa," was singing his signature hit "Hot Rice Dumpling" (燒肉粽) at an event honoring senior citizens supported by the Fengshan District Office in Kaohsiung on Saturday when he suddenly passed out on stage.

He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors failed to resuscitate him. He was 72.

Kuo showed his talent at the young age of 15 when he took part in a singing contest. He released his first album at 17, and put out more than 100 albums during his lifetime.

His most memorable song was the Taiwanese-language song "Hot Rice Dumpling," which first came out in 1949, four years after the end of World War II.

The song, originally titled "Selling Rice Dumplings"(賣肉粽), gained popularity after Kuo first recorded his version of it in 1959, but it ended up being banned at one point by government authorities because it depicted the hard life of the people at the time.

But the song's popularity never faded, however, and it even became the theme song for Taiwan's baseball team at the Asian Games in Doha in 2006.

Perhaps boosted by the song, Taiwan won its first ever baseball gold medal at the Asian Games that year.

On Sunday, many politicians of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mourned the veteran singer's passing, including Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), former Premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu and Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (賴清德).

DPP lawmaker Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) said he will ask the Ministry of Culture to assess the possibility of setting up a memorial hall dedicated to Taiwanese songs that is named after Kuo.

(By Chen Chao-fu, Wen Kui-hsiang, Chang Jung-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/ls

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