Sammi Cheng

Sammi Cheng

Sammi Cheng in 2007
Background information
Chinese name
Chinese name (traditional)
Chinese name (simplified)
Pinyin Zhèng Xiùwén (Mandarin)
Jyutping zeng6 sau3 man4 (Cantonese)
Birth name Cheng Sau Man
Origin Hong Kong
Born (1972-08-19) 19 August 1972[1]
Hong Kong[1]
Other name(s) Mi,
Occupation Singer, actress
Genre(s) Cantopop, Mandopop
Instrument(s) Singing
Voice type(s) Lyric Mezzo-soprano
Label(s) Capital Artists (1988–1995)
Warner Music Group (1995–2005)
East Asia Entertainment Ltd. (2005–Present)
Years active 1990–2005
Partner(s) Andy Hui
Ancestry Chenghai, Teochew, Guangdong, China[2][1]

Sammi Hui Cheng Sau-man (Chinese: 鄭秀文; born 19 August 1972) is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress. Sammi is known as one of the most prominent female singers in Hong Kong, with album sales of over 30 million copies throughout the Asia-pacific.[3] Most notably in the 1990s, she was dubbed by the media as the "Cantopop Queen" and diva (Chinese: 天后; literally: "Heavenly Queen"). Having success in over 25 years in entertainment industry, Sammi has also been regarded as one of the most popular Hong Kong artists known in Asia Pacific.

Sammi Cheng holds the record of having the most best sales albums and The Best Sales Local Female Vocalist awards in the Hong Kong Cantopop industry since her debut. From 1993 to 2010, Sammi Cheng won a total of 12 Top Female Vocalist awards,[4] 14 The Best Sales Local Female Vocalist Awards and has 7 albums that are The Best Sales Cantonese Release of year. She had also previously won the Most Popular Hong Kong Female Artist Award in annual Top Ten Jade Solid Gold Awards Presentation for three times, and in a year winning also the Gold Song Gold Award, the highest-ranked award which is the last to be presented at the ceremony. She also received Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award for Female Singer in 2011 Metro Radio Hits Awards. She had also won many top honors in various Chinese music awards held in Asia.

She produced over 80 studio albums, 10 live concert albums, over 130 singles (songs) with also over 30 cover songs, had received around 200 total awards from acting to singing, performed in over 25 films which many received box-office hit, starred in 7 TV dramas in early years, had held over 150 concerts up to date with over 12 concert tours. She holds the record for being the female artist with the most number of concert shows in Hong Kong Coliseum, at 81.

Early life

Sammi Cheng was previously named Twinnie Cheng.[5] Contrary to popular belief, "Twinnie" is not her birth name. The name came about when Sammi was still in school and her English Language teacher wanted everyone in class to have an English name. When Sammi turned to her sister for help, her sister came up with the name "Twinnie". The name was later changed to "Sammi" as "Sammi" sounds a little like "Sau Man". Cheng received her education at SKH St. Peter's Primary School and Tang Shiu Kin Victoria Government Secondary School.[2]

She has three sisters and one brother. Two of her sisters are twins.



Sammi Cheng entered the entertainment industry at the age of 16 through the New Talent Singing Awards in 1988.[6][7] Although she came in third in the competition, the sponsoring record company Capital Artists saw her potential and offered her a recording contract. Cheng at the time was still in school, and had to balance her studies with her rising singing career. Sammi released 3 full-length studio albums prior to leaving school: "Sammi", "Holiday" and "Never Too Late".[8] One of her first major award was the 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards, where she was recognized as a best new prospect.[9]

She capitalized on the attention received from her duet with artist Andy Hui, "Do you really have me in your heart?" (其實你心裡有沒有我), winning the 1993 Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards with that song.[10] Cheng then went through a transformation, dying her hair orange, changing her style.[8] Her 4th studio album "Sammi's Happy Maze" (鄭秀文的快樂迷宮) was also released, which include the hit single "Chotto Matte" (Chotto 等等).[8] Her new image fitted well with the new single, which was a remake of a Japanese song by Maki Ohguro. The success helped Sammi and boosted her singing career.[8] In 1994 she continued to capitalize on her wild, new image. Her first album of that year was "Big Revenge" (大報復). The album included the hit "Ding Dong" (叮噹), which became one of Sammi's signature songs. But with her new fame also came a lot of backlash from the media. Critics argued that Sammi purposely westernized her Cantonese. Instead of saying "Ding Dong", Sammi pronounced it as "Deen Dong".[8] Despite the criticism, the song was one of the most popular dance songs of that year. In 1994 the racy and controversial cut of "Ten Commandments" (十誡) was banned from the radio for a few days after its initial airplay of the track including tiny bits of what can be recognized as pornography soundtrack.[8] In 1995 Cheng disappeared from the public eye for nearly half a year.[8] Later that year, it was revealed that Warner Music Group had signed her. She let her hair color return to black and temporarily abandoned the wild image she used to have.[8]

