TAIPEI - Mandopop's most popular girl group S.H.E pulled out all the stops - and even a baby - at a free concert for fans on Tuesday (Sept 11) amid talk that it is disbanding.
Selina Jen, Hebe Tien and Ella Chen reprised their chart-topping songs before an estimated 50,000 fans at the outdoor plaza of the National Theatre and Concert Hall in Taipei.
Chen, 37, who became a mother last year, had a surprise for fans when she appeared with her son, nicknamed Strong Baby, during the song Genesis.
"Your son is stealing my microphone," teased Tien.
There were fears that the group would break up after news broke last month (August) that Chen is not renewing her contract with the group's record label, HIM International Music, and would instead be managed by a new company set up by her husband, Malaysian businessman Alvin Lai.
In recent years, Chen and her bandmates - Jen, 37, and Tien, 35 - have not performed together much as they pursue their own career.
At the concert, the trio were quick to assure fans that their bond was strong.
Said Chen: "The three of us really appreciate that we are close as sisters."
The concert was staged specially to mark the 17th anniversary of S.H.E's launch. On Sept 11, 2001, the trio released their first album, Girls' Dorm.
Fittingly on Tuesday, they took fans back to the start of their career, kicking off the two-hour show with Not Yet Lovers, a hit song from their debut album.
Fans sang along to other hit songs such as Tropical Rainforest, Persian Cat and Super Star.
Chen also entertained the crowd with her renditions of Singapore singer Stefanie Sun's Green Light and Canadian diva Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On.
While the group did not refer to Chen's plan to leave their record label, they ended their 17th birthday concert on an optimistic note.
"See you next year," they told their fans as they took a bow.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.