Wong Ka Kui

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Wong Ka Kui
Wong in 1993
Wong Ka Kui

(1962-06-10)10 June 1962
Died30 June 1993(1993-06-30) (aged 31)
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Burial placeTseung Kwan O Chinese Permanent Cemetery
Other namesKoma Wong
EducationSecondary 5, Baldwin College (博允英文中學)
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1983–1993
RelativesWong Ka Keung (brother)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese黃家駒
Simplified Chinese黄家驹
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar

Wong Ka Kui (Chinese: 黃家駒; Jyutping: Wong4 Gaa1-keoi1; 10 June 1962 – 30 June 1993) was a Hong Kong musician, singer and songwriter and the leader and co-founder of the rock band Beyond, where he was the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter. His younger brother Wong Ka Keung was the band's bass guitarist. Wong Ka Kui created hundreds of songs in his short life and was considered one of the iconic figures of Chinese rock music.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Wong grew up in So Uk Estate, Sham Shui Po.

When he was a junior in secondary school, he was introduced to European and American music by a schoolmate. It was then that he became a big fan of David Bowie, Pink Floyd and John Lennon, and later helped popularize them in Hong Kong.[2] Until the age of 15, he taught himself to play guitar on an acoustic guitar which was pre-owned by a neighbor. Thereafter he bought a second-hand electric guitar, a red maplewood Fender Stratocaster.

He was once bullied by a bandmate due to his poor guitar playing.

He once worked as an office assistant, mechanic, and scenery decorator for a TV company after his graduation from secondary school.[3] Wong was also a salesman in the same insurance company of drummer Yip Sai Wing.

The formation of Beyond[edit]

In 1981, Wong met drummer Yip Sai Wing through the boss from a piano company, and later teamed up with William Tang (鄧煒謙) on lead guitar and bassist Lee Wing Chiu (李榮潮). In 1983, the band entered a contest by "Guitar Magazine" under the band name "Beyond", created by Tang who made a vow to transcend themselves in pursuit of attainment. The band thereafter added Wong Ka Keung on bass in 1984 and Paul Wong on lead guitar in 1985. After that they held their first and only self-funded concert Waiting Forever (永遠等待演唱會) (1985).

In 1986 Lau Chi Yuen (劉志遠) joined the band as lead guitarist and keyboardist to record the band's first album Goodbye Ideals (再見理想) (1986) and EP Waiting Forever (永遠等待) (1986) without the assistance of outside record company. Until under the assistance of KINN's MUSIC LTD, operated by manager Leslie Chan (陳健添), Beyond's images and music became more accepted publicly. Beyond released the album Arabian Dancing Girls (亞拉伯跳舞女郎) (1987) and Modern Stage (現代舞台) (1988).

1988–1991: First success, Cinepoly Records and social concerns[edit]

In 1988, Beyond signed Cinepoly's contract with proprietor Chan Siu Po (陳少寶) and made the album Secret Police (秘密警察) (1988). They won awards in Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation by a hit from this album "The Grand Earth (大地)". In 1989, the band won awards by the song "Truly Love You" (真的愛你) from the album Beyond IV (1989) in Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation and both RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards.

In 1990, Beyond won awards by the song "Glorious Years (光輝歲月)" from the album Destiny Party (命運派對) (1990) in Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation. Wong also won "the Best Lyrics Award" individually rather than with the band.

From 1990 to 1991, Beyond paid more attention to the social issues and ongoing events around the world. The music and lyrics in the song "Glorious Years" (光輝歲月) was created during Wong's visit to New Guinea in 1990 and it is a tribute to former South-African president Nelson Mandela. In 1991, the band visited Kenya and witnessed the grinding poverty and misery there. Wong was again enlightened to write music and lyrics in the song "Amani" from the album Hesitation (猶豫). "Amani" means "peace" in Swahili and this song also included lyrics in Swahili, calling for peace and love. Upon their return, a number of songs were written addressing the serious problems of Africa. The Beyond Third World Foundation was created in the same year with profits from the redistribution of an early album.

Career in Japan[edit]

In the 1990s, Wong began to feel limited by the Hong Kong music industry; he once said that "there's only the entertainment industry but not a music industry in Hong Kong."[4] Beyond thus decided to focus on their career in Japan. In January 1992, the band signed a worldwide management contract with Japanese record label Amuse. During the year, they released an album called Continue the Revolution (繼續革命). In May 1993, Beyond returned to Hong Kong with a new album Rock and Roll (樂與怒). Wong's signature work "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies" (海闊天空) won the Best Original Song award in Hong Kong. Before they went back to Japan, Beyond held unplugged live concerts in Hong Kong and Malaysia, which were Beyond's last concert with Wong Ka Kui.