In 1995 she released her first album "Missing you" (捨不得你). In 1996, the company decided it was time for Sammi to expand her market and fan base beyond Hong Kong. They released her first Mandarin album, "Worth It" (值得). The album was number one on the Taiwan IFPI chart for six consecutive weeks.[2] She won a number of awards, most notably she was voted back-to-back as the most popular female artist by TVB from 1996 to 1997. She went on to win the top female award again in 2001.[11] She would finish that year with her first concert titled "Sammi's X-Dimension Concert" (鄭秀文X空間演唱會). In 1998 she was also a featured star in a Heineken sponsored Music Horizons concert along with international singers such as Boyz II Men and Julian Lennon.[12] By the time Cheng was 24 years old, she had already released four greatest hits albums.[13]

In the 1990s, another female star, Faye Wong was one of her main rivals.[14] When they were on stage together, they would be cold to one another. The rivalry was confirmed in the 1999 TVB music award night. Both Wong and Cheng were arranged to sit next to each other backstage.[14] Cheng avoided Wong by repeatedly going off stage to fix her make-up. In addition, her fans were angry and hissed at Faye Wong when she went on stage to receive an award.[14] Wong herself has insisted that the rivalry wasn't true, and that she was friendly toward Cheng.[15]

In July 2004, she held 7 nights of "Sammi Vs Sammi" concerts in Hong Kong. She also broke the record as being the youngest female singer to hold more than 50 accumulated concert nights in the city.[2]

From December 2014 to January 2015, she held 12 nights of 'Touch Mi' concerts in Hong Kong Coliseum. She also invited heavyweight stars to be the guests of her concerts, including Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai, Ekin Cheng, Louis Koo, Nick Cheung and Eason Chan. Her 'Touch Mi' concert extends to World Tour in 2015 and 2016 with 4 shows at Genting (Malaysia), 3 shows at Macau (China), 3 shows at Singapore, 2 shows at Guangzhou (China), 1 show at Foshan (China), 1 show at Melbourne (Australia), 2 shows at Sydney (Australia), 1 show at Shenzhen (China), 1 show at London (United Kingdom). Her 'Touch Mi' World Tour concluded in Hong Kong with another 8 shows in September 2016, hence bringing her total number of shows for this world tour to 38. Some of her new guest stars in Touch Mi 2 Hong Kong shows are Dayo Wong, Dicky Cheung, Francis Ng and Alex To.

Beware of women (小心女人)
A 1990s cantopop instrument arrangement by Sammi Cheng.

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Cheng's acting career began with the TVB series Life of His Own in 1991.[16] A year later she began her film career with the movie Best of the Best (飛虎精英之人間有情) in 1992 with fellow cantopop star Jacky Cheung.[17] She would follow with another comedy film Feel 100% (百分百感覺) with Ekin Cheng and Gigi Leung.

In the late 1990s during the slump of the HK film industry she starred in the film Needing You... by director Johnnie To, co-starring Andy Lau and the movie Summer Holidiay in 2000. The films were hits at the box office hit in all South East Asia regions, and Hong Kong has cumulated nearly HK$60 million at the box office. The Needing You... VCD received a sold out record of more than 200,000 copies.[2] From this film, she was also a nominee for "Best Actress" as well as taking part in singing the "Best original film song" in the 2001 Hong Kong Film Award.[18] Following the success of those movies she starred in a few more including Wu Yen, Love on a Diet, Marry a Rich Man, My Left Eye Sees Ghosts and many more. At the 62nd Venice International Film Festival Cheng was one of the front runner for the "Best actress" award for the film Everlasting Regret in 2005. Other contenders for the award included Monica Bellucci, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lee Young-ae and Isabelle Huppert.[19]

Sammi had been nominated seven times in Hong Kong Film Awards for best actress, from her performance in 'Needing You' (2001), triple nominations in 2002 for 'Fighting for Love', 'Wu Yen' and 'Love on a Diet', in 2006 for 'Everlasting Regret', in 2012 for 'Romancing in Thin Air' and in 2013 for 'Blind Detective' but failed to win any so far. This made her to be the actress with most number of nominations as best actress in Hong Kong Film Awards' history but without any win. She had also received 3 past nominations (for films 'Needing You', 'My Left Eye Sees Ghost', and 'Blind Detective') in best actress at the Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, the most prestigious awards on Chinese language film. She had won Best Actress from Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards in 2002 for her titular role in 'Wu Yen'.

