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Singer in famed Vietnamese musical family dies in O.C.

December 19, 2012 |  7:31 pm

DP-121219-DuyQuangAs the eldest son, born to Vietnam's most legendary singing family, Duy Quang stepped lithely on stage and held his audience enthralled. His voice amplified the ballads of yesteryear, many from his father, composer Pham Duy, who knew how to tug at listeners' hearts when writing about folk life, the spiritual or the profane.

So when news spread Wednesday of Duy Quang's death, at age 62, after suffering from lung cancer, stores in Little Saigon shuffled their displays to highlight his music, spurred to fame by his father's words.

"He is beloved for what comes out of his mouth when he sings. His voice is velvet. It could still warm us," said Ky Phat, Duy Quang's friend for more than 40 years.

As editor of Orange County-based Tre magazine, devoted to youth and pop culture, he had met the singer in Saigon when he booked him for his club, Queen Bee.

In the last decade, Duy Quang operated his own club, having returned to Vietnam like his father, continuing a minstrel life. The singer, a father of three, flew back to Orange County recently to seek advanced treatment for his illness.

Industry peers began to visit him daily at Orange Coast Memorial Hospital in Fountain Valley. He died at a nearby medical facility.

They admired Duy Quang and his siblings - Duy Minh, Duy Hung, Duy Cuong and Thai Hien - who in 1969 launched a band, the Dreamers, which played at concert halls for decades, selling out shows worldwide.

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-- Anh Do

Twitter: @newsterrier

Photo: Duy Quang. Credit: Courtesy of Ky Phat.

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