Mary Ho began playing the guitar at 60

An 81-year-old Singaporean grandmother rock star will perform at the National Day Parade.

Mary Ho began playing the guitar at 60 and has now shredded all stereotypes of the elderly by becoming a true rock star and unlikely internet sensation.

The grandmother of seven will perform in front of a huge crowd at Singapore’s National Day Parade on 9 August, marking 52 years of the city-state’s independence.

She initially began teaching herself with an acoustic guitar. However, when her friend introduced her to Santana’s classic guitar track Samba Pa Ti, she sought professional tutoring to master the electric guitar.

“It was too difficult (to learn on my own) so I found a teacher,” she told AFP. “But the teacher looked at me and said‘Oh I’ve never taught anyone your age before’.”

Unable to read music, Ho practised up to three hours a day to master the Santa classic. Now, she has a collection of over 20 guitars, recorded her own album and often plays for charity gigs.

A video of Ho playing rock classic Need Your Love So Bad has more than 1.1 million views on YouTube.

Ho has since featured in various campaigns encouraging senior citizens in Singapore to stay active. When asked if she ever tires from her active lifestyle, Ho laughed. ”Maybe it’s just my nature, it’s the love of doing things, learning things… I don’t ever get tired,” she said.

Set to play to a crowd of 27,000 at the parade and sharing the stage with local stars, Ho understandably feels a little anxious. “Being my first time for such a large performance, I naturally feel very nervous,” she said.


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