Most recently, she is nominated in various awards (Golden Horse Awards, Hong Kong Directors' Guild Awards, Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards, Hong Kong Film Awards) again from her role in 'Blind Detective' where she received critical praise for her performance as the female inspector and sidekick of the blind detective (portrayed by Andy Lau). However, she lost to the highly popular actress, Zhang Ziyi this time due to the latter's strong presence in the film 'The Grandmaster'. In Golden Horse Awards, the head of jury, famous Hollywood director Ang Lee revealed that the selection for the best actress was hard as it went through few rounds and that Sammi only lost to Zhang Zhiyi by few votes in the end.


Cheng changes her look and image for every album, which enables her to gain extensive attention and appreciation from the music professional and the public. Sammi is a trendsetter of hair-coloring and has been chosen to be one of the Top Ten fashionable celebrities in Hong Kong. She has been signed and endorsed by many companies. These endorsements include SK-II skin care and Mona Lisa bridal service.[20] Her first album with Warner Music Group, "Can't Give You Up" (捨不得你) released 3 hit singles, "Gentlemen, you are so fine today" (男仕今天你很好), "Can't Give You Up" (捨不得你) and "The Mourning Song for Love" (愛的輓歌). She was selected as the prominent celebrity for the endorsement of Panasonic using "Can't Give You Up" (捨不得你) as the theme song.[2]

In the many years of her active presence in entertainment industry, she had been involved in multiple advertisements for various brands ranging from sports shoes, watches, clothings, massager, skin-care products, magazine covers, etc.

Post-break career

Break (2005–2007)

In 2005, Cheng had only one feature film release and no music projects. She became a representative for Veeko and Titus, a fashion and watch brand in Hong Kong, respectively. She also began writing Saturday columns for Mingpao magazine.[13] In 2006, she released another greatest hits album, but there were no new tracks. The break was taken to recoup her energy from the entertainment industry.[13]

During a break lasting more than a 1,000 days, she reflected upon her life, and became a born-again Christian.[21]

Show Mi Tour

After taking a break for about 2 years, she re-invented herself again, and held her 6th concert in HK from 18 to 25 May 2007 titled "Show Mi"(Mi being the nickname of SamMI given by her fans). Due to the huge demand for tickets, the four performances was expanded to eight. She returned to entertain at the age of 34, and invited fellow star Andy Lau and Denise Ho to perform with her.[22] At the end of the first show, audience members continued to shout 'encore' for 15 minutes until Sammi came back out and sang "Our Theme Song" (我們的主題曲). The concert was expanded to the Show Mi Tour.

She then continues actively in Hong Kong entertainment industry after about two years of rest, marking a strong comeback with many more concerts held at Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, United States, Australia, etc. She also continued to work in films and had starred in various commercial advertisements.

Community work

In 2003 Cheng performed at the 1:99 Concert to raise funds for SARS affected families.[23] She had participated in the 2008 Chinese winter storm support effort where many artists including Andy Lau, Alan Tam, Kelly Chen, etc. recorded a song called "Warmth in the Snow" in support of those effected by the storm. She was also a participant of the Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign.[24] In April 2008, she participated in the activities of World Vision. She traveled to Laos with fellow singer Gigi Leung, also a World Vision volunteer, to experience for themselves the struggles of the local people and children.[25] They also visited the local children there to find out more on their situation where food and supplies are lacking. When Sammi returned to Hong Kong, she and Leung were invited to a radio program 903 to talk about the experience; she responded by announcing she had "adopted" 24 children.



Year Title Role
2017 The Wedding Game -
2015 Triumph in the Skies T.M.
2014 Temporary Family Charlotte
2013 Blind Detective Ho Ka-tung
2012 Romancing in Thin Air Sau
2008 Lady Cop & Papa Crook Molline Szeto
2005 Everlasting Regret Wang Qi-yao
2004Enter the Phoenix Cameo appearance
Magic Kitchen Yau
Yesterday Once More Mrs. To
2003Love for All Seasons Midget
Good Times, Bed Times Carrie
Infernal Affairs III Mary
2002Marry a Rich Man Ah Mi
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts May
Infernal Affairs Mary
2001Wu Yen Wu Yen
Fighting for Love Deborah
Love on a Diet Mini Mo
2000Needing You... Kinki
Summer Holiday Summer Koo
1998The Lucky Guy Candy
1997Killing Me Tenderly Cindy
1996Feel 100% Cherrie
Feel 100% ... Once More Yen
1992Best of the Best Heidi

