Kong Hee, the senior pastor and founder of Singapore's megachurch City Harvest Church, together with five other church leaders have been criminally charged for allegedly misusing church funds to further Ho Sun's career. Ho is the wife of Kong. So, how successful is Ho Sun as an artist?
Ho was a dedicated pastor until she was in her late twenties when she decided to pursue her dream. In 2001, She relocated to Taiwan, where she would do most of her recordings, and began her Mandarin-pop singing career the following year. In 2002, Ho released her first Mandopop album, Sun With Love, and went on to release more Mandarin albums till 2007. Though touted as albums of great successes, in reality, two of her Mandarin albums made losses of almost $1 million.
From 2003 to 2006, Ho's first five English-language releases reached the top of the dance club charts of Billboard Magazine and London-based Music Week, making her the first Asian artist to score successive No. 1 dance hits. In 2003, Ho broke into Hollywood with her debut American single "Where Did Love Go," produced by David Foster and Peter Rafelson. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play "Breakout" Chart in December 2003.
Subsequently, three of her singles, "One With You", "Without Love" and "Gone" reached No. 1 positions on the Billboard Dance Chart. "Ends Of The Earth" also joined the abovementioned three singles to reach No. 1 positions on the UK MusicWeek Chart. Since 2003, Ho has worked with a number of musicians such as Jimmy Harry, Diane Warren, Tony Moran, Chris Cox, Eric Kupper, Jason Nevins, Moto Blanco and the Underdogs.
Ho wanted to release an English album in tthe US, so she enlisted hip-hop star Wyclef Jean at one point. It led to the church's sham bond investments worth S$24 million in Xtron and another company, and four of the leaders then misused another S$26.6 million of church funds to try to cover up the first amount.
The album was slated for release in 2009 but in March and April that year, Ho was hospitalised and had two operations for abdominal adhesions. She recovered after the second operation and recorded her "Fancy Free" single in August or Sept 2009, which went on to top some dance charts in the US and UK. By May 2009, her album was substantially ready and was slated for release in August the following year.
Her US publicist had lined up many promotional activities, including television appearances, and wanted to pitch her for television programmes such as CSI and Dancing With The Stars. She was also to feature in magazines like Vogue and Marie Claire and major newspapers.But she was summoned back to Singapore for investigations in June 2010 and could not start her radio tour in the US. The album's failure to launch meant all the work and money invested went "down the drain" and church member Wahju Hanafi and his family had to make good the losses.
On Monday, 4 August 2014, it was revealed in court that City Harvest Church spent half a million dollars buying Sun Ho's unsold CDs numbering at least 32,000 copies.