Leslie Cheung

The late Leslie Cheung (born Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing on September 12, 1956 in Kowloon, British Hong Kong) enjoyed a prolific 26-year career as an award-winning musician and actor. A charismatic and much-loved national treasure, Cheung was a trailblazer, lauded for his pioneering influence on the Cantopop scene of the 1980s. He released four gold-selling and five platinum-selling albums in the 1980s, including 1983's Wind Blows On, 1987's Summer Romance – which earned seven times platinum certification from the IFPI Hong Kong – and 1989's Final Encounter, which was intended to signal Cheung's departure from the music industry and his crossover into acting. However, after emigrating to Vancouver, Canada in 1989 (prior to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests), Cheung continued to release via the Cinepoly label, putting out Leslie '89, Salute and Final Encounter, all of which received platinum certifications from the IFPI Hong Kong. He carried on releasing music throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with his final album coming in 2003, Everything Follows the Wind. As an actor, Cheung's career-boosting moment came in 1986 via the crime-action movie A Better Tomorrow, and he won Best Actor at the 1994 Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for the comedy-drama Ashes of Time. Cheung announced his relationship with his childhood friend Daffy Tong Hok-tak during a concert in 1997, earning him the respect of LGBTQ+ communities in China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. His relationship with Daffy lasted for almost 20 years, until his death in 2003. Cheung died of suicide on April 1, 2003 aged 46 years old. In 2018, minor planet 55383 Cheungkwokwing was named in memory of Cheung.

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