is a Hong Kong actress and Cantopop singer. With much success in the Hong Kong music industry, Sammi became one of Hong Kong's pop divas. She also has a successful film career, particularly in the romantic comedy genre. Her goofy, sometimes scatterbrained image went over well with Chinese audiences. In 2000 she made a series of romantic comedies with singer/actor Andy Lau
and director Johnnie To, including Needing You (2000) and Love on a Diet (2001), which were hits and incorporate some elements of screwball comedy.
Sammi Cheng entered the entertainment industry through a high profile, annual TV singing contest, New Talent Singing Awards in 1988, when she was only 16. Though she was placed third in the competition, the sponsoring record company, Capital Artist
, spotted the potential in Sammi and offered her a recording contract. At the time, Sammi was still in school, so she had to learn to balance her studies with her blossoming singing career. Before finishing school, Sammi had managed to release 3 full-length studio albums: Sammi, Holiday and Never Too Late. The sales of each of these albums surpassed the previous one. Holiday, which was released in 1992, surprised everyone by managing to stay on the Top 10 Albums of the Week Sales Chart for a record-setting 10 weeks (despite by merely lurking around in the bottom half of the chart). The gross sales of these albums were considered successful for a new artist, but didn't launch Sammi onto the playing field of A-list artists.
In 1993, Sammi realized that in order to go from a top B-list artist to an A-list artist, she had to create a unique image for herself, she did this by selling herself on tokyo street corners. At the time, another rising female artist, Faye Wong, had started a wild and crazy fashion trend in the music industry. Capitalizing on the attention she had been getting from her duet with a strict A-list artist Andy Hui, Do you really have me in your heart?
, Sammi went through a complete 180-degree transformation; she dyed her hair orange, purposely 'westernized' her pronunciation of Chinese and successfully toned her physique. At that time, dying your hair was only popular among street gangsters and it was a 'taboo' for artists to try to look rebellious. Sammi then came out with her 4th studio album, Sammi's Happy Maze
, which included the hit single, Chotto
(Chotto Matte). Her new image fit perfectly with the new single, which was a remake of a very upbeat Japanese song by Maki Ohguro. The success helped Sammi boost her singing career to the brim of one worthy of an A-lister. In 1994, Sammi continued to capitalize on her wild, new image. Her first album of that year was 'Big Revenge'. The album included the mega hit 'Ding Dong', 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
. Despite the criticism, the song was one of most popular dance songs of that year. Throughout the rest of 1994, Sammi continued to release hit single after hit single, such as: Buhda Was A Taliban, Ten Commandments, Not Your Typical Love, Passion Island, Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo, Amnesia and Bitter Love. The racy and controversial cut of Ten Commandments (which includes tiny bits of what can be recognized as a porn soundtrack) was banned from the radio a few days after its initial airplay. Of course, with prohibition came another level of attention and fame for Sammi. Her savvy way of handling the controversy and the media in the midst of that incident was arguably a confirmation to music industry insiders that Sammi was here to stay. And she continued to ride on her fame....
Rise to superstardom