Dawn Gan

Yan Liming (Chinese: 颜黎明; pinyin: Yán Límíng; 15 April 1963 – 22 September 2018), better known as Dawn Gan, was a Singaporean xinyao singer. She was one of the pioneer xinyao singers in Singapore.[1]

Early life and education

Gan was born on 15 April 1963[2] and studied at River Valley High School[3] and National Junior College.[4]


In 1984, Gan signed a five-year contract with Tony Wong Company as a singer,[4] one of the first two solo xinyao recording singers.[5]

Gan sang the theme song, Youth 1 2 3, for the 1986 Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) Channel 8's drama The Happy Trio.[3] In September 1986, Tony Wong Company would cease its operations, and had agreed to release Gan from her 5-year contract ahead of the clause which would abrogated the contract if the company did not release a new album for her within a year from her last release.[6] In March 1987, Gan signed with the record label, Ocean Butterflies Music.[7]

In 1988, Gan also made her acting debut in a Channel 8 drama, Song of Youth, about aspiring singers.[8][lower-alpha 1] In the drama, she played an eponymous named undergraduate student whose personality matches her real self and writes lyrics for other.[9] In promoting the drama, SBC held a concert which Gan also performed at.[2] She left record label Ocean Butterflies Music[10] and signed with recording company, WEA Records (now known as Warner Music Group).[8] Production of her albums was still done by Ocean Butterflies Music.[10]

From 2008, Gan had performed yearly at the annual Xinyao Reunion Concert series organised by TCR Music Station until 2018. In July 2014, she also performed at a xinyao concert held at Bras Basah Complex as part of the xinyao documentary film, The Songs We Sang.[11]

Personal life

Gan was married with two sons and a daughter and lived in Hong Kong with her family.[11]

Gan was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in 2013 and then early-stage breast cancer in 2014. She had five surgeries to remove four tumours and a lobe of her lung and were deemed tumour-free in 2016.[12] She died on 22 September 2018 in Hong Kong.[11]

Two concerts were held in memorial of Gan, one held at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on 10 October 2018 by TCR Music Station and another concert, Embracing Dawn – Farewell For Dawn Gan, at Capitol Theatre, on 15 October 2018 organised by Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group and local record label Ocean Butterflies Music.[13]


Year Title Native title Ref
1985 偶遇的女孩 [14]
1986 Youth 1 2 3 青春 1 2 3 [15]


  1. Both sources have contradictory names for the drama. Song of Youth is the correct translated name.


  1. "The emergence of xinyao – Singapore History". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  2. "新广演员变歌坛巨星". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. 15 April 1989. p. 17. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  3. Auto, Hermes (22 September 2018). "Xinyao singer Dawn Gan dies at the age of 55 | The Straits Times". www.straitstimes.com. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  4. Koh, Siew Tin (4 October 1985). "And now, the big time". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  5. "Page 4 Miscellaneous Column 2". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. 20 December 1985. p. 4. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  6. 东尼已答应放人颜黎明等待解约书 [Tony Wong Company agrees to release Yan Li-ming from her contract; awaits for letter of termination]. Lianhe Wanbao (in Chinese). 11 September 1986. p. 11.
  7. 颜黎明加盟“海蝶” [颜黎明加盟“海蝶” Yan Li-ming joins Ocean Butterflies Music]. Lianhe Wanbao. 7 March 1987. p. 16.
  8. Chiong, Vivien (16 January 1989). "Dawn breaks into a new image". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. p. 21. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  9. "Dawn gets sunny praises for debut". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. 10 April 1989. p. 18. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  10. "东方黎明 前程似锦 颜黎明加盟华纳". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. 10 January 1989. p. 14. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  11. Auto, Hermes (8 October 2018). "Family and friends say farewell to late xinyao singer Dawn Gan at Hong Kong memorial service | The Straits Times". www.straitstimes.com. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  12. "Xinyao singer Dawn Gan Liming now tumour-free". TODAY. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  13. "Over a thousand fans attend memorial concert for late Xinyao pioneer Dawn Gan on Sunday". AsiaOne. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  14. 颜黎明加盟东尼机构推出首张个人专辑——《偶遇的女孩》 [Yan Li-ming joins Tony Wong Company, release debut album]. Lianhe Zaobao. 7 October 1985.
  15. 颜黎明推出第二张专辑 电视剧主题曲—青春1,2,3 [Yan Li-ming released second album and television OST – Youth 1,2,3]. Shin Min Daily News. 13 February 1986. p. 18.

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