BackArts & Culture » Music & Art » Lệ Thu, the 'Golden Voice' of Nhạc Vàng, Passes Away Due to Covid-19

Lệ Thu, the 'Golden Voice' of Nhạc Vàng, Passes Away Due to Covid-19

Yet another icon of nhạc vàng has left us.

Tuoi Tre reports that veteran singer Lệ Thu passed away last Friday in the US at 78 years old. Her death was confirmed by her daughter and family friends. At the end of December last year, Vietnamese fans were heartbroken to learn that the songstress had tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the intensive care unit of Memorial Coast Hospital in California, where she resided.

Lệ Thu’s condition gradually worsened and she had to be put on assistive ventilation before succumbing to the disease last week. According to a family friend, a funeral for the singer will take place in a few weeks as local mortuary services in California are currently overwhelmed due to the pandemic.

Lệ Thu was born on July 16, 1943 as Bùi Thị Oanh. Originally from Hai Phong, she moved to the south in 1953 with her mother. Now recognized as one of the most revered singers from the 1960s, Lệ Thu’s start in music was pure serendipity. In 1959, during a visit to Bồng Lai Lounge when she was just 16, she was pressured by her friends to perform a few songs on stage. Mesmerized by the raw talent of the young girl, the lounge’s proprietor offered her a singing gig.

She took on the stage name Lệ Thu, which could be roughly translated as “autumn tears,” and quickly gained a place among the most highly sought-after stars of Saigon nightlife at the time. True to her name, Lệ Thu made a mark with a number of hits revolving around autumn and compositions by Trịnh Công Sơn.

Lệ Thu moved to the US in 1980 with her family and was active in the entertainment scene of the Vietnamese community abroad, appearing in concerts like Paris by Night.

Revisit the striking voice of Lệ Thu via a recording of ‘Đừng Bỏ Em Một Mình’ below:

[Photo via 2Dep]

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