Busker Frankie Lee sings outside Hamer Hall at the Arts Center Melbourne

Maurice Wall, 60, from North Melbourne, who comes to town to watch Lee, said: “I love his voice and the music he plays. It feels good.

“It’s music from my time that I can relate to, like Neil Diamond’s Song sung blue and songs by Jimmy Barnes. And there are people around. One night I was dragged along to dance, which was good.”

Aaron Smith (center), his son Harrison (left) and a friend join street musician Frankie Lee.Credit:Jason South

Cathy Paleologoudias, 54, of Williamstown, said: “He’s great to dance to. Just the catchy tunes, and he gets everyone dancing. It makes the city more fun. This is the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen, but everyone loved it and had such a good time.”

Aaron Smith, an air-conditioning dealer from Sandringham, who sang for half an hour with his son Harrison, 19, said Lee was “amazing”.

“I think Melbourne needs that: to let people sing good songs that everyone can join in,” he said.

Eddie Mesalic, a visitor from Brisbane, said Lee was “fantastic”.

A woman watches from Princes Bridge as Frankie Lee sings outside Hamer Hall.

A woman watches from Princes Bridge as Frankie Lee sings outside Hamer Hall.Credit:Jason South

“He’s a great entertainer,” he said. “I love his energy and positivity. It’s great to see someone his age all dressed up and having fun, and the audience seems to love him.”

Lee, whose YouTube channel, Frankie33888, has thousands of subscribers, tailors his playlist to who’s in front of him.

It might be Taylor Swift for the young, Frank Sinatra for the older crowd and Jimmy Barnes’ working class man for the football crowd. He said fans gave him flowers, chocolate or wine. When he once sang the Bee Gees How can you heal a broken hearta woman hugged him.

“People have said I have a good voice,” Lee said. “They say they’re happy to see me sing. They want to see me more often.”

Lee has been dancing every weekend for the past three months.

Lee has been dancing every weekend for the past three months. Credit:Jason South

Lee, an immigrant from Hong Kong who retired as a toy importer 11 years ago, wants to do this for the rest of his life.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he drove around town about once a month, on Saturday and Sunday evenings. He had to take two years off due to COVID-19 restrictions, but for the past three months he has busted every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The increase came after a recent health crisis.


A year ago, after a routine checkup led to a CT scan that found a 90 percent blockage in three of the arteries in his heart, he underwent surgery to insert three stents.

“It changed my life,” he said. “I think you should enjoy more. And maybe bring more happiness to people.

“You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Everything can happen. Especially at my age.

“So I enjoy my life and singing is my best hobby. The best thing I do is sing. And seeing people happy and responding gives me satisfaction.”

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