Vietnamese rocker and songwriter Tran Lap, leader of the country’s most famous rock band in the last two decades, died of cancer at the age of 42 on Thursday, his family said.
The Hanoi-based rocker passed away at his home at 12:45 pm, surrounded by his family and friends, after a four-month battle with rectal cancer, according to a statement released shortly after his death.
Tran Lap, who turned Buc Tuong (The Wall) from a student rock group in 1995 into Vietnam’s most successful band, announced on November 4, 2015 that he was diagnosed with rectal cancer, a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the rectum.
The rocker then wrote on his Facebook that he “received the tragic news calmly, though shocked,” saying “it is time for a real fight.”
He underwent a surgery three days later, after which he said that “[the operation] was a success” and “I am fine now.”
Tran Lap posted this photo on his Facebook when he announced his cancer...
...and this photo after his surgery.
As his condition worsened earlier this month, Lap was admitted to Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi, but he failed to continue his fight against the cancer.
He was discharged on Thursday morning and passed away at home a few hours later.
On January 17, his health status permitted Lap to lead a live concert in the Vietnamese capital to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his band. The event was also a chance for some 10,000 fans to show their love for Vietnam’s most famous rock band.
Tran Lap poses in Ho Chi Minh City in this last photo posted on his Facebook on February 26, 2016.
Tran Lap was born in 1974 in the northern province of Nam Dinh, some 90km southeast of Hanoi.
In 1995, he founded Buc Tuong, where he was both vocalist and composer. Lap was the author of numerous ballad rock songs, favored by generations of students in the last 20 years.
Buc Tuong released their debut album in 2001, and held the first-ever live concert a year later. Their fifth and last album so far was released in 2014, eight years after the band broke up.
Lap was chosen as one of the four judges of The Voice of Vietnam 2012, the inaugural season of the Vietnamese version of the Dutch-origin reality singing contest.
Buc Tuong band in their early days