Sammi Cheng

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Sammi Cheng
Chinese name
Chinese name (traditional)
Chinese name (simplified)
Pinyin Zhèng Xiùwén (Mandarin)
Jyutping zeng6 sau3 man4 (Cantonese)
Birth name Cheng Sau Man
Ancestry Chaozhou (Teochew), Guangdong, China[1][2]
Origin Hong Kong
Born (1972-08-19) 19 August 1972 (age 42)[2]
Hong Kong[2]
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 (1995–2005)
East Asia Entertainment Ltd. (2005–Present)
Years active 1990–2005
2007–present
Partner(s) Andy Hui

Sammi Cheng Sau-Man (Chinese: 鄭秀文; born 19 August 1972) is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress who has been successful in the Hong Kong music and film industry. Sammi has been called a diva and has been one of the most prominent female singers in Hong Kong since the 1990s. Her albums have sold more than 25 million copies through Asia-pacific, a record-breaking achievement.[3] Most notably in the 1990s, she was dubbed by the media as the "Cantopop Queen". Having success in over 20 years in entertainment industry, Sammi has been regarded as one of the most notable Hong Kong artists known in Asia Pacific.

Sammi Cheng breaks the record of having the most best sales albums and The Best Sales Local Female Vocalist awards in the Hong Kong Cantonpop 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 had produced over 80 studio albums, 9 live concert albums, over 110 singles (songs) with also over 30 cover songs, had received around 200 total awards from acting to singing, performed in over 20 films which many received box-office hit, starred in 7 TV dramas in early years, had held over 100 concerts up to date with over 12 concert tours. She is also being recognized as the leading Asian female singer whom brought in unique fashion to singing performance especially in her concerts.

Early life[edit]

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.[1]

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

Career[edit]

A 1990s cantopop instrument arrangement by Sammi Cheng.

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Music[edit]

Sammi Cheng entered the entertainment industry at the age of 16 through a high profile, annual TV singing contest, 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. Before finishing school, Sammi had managed to release 3 full-length studio albums: "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]

In 1993, Cheng realized that in order to rise from a top B-list artist to an A-list artist, she had to create a unique image for herself. 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 complete 180-degree 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 very upbeat 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 mega hit "Ding Dong" (叮噹), which became one of Sammi's all-time signature songs. But with her new fame also came a lot of backlash from the media. Critics pointed out 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 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 company 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.[1] 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 this top female award again in year 2001 too.[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.[1]

Concert Tours/Specials[edit]

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 Touch Mi 鄭秀文世界巡回演唱會 Sammi Touch Mi World Tour 12  ?

Tour Setlists[edit]

Acting[edit]

Cheng's acting career began with the TVB series Life of His Own in 1991.[16] A year later she would begin 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 staged a box office revolution by starring in the film Needing You... by acclaimed director Johnny 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.[1] 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. Nevertheless, 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' which receives 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'.


Advertisements[edit]

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. Some of the bigger endorsements include SK-II skin care and Mona Lisa bridal service.[20] Her first album with Warner Music, "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.[1]

Post-break career[edit]

Break (2005–2007)[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Community work[edit]

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.

Filmography[edit]

TV drama[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]