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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Passing of a Beautiful Voice: Minako Honda

I was a little too late. How could I not have known? Come November, Minako Honda would have passed away 2 years ago and I didn't even know.

I came across her music when my brother bought a few of her albums in the 80s:
Midnight Swing (1987)
Wild Cats (1988)

She sang mostly rock songs which had a sweet pop tinge to it. But I always thought that her voice didn't fit in. Most Japanese pop singers at that time had little squeeky voices which came out of their nostrils. Hers was different.

Back in the 80s, we never got the chance of seeing her perform. There was no such thing as the internet. There was no such thing as YouTube. The only thing we had at that time was the national broadcast RTM which was Relax-ing, Tidur-ing & Makan-ing only.

So I never knew she was one hell of a performer. Before you watch this, hold on tight to your horses.

Minus the poodle hairstyle, and the flashy costumes, and the strange dance moves, she's pure energy. And again, the voice seems pre-destined for something else greater.

And then in the 90s, she suddenly transformed herself and embarked on a new career on stage. She starred and sang in Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, The Fiddler on the Roof & The King & I.


And towards the later part of her life, she released several classical albums.


This is one of the last tributes to her. It shows her determination in life to sing, till the very last stages of her illness.


And on November 6th 2005, Minako Honda succumbed to an advanced stage of leukemia. She passed on at the age of 38.

It was the passing of a beautiful voice, which will forever transcend her time on this earth. She was the amazing grace.

Although I knew of it too late, it was not too late for me to share it.
And now you know.

Farewell Minako. Fare thee well.

The best article I could find about her so far is here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hallo everyone,

I live in Germany and was in the 80´s in Thailand and buy a tape from Minako. I love her songs and her voice and buy a lot of Video tapes from her concerts. For me she is the best Japanese singer ever.
Its very sad that Minako must die so early. I will never forget her ...

Greg Wee said...

Hi. Thanks for your commetns. I feel the same way too. Grew up with her music. But never knew her story when she wa still alive. She lives on!

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