Who was Ros Serey Sothea?
by KhmerLife on Jul 01, 2020
Ros Serey Sothea was a Cambodian singer with the honorary title “Queen with the Golden Voice” granted by King Norodom Sihanouk. She sang a variety of genres but her most popular works were romantic ballads. Battambang was her place of birth where she went to school with other aspiring Cambodian singers like Pen Ran.
Ros Serey Sothea grew up listening to early Cambodian pop singers like Mao Sareth and Chhoun Malay. She displayed her vocal talent since she was a toddler. Much of her vocal talent was hidden until friends persuaded her to join a regional singing competition in 1963. She won the singing competition and was invited to perform regularly at Stung Khiev restaurant in