Singapore

Radio veteran and music artiste Chris Ho dies of stomach cancer

He had been battling the disease for the past two months; tributes pour in from media industry

Radio veteran, singer, club DJ and writer Chris Ho died of stomach cancer yesterday morning.

A post on his Facebook page, as well as on radio station Mediacorp Gold 905's page, stated he had been battling cancer for the past two months.

Ho, also known as X'Ho, was a presenter on Gold 905's evening drive-time show, Homestretch With Chris Ho, but it is understood he had not been on air for several months.

He was famously secretive about his age, but according to close friends, he was in his 60s when he died.

Ho was influential in the Singapore music scene through his work as an artiste, a radio and club DJ and as a writer.

As a singer, he was the frontman of Transformer, and later Zircon Lounge, a 1980s band credited as one of the pioneers of the alternative music scene in Singapore. He has released several solo albums, including Singapore Uber Alles in 2011.

Ho also wrote about music and other subjects for publications such as The Straits Times and the now-defunct music magazine BigO.

His books include Skew Me, You Rebel Meh? (1998), in which he wrote about sociopolitical issues in Singapore.

In recognition of his contributions to the music industry, Ho was awarded the Patron of Music accolade by Compass (Composers and Authors Society of Singapore) in 2018.

TRIBUTES

His death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from friends, fans and colleagues in the media and entertainment industry, many of whom were not aware that he was ill.

Ho was an inspiration to many in the radio industry, said Bernard Lim, 53, program director of radio stations Kiss 92 and ONE FM 91.3.

"Chris Ho has always been a mentor and inspiration to me... It is truly shocking and sad to hear the news. We have lost a great radio voice in Singapore."

Radio DJ and singer John Klass, 46, was one of Ho's close friends who was with him when he died at National University Hospital.

"I've known Chris Ho since I joined Rediffusion in 1991. We shared a lot in common, from being radio hosts to songwriting and being recording artistes," said Klass, a presenter on radio station Class 95.

Singer and composer Dick Lee, 65, told The Straits Times he was "shocked" to hear about Ho's death as he did not know he was ill.

"When I met Chris as he was about to leave MDC (the Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company), I knew he was going to make an impact in some way, and he certainly fulfilled those expectations with a music career that stood out for its originality and daring."

Patrick Chng, 53, frontman of indie music pioneers The Oddfellows, called Ho a champion of the music scene in Singapore.

He said: "Chris was a trailblazer. Thanks to him, I discovered so much new music. He was also so supportive of many local acts including The Oddfellows... A true icon, he will be missed."

Ho is survived by his mother.

His wake is held at the Ruby Room at the Singapore Casket till Thursday, 11am to 11pm.

Death