Veteran musician and Rediffusion deejay Paul Cheong dies, Latest Music News - The New Paper

Veteran musician and Rediffusion deejay Paul Cheong dies

Veteran local musician and former Rediffusion radio presenter Paul Cheong has died at the age of 75. The cause of his death, on July 6, is not known.

His younger brother, fashion designer Francis Cheong, announced the death on Facebook and Instagram that same day. An obituary also ran in The Straits Times on July 7.

Cheong wrote: “A resplendent luminary, a virtuosic spirit and a paragon of compassion, Paul Cheong, my esteemed brother, has relinquished his mortal coil, leaving an indelible legacy of love, wisdom, and fortitude.”

Paul Cheong worked as a presenter at Rediffusion – Singapore’s first cable-transmitted, commercial radio station – from 1971 to 1991.

He was known as Singapore’s answer to British musician Cliff Richard for his singing voice. In the 1970s, Cheong, known for his smooth voice, sported a shoulder-length perm and wore eyeliner.

Aside from hosting radio programmes, he was also a deejay at bygone clubs, such as Top Spin at the Singapore Tennis Centre and Copacabana at Orchard Towers. He was also the first English-language emcee at the now-defunct Golden Million nightclub at Peninsula Hotel.

He released two albums, in 1978 and 1979, covering hit songs of the time by artistes such as British rock star Rod Stewart and American band Bread.

While Cheong largely retired from the spotlight in his later years, he appeared in an interview on the local YouTube media outfit Singapore One in 2022 with fellow former radio host Belinda Yeo, also known as Belinda Sunshine, to reminisce about his younger days and musical journey.

In that clip, Cheong said his first album sold some 85,000 copies over 18 months. He also performed a rendition of Rod Stewart’s I Was Only Joking (1977) after the interview.

Tributes from local radio personalities and musicians have poured in for Paul Cheong.

Radio presenter The Flying Dutchman, whose real name is Mark van Cuylenburg, started his radio career with Rediffusion in the 1980s after being spotted by Cheong.

The 68-year-old wrote on Facebook: “RIP Paul Cheong. A true entertainer. Without you, I would never have started this career. You saw something in me and convinced me that the entertainment industry was where I was supposed to be.

“I thank you a million times for starting me on this journey which has been incredible.”

RIP Paul Cheong. A True Entertainer! Without you I would never have started this career. You saw something in me and...

Posted by Mark van Cuylenburg on Saturday, July 6, 2024

Jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro, 64, also paid tribute to Cheong, calling him a “truly multi-talented person”.

He added: “Paul was always very kind to me, tolerated my youthful arrogance with a knowing smile and showed great kindness to people in need.”


with a Heavy heart , I announce the passing of my Eldest brother - PAUL CHEONG : a music DJ, compere, singer, celebrity...

Posted by Francis Cheong on Friday, July 5, 2024

Poet and author Felix Cheong, 58, remembered the Rediffusion presenters of his youth.

He wrote on Facebook: “So sad that another one of the Rediffusion DJs I had grown up with has passed on. In my teenage years, my mum’s Rediffusion box was my jukebox, my voicebox, my entry point into music past and present.

“The DJs I listened to, day in, week out, were my tour guide, teacher and companion – Casey Kasem, Roger Kool and his wife, Lynette Loon, Juanita Melson, Nigel Mosbergen, Paul Cheong and, of course, Chris Ho.”