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Singer Khoo: I won't let breast cancer get me down
by Gwendolyn Ng

Singer Simone Khoo, president of and resident female vocalist in a cappella oufit Vocaluptuous, may be battling breast cancer but she's not letting it get her down.

In fact, you'll hear 49-year-old Khoo giving her all tomorrow, when she and fellow Vocaluptuous members - Timothy Huang, Sam Kan, John Lee, Hairul Nizam and Gerald Tan - perform at the seventh Aka a cappella festival at the National University of Singapore.

The festival will also see home-grown group MiCappella performing here for the first time since their The Sing Off China second-place win.

Khoo was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in January, and went through chemotherapy. She is now undergoing radiotherapy.

She sounded upbeat over the phone in an interview, saying that plans for the future keep her going. How did you feel when you were diagnosed?

It was a bit of a shock, to say the least, for anyone who suddenly joins the (cancer) club.

But, once you are part of the "club", you realise that you are not alone.

How did you cope with hair loss during chemotherapy?

I had cut off my long hair, but it's still scary to see your hair fall out in clumps. So, I shaved my head.

My friends, god-daughter and my hairdresser all loaned me wigs. I have six wigs in different styles and colours - short, long, pink and blonde.

Why do you continue performing despite cancer treatment?

It didn't really occur to me to stop. It's good to have a project to focus on. You have less time to feel sorry for yourself.

What can audiences look forward to at Vocaluptuous' performance at Aka a cappella?

We will be performing at the Opening Gala Concert. We'll be doing some nice original arrangements.

There will be everything from rock and jazz to samba and disco.

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