Television drama

Year Title Role
1991 Life of His Own 浪族闊少爺 施敏
1992 File of Justice I 壹號皇庭 I Fong Ga Kay (方家琪)
1993 Return of the Vampire 大頭綠衣鬥疆屍 飄雪/飄紅/Kitty
1994 Journey of Love 親恩情未了 張家慧
1995 Detective Investigation Files II 刑事偵緝檔案 II Ivy
1999 Man's Best Friend 寵物情緣 Susan
2002 The Monkey King: Quest for the Sutra 齊天大聖孫悟空 觀音大士


Concert Tours/Specials

Year Chinese name English Name Number of shows Released Formats
1993 勁爆狂歡大報復 Hit Radio Party Big Revenge Mini Concert 2
1996 鄭秀文X空間演唱會 Sammi X Live '96 8 LD/CD/VCD/DVD
1997 鄭秀文、葉倩文談情說愛慈善演唱會 Sammi Cheng and Sally Yeh Benefit Concert 1 TV Broadcast/DVD
1997–1998 鄭秀文97演唱會 Sammi Star Show 16 CD/VCD/DVD
1999–2000 鄭秀文99演唱會 Sammi i Concert '99 17 CD/VCD/DVD
2000 鄭秀文台北演唱會 Sammi 2000 Taipei Concert 2 CD/VCD
2001 鄭秀文 903拉闊演唱會2001 Sammi 903 Live Concert 2001 1 CD/DVD
2001 鄭秀文 Shocking Colours演唱會2001 Sammi Shocking Colours Live 2001 16 CD/VCD/DVD
2004 Sammi vs Sammi 鄭秀文04演唱會 Sammi vs Sammi 2004 Concert 10 CD/VCD/DVD
2007 Show Mi 鄭秀文2007演唱會 Sammi Show Mi 2007 Live 19 CD/VCD/DVD/Blu-ray
2009 MOOV Live 2009 Sammi 1 Digital Download/DVD
2009–2011 Love Mi 鄭秀文世界巡回演唱會 Sammi Love Mi World Tour 31 CD/DVD/Blu-ray
2014-2016 Touch Mi 鄭秀文世界巡回演唱會 Sammi Touch Mi World Tour 38 CD/DVD/Blu-ray

Tour Setlists

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1992 Hong Kong Film Awards Best New Performer Best of the Best Nominated
2000 Golden Horse Award
Best Actress
Needing You... Nominated
Hong Kong Film Awards Nominated
2001 Love on a Diet Nominated
Fighting for Love Nominated
Wu yen Nominated
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award Won
2002 Golden Horse Award My Left Eye Sees Ghosts Nominated
2005 Venice International Film Festival Everlasting Regret Nominated
Hong Kong Film Awards Nominated
2012 Romancing in Thin Air Nominated
Chinese Film Media Award Nominated
2013 Golden Horse Award Blind Detective Nominated
Hong Kong Film Award Nominated
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award Nominated
Hong Kong Directors' Guild Award Nominated


  1. 1 2 3 (Chinese) "" Sammi Cheng. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "" Sammi Cheng never enough. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
  3. 真情部落格 好消息衛星電視台 GoodTV 好消息
  4. HKSS. "HKSS." Sammi Cheng. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
  5. International Herald Tribune. "International Herald Tribune." Hong Kong superstar seeks more serious roles by Alexandra A. Seno. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
  6. Thefirstcn. "Thefirstcn." 鄭秀文:生命與奧運同行. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Modelcruz. "Modelcruz." Biography of Glamorous Sammi Cheng. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
  8. RTHK. "RTHK." 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  9. (Chinese) TVB. "" 1993 Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  10. (Chinese) TVB. "TVB." Most popular female artists. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  11. HKStandard. "The" Sakai works fine. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  12. 1 2 3 "" Sammi Cheng. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  13. 1 2 3 HKStandard. "The" Cold shoulders. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  14. HKStandard. "The" Wong's bare feet stage act. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  15. (Chinese) "" 唱而優則演 TVB歌星演員crossover. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  16. (Chinese) Dianying. "" 飛虎精英之人間有情. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  17. HK film awards. "" 20th Hong Kong film awards. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  18. "" Sammi Eyes Best Actress at Venices. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  19. HKStandard. "The" Article. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  20. Sammi's testimony (in Chinese only) "." Sammi's testimony (in Chinese only) Retrieved on 2008-11-02.
  21. "" Sammi Cheng Concludes Solo Concert in HK . Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  22. Top-40-charts. "" The biggest stars of Asia perform for SARS. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  23. Apple Daily, 4 June 2008, Section C16,「演藝界512關愛行動」大匯演鳴謝啟示
  24. DHL. "DHL." DHL employees pledge to help underprivileged children by joining World Visions 30-Hour Famine Camp. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.

External links

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