Frances Yip Lai-yee (born 1947) is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer. She is best known for performing many of the theme songs for television series produced by TVB in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Born in 1947, Yip is of Hakka ancestry. She grew up in a rural area in Hong Kong.
Her first singing job was in 1969 when she won a talent contest on Hong Kong television where she met the composer, Joseph Koo. Koo used Yip to sing commercial jingles. Her first record, Bu Liao Qing (Love Without End) was recorded in the same year.
In 1973, Yip was working for Cathay Pacific and her album, Discovery, was based on her experiences traveling. Discovery was sung in nine different languages and the album inspired a London talent agent to find her. She signed onto EMI records and lived in London for two years.
Yip hit international fame with her signature tune, The Bund from the TVB drama of the same title. After she recorded The Bund, she returned to Hong Kong.
In her 45-year career, Yip has released more than 80 albums, mostly of songs in American English, Indonesian, Thai, Malay, Mexican Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog, Cantonese, and Mandarin. She has performed on television, and in films, concerts and cabarets in more than 30 countries on five continents. Her linguistic skills, with unique interpretations of lyrics in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as several other Asian languages, have led to a fan base across a wide range of cultures and countries.
Yip has worked with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Macau Chinese Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Thammasat University Philharmonic Orchestra in Bangkok as well as large orchestras in Kuala Lumpur.
Yip achieved worldwide recognition when she was selected by the Hong Kong government to be a co-presenter at the British Farewell Ceremony to mark the transfer of sovereignty in Hong Kong. The event on June 30, 1997, was watched by a television audience estimated at 120 million, in more than 80 countries around the globe.
In 2012, Yip recorded her first Christian album, Grace and Glory Psalm 84.
Yip is fluent in Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) and English. She often spends time in Sydney where her grandchildren live.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, but was considered free of cancer in 2002. To celebrate eight years of being cancer-free, in 2010, she held a charity concert in Kuala Lumpur to benefit cancer research and treatment.