With a career spanning over three decades, Sammi Cheng remains one of the most recognisable and talked about Hong Kong celebrities. Many of us grew up listening to her tunes or catching her on television and in movies, areas where she is still actively working and revered. Keep scrolling to find out more about the highly celebrated singer and actress and the reasons why Sammi Cheng is still so beloved by many today.
In 1988, Sammi Cheng participated in the New Talent Singing Competition in Hong Kong. She finished third behind champion Patrick Tam with Ekin Cheng and Bondy Chiu being fellow finalists.
Since participating in the singing competition, Sammi Cheng went on to become one of the most successful Hong Kong singers of all time. Sammi Cheng has released at least 13o singles, and 80 albums, selling over 25 million of them. She’s also said to hold the title of being one of the female artists with the most concert shows held at the Hong Kong Coliseum, numbering over 100.
Sammi Cheng started first in TVB doing television before crossing over to film with box office hits such as Needing You… (2000), Infernal Affairs (2002), Love for All Seasons (2003) and Everlasting Regret (2005).
Sammi Cheng has also been nominated and awarded multiple Best Actress awards from the likes of the Hong Kong Film Awards, Golden Horse Awards and Venice International Film Festival.
Growing older might be harrowing for some. But for Sammi Cheng, who is hitting the 5-o, she would “welcome every year with a grateful heart.” She added in the Facebook post that “when I was younger, I didn’t understand the meaning of your age, but I know it now. It means growth. It’s experience. It’s becoming older. Something inevitable and natural. Gradually becoming older, it’s something that both you and I will experience, there’s no need for fear. What’s important, is that age will not prevent you from becoming the best that you can be at any stage in life. There’s no need to force yourself to live as if you’re 18 or 20 at the age of 50, however, what you can do, is to live well as yourself.”
To people with ageist bias, Sammi Cheng has this to say: “if you encounter someone using your age to mock, belittle, or tease you, [treat it as if it’s] irrelevant, it’s just ‘cos they still don’t understand how life is like.”
If you follow Sammi Cheng on Instagram, you know she often posts sweaty post-workout selfies. The Hong Kong star has previously admitted that she loves to eat and finds it difficult to reject her favourite foods. To compensate for not limiting her intake deliberately, Sammi Cheng instead exercises to make up for whatever she eats. As such, we can assume she eats as much as she exercises – which is quite a lot!
Behind her glamorous image, Sammi Cheng is someone who loves and cherishes her family. She once shared that her mother is her “role model, forever”. Sammi Cheng also moved closer to her parents and took time off to care for them when they were both ill. She also took a two-month hiatus after her father passed in November 2022.
“Companionship is a type of painkiller; love is also an intangible but powerful drug. I hope that my love will make my mother feel less pain and even forget her discomfort.”
“Parents are old now, they need us more than ever mentally and physically. Material items are of little significance to elderly parents. Both you and I need to love and cherish them while they’re still here.”
In an interview promoting her 2013 film Blind Detective, Sammi Cheng opened up about her struggles with depression in 2005. “I was pretty bad at it in the past. I always kept the negative feelings inside or expressed them in a worse way, such as throwing a fit. Having depression really changed me. I now have a more optimistic perspective.”
She added, “I am human, and sometimes I feel tired. The physical exhaustion is still manageable. It’s much harder to handle when your heart or soul is exhausted. (What I didn’t realise) was that there was a limit to my energy and motivation. I felt like my battery had run out. That is why I fell to pieces.”
Sammi Cheng pulled herself out of depression through the use of sheer willpower and religious faith and returned to work in 2007.
Sammi Cheng’s husband and fellow singer Andy Hui was caught cheating after he was captured on camera kissing actress Jacqueline Wong in April 2019. A week after that, Sammi Cheng took to her Instagram to share that she has forgiven him for the act of betrayal. She added that it was “an important lesson in our marriage” that involves embracing “each other’s mistakes” and having “mutual forgiveness”.
In an interview a year later on Carol Cheng’s talk show Do Did Eat, Sammi Cheng likened his indiscretion to a fall. “Frankly speaking, it’s not a bad thing to fall down… at a certain point, you’ll fall and make a mistake, and it’ll allow you to re-examine yourself. Of course, the actual fall will hurt, and you’ll feel miserable, but if you change for the better, you’ll find that it’s all worth it in hindsight,”
Sammi Cheng isn’t one to rest on her laurels. In a 2018 interview with CNA Lifestyle regarding the film First Night Nerves, she spoke about the need for opportunities to “try different roles” and “show a side of me that is different from what audiences have seen in my romantic comedies”.
“When you’ve been in your career for so long, it’s hard to meet with new opportunities, because people tend to typecast you, so you have to keep challenging yourself, and it’s not easy. The good thing about me is that I love looking at myself through different lenses. I don’t set any boundaries for myself. And I believe you can find strength at any age, to discover a whole new side to yourself.”
In a 2019 Instagram post musing about a trip with fellow celebs Dicky Cheung, Jess Zhang and their family to visit composer Mark Lui and television presenter wife Jade Lui, Sammi Cheng shared that “travelling with a child is so enjoyable” as it affords “a different type of excitement and warmth.” She added that she would “fail at every aspect” of being a mother while praising Jade Lui for being a “super mum”.
Sammi Cheng expressed in 2014 that she is “very certain” about her choice to not have children. And that she and Andy Hui would focus on helping the less fortunate instead.
Speaking of aiding the less fortunate, Sammi Cheng is one to put action to her talk. In September 2021, Sammi Cheng fronted the campaign for the annual charity initiative by the Hong Kong Cancer Fund (HKCF) named Pink Revolution.
Among her other good deeds involve distributing medical supplies and food to the needy with Louis Koo, volunteering at a social welfare agency and delivering care packages, as well as donating money to support the film crew in the showbiz industry hit by Covid-19.
But Sammi Cheng isn’t spared from the standstill brought by Covid-19. In March 2022, Sammi Cheng shared on Instagram she will continue to be a “housewife” and stay home which includes “buying the food ingredients for cooking.” Plus, “there are always things to tidy up.”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Sammi Cheng is estimated to be worth US$60 million, placing her second behind Faye Wong in SCMP’s 2021 list of richest female singers in Hong Kong. Besides earning from her illustrious singing and acting career, Sammi Cheng also owns several properties in Hong Kong in the upscale Repulse Bay area.
Nothing short of a chameleon, Sammi Cheng has been noted to be a style maven. Her Touch Mi World Tour in 2015, for example, featured varied looks paired with copious amounts of Swarovski crystals. ICON Magazine also noted versatility to pull off both feminine and androgynous looks, especially in a suit.