Beyond arrived in Japan in January 1993 to record new material and engage in media appearances. On 24 June 1993, the band appeared at a Tokyo Fuji Television game show called If Uchannan-chan is Going to Do It, We Have to Do It! (ウッチャンナンチャンのやるならやらねば!).[5] Fifteen minutes after the show commenced, an accident occurred. The stage floor was very narrow and slippery and Wong and host Teruyoshi Uchimura both slipped and fell 2.7 meters off the platform, live on air. Wong landed head first to the ground and immediately slipped into a coma when Uchimura landed on Wong's chest. Uchimura received no serious injury while Wong was rushed to the hospital.[6] Given the extreme level of trauma, doctors did not immediately perform any medical operations out of an abundance of caution.

On June 26, several music fans of Beyond gathered at the carpark lot of the Commercial Radio Hong Kong Station to pray for him. The next day, as doctors declared the case hopeless, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner arrived to treat Wong, who showed slight improvement afterwards.[5] Six days later, on June 30, 1993, at 16:15 at the Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, a Japanese representative announced Wong's death in a press conference.

Wong's body was transported to Hong Kong on July 3, with hundreds of people awaiting its arrival at Kai Tak Airport. His funeral procession took place two days later, bringing various major streets in Hong Kong to a standstill. Thousands of celebrities and fans attended his funeral service.[7] Wong was buried in Tseung Kwan O Chinese Permanent Cemetery, with his Martin D-28 acoustic guitar.[8] His tombstone is made of white marble and bears the image of a guitar.[9] Every year on his birthday and the anniversary of his passing, fans gather at his tomb to pay their respects.[10]


The song "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies" was written by Wong in 1993 and has been an anthem of Cantonese rock music and one of Beyond's signature songs. On April 12, 2022, it became the first Cantonese song that reach 100 million views on YouTube.[11]

During a concert of Beyond in 2003, Wong was resurrected in the form of a life-size video projection, alongside the remaining band members while they sang the song "Combat for Twenty Years" (抗戰二十年) in memory of him 10 years after his death.[12]

On November 8, 2005, Hong Kong post office released a stamp collection called "Hong Kong Pop Singers". Wong was one of the five singers who had their images printed on stamps.

In a vote conducted by Sina China in 2007, Wong was one of the Most Missed Celebrities along with Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui. Many tribute songs have been written and dedicated to him, including "The Champion of Love" by the rock band Bakufu-Slump, "Him" by the rock band Soler, "Wish You Well" by his brother Wong Ka Keung, "Paradise" by Beyond, "Combat for twenty years" by Beyond and "The Story" by Paul Wong.

In December 2007, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) released a documentary series called "A Legend Never Dies", featuring Roman Tam, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Teresa Teng, Wong Ka Kui and Danny Chan. The episode of Wong aired on TVB on January 26, 2008. The episode is entitled: Wong Ka Kui "The Spring Water of Hong Kong Music Industry."

The Asteroid 41742 Wongkakui was named in his memory on May 29, 2018.


Selected awards[edit]

  • 1989 – won "Song of the Year" award for the song "Truly Love You" at Hong Kong's Jade Solid Gold Awards



  1. ^ "香港電台電視節目資料庫". 9 November 2021. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2024.
  2. ^ Chow, Vivienne (24 June 2018). "The Story of Beyond: 25 years since Hong Kong's biggest rock band lost its frontman". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 15 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Wong Ka-Kui: The Champion of Love". The Online Magazine to HKVP Radio]
  4. ^ Wang, Joyu (1 October 2014). "The Story Behind the Hong Kong Protests' Unofficial Anthem". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  5. ^ a b McClure, Steve (10 July 1993). "Hong Kong Rocker Dies After TV Mishap". Billboard. p. 32. Retrieved 5 June 2021 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Overachievement-BEYOND KA-KUI's ACCIDENT Archived 21 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Chow, Vivienne (24 June 2018). "The story of Beyond: 25 years since Hong Kong's biggest rock band lost its frontman". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Beyond's Wong Ka-kui: 5 things you didn't know about the Hong Kong singer". South China Morning Post. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Bucketlist » Visit Wong Ka Kui's grave (Shasha Alsagoff)".
  10. ^ "Fans gathered to pay tribute to Wong Ka Kui". Yahoo News. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2024.
  11. ^ LOOI, SYLVIA (15 April 2022). "HK rock band Beyond's classic 'Hai Kuo Tian Kong' viewed 100 million times on YouTube, first Cantonese song to reach milestone (VIDEO)". Malay Mail. Retrieved 15 April 2024.
  12. ^ 20 Years Ago Today – TIME

External links[edit]