04 November 2012 09:45 | By Denise Ngo
David Foster and Friends: retro, but not retired

HITMAN: David Foster and Friends inaugurated The Star PAC with nostalgic tunes from the '80s and '90s.

David Foster and Friends
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Text: Denise Ngo
VIdeos: Alan Sim
Photos: Flame Communications

Everyone born before the year 1990 knows how to sing “You’re the Inspiration,” “After the Love Has Gone,” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry". But not everyone knows that they were all composed by the same person. David Foster, who has won 16 Grammy Awards, usually remains in the shadows of those who perform his songs. But for two nights in Singapore, he enjoyed the spotlight as the headliner for HITMAN: David Foster and Friends, the inaugural act at the opening of the Star Performing Arts Centre on November 2nd.

The closest most Singaporeans can come to seeing their favourite oldies songs performed live is at a karaoke bar occupied with nostalgic patrons. So imagine what a treat it was to see David present his “Friends", Paul Young, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and Chaka Khan as a part of his line-up. Despite being unrecognizable without his ‘80s mullet, Paul Young roused the crowd into cheers while performing his career-making song, the song David wishes he’d written: “Every Time You Go Away.”

Babyface, who David introduced as his friendly competitor, busted out his guitar for '90s R&B staple, “When Can I See You Again,” followed by a cover of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” – which, of course, he wrote. As we hoped, he also played two classics from Boyz II Men, who he famously mentored at the height of their career (incidentally, the group also revived “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” during the ‘90s).

Finally, after much anticipation, Chaka Khan glided across the stage with her giant personality, giant voice, giant red hair, and giant oriental fan, which she waved about with flourish while bantering with David. Her set began with “Tell Me Something Good,” and “Through the Fire” (penned by David), followed by fan favourite “I’m Every Woman.”

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