Where did all the Dukes go? That’s our first thought when we looked through the names of the Top 40 Artistes vying to make the Top 10 Most Popular Male and Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes list at this year’s Star Awards. After Aloysius Pang’s tragic passing in January and Zhang Zhenhuan quitting showbiz last November, only six of the original Eight Dukes are still in contention. And of these six, only Desmond Tan and Romeo Tan made it into the Top 40 while Shane Pow, Ian Fang, Jeffrey Xu and Xu Bin are all missing from the list… for the second year running.

“Frankly I’m a bit disappointed but I guess, just try again next year lah,” says Shane. “I wasn’t really expecting anything ’cos it’s the same every year. I didn't get nominated last year as well, so it’s okay. I'm more excited about [my nomination for] Best Supporting Actor award. It’s something that I’ve been working hard for and I wish to congratulate everyone who got in the Top 40.”

As for the female stars, MIA is veteran actress Jin Yinji whose surprise entry into the Top 10 last year was the most heartwarming and tear-jerking moment of the night. So it’s pity we won’t get a chance to see Jin-jie deliver another heartfelt speech this year. But good news for Chen Xiuhuan, Lina Ng and Dawn Yeoh who all made triumphant comebacks. FYI: The last time Xiuhuan made the Top 10 was in, wait for it, 1994 — which just happened to be the inaugural Star Awards.

Speaking of the inaugural Star Awards, this year marks its 25th anniversary and to celebrate the occasion — did someone say, Silver Jubilee? — a new Star Awards theme song has been written. Composed by Singaporean pop whiz Jim Lim, the song is titled ‘Starlight’ and will be performed at this year’s awards by Zoe Tay, Chen Hanwei, Rebecca Lim and Desmond Tan.

But back to the important news at hand. Scroll down to see who made the Top 40 list. Starting with the ladies...

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