Joseph Koo Died at the Age of 91
Joseph Koo Died at the Age of 91

Joseph Koo Died at the Age of 91: What Caused His Death?

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Joseph Koo, who was one of the most famous music composers during the golden age of Hong Kong cinema died in Vancouver, Canada. He was 91.

Media outlets in his area claim that he passed away on January 3, 2023 however, they do not specify the circumstances surrounding his passing.

Koo Ka-Fai was born in Guangzhou, China, on February 23, 1931. In 1948, he moved to Hong Kong with his family, which was smart and musical.

Koo worked in Hong Kong’s film, TV, and pop music industries for most of his life. Even though he moved to Canada in the 1990s, he stayed connected to the Hong Kong business world.

As a child, Koo learned to play the piano and wrote songs for his big-time recording artist sister, Koo Mei. Later, he became a performer and led a band at places like Hong Kong’s Luk Kwok Hotel.

His first song for a movie was “Dream,” which his sister sang in the Shaw Brothers movie “Love Without End” in 1961. Due to the success of the movie and the song, Hong Kong movie mogul Sir Run Run Shaw paid for him to study music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, U.S.

After moving back to Hong Kong, Koo worked for both the Shaw Brothers and the rival Golden Harvest company, it was for his work on the 1965 Shaw Brothers musical comedy “The Dancing Millionairess” that he received a Golden Horse Award, the highest honor in Chinese language cinema. There, he wrote the music for two of Bruce Lee’s six movies, “Fist of Fury” and “Way of the Dragon.”

Koo was named TVB’s musical director in 1973, a job he held until he left the territory. He was a very talented and versatile musician. While he was there, he made the scores and theme songs for movies like “Shanghai Bund” in 1980 and the theme songs for the TV shows “The Legend of the Condor Heroes” and “Five Easy Pieces,” which are now considered all-time classics.

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He also wrote the theme song for the TV show “Below the Lion Rock,” which is still considered by many to be Hong Kong’s unofficial anthem. He also wrote the theme songs for the two “A Better Tomorrow” movies by John Woo (1986 and 1987).

Koo wrote songs for the films “Cut Sleeve Boys” by Ray Yeung in 2006 and “Ash Is Purest White” by Jia Zhangke in 2017. Many national and international awards have been given to Koo for his work and career.

In 1982, the British government gave Koo an MBE. Since 1997, when China took over Hong Kong, Koo was given the Bronze Bauhinia Star in 1988 and the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2015. The Hong Kong Arts Development Council also gave him the Life Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards in 2010.

“Joseph Koo’s works are evergreen pieces that have been a significant part of Hong Kong people’s lives over the years and have enriched the lives of Chinese people around the world. His spirit and the memorable touching melodies he created will be passed down from one generation to the next. We shall fondly remember him,” said Hong Kong’s Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung, in a statement on Wednesday.

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