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Hit Man, with a little help from his friends
By Victoria Fei

CANADIAN "Hit Man" David Foster is in town this month for a concert accompanied by some big-name friends at Shanghai Grand Stage.

A singer-songwriter, Foster found fame producing Celine Dion, Cher, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Madonna and other divas. He also helped discover Michael Bublé and Josh Groban, and has picked up 16 Grammies in the process.

Fans in Shanghai can spend an evening with "David Foster and His Friends" next Tuesday, as part of an Asian tour, which started in Singapore.

The line-up of iconic artists includes eight-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan, renowned Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, young New Zealand classical crossover singing sensation Hayley Westenra and Dirty Loops from Sweden.

"It's a team designed for people who love music. I really hope the Shanghai audience will be on their feet singing along with us," says Foster.

"I enjoy making the audience a part of the scene, and hope to create something special in our Shanghai concert," he adds.

Foster is dubbed the "Hit Man" because of his success in writing and producing classic hits such as Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," Madonna's "You'll See" and Toni Braxton's "Un-break My Heart."

He is also an idol of Chinese singers such as Sandy Lam, Coco Lee, Han Hong and Khalil Fong.

"All my interest lies in discovering talented singers. What catches me most is his or her potential of being a good singer," he says.

"It doesn't mean that only skillful singers can win a contract. Singers like Britney Spears aren't the most skillful, but are well received," he says. "But to me, to be a skilled singer is the priority. Though, of course, it's also important what the person is like, and relations with their family."

According to Foster, signing a contract with a 14-year-old singer could often lead to problems dealing with family issues.

After producing Charice from the Philippines, Foster believes that next superstar will come from Asia. Asian artists recently made a breakthrough with South Korean pop star PSY's worldwide hit with "Gangnan Style."

Together with his group of acclaimed friends, Foster will also bring his larger-than-life personality and share his many decades of music making, in what seems sure to be a superb night of entertainment.

"David Foster and His Friends" concert

Date: November 13, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Stage, 1111 Caoxi Rd N.

Tel: 962-388, 6426-5678

English service: 5150-9199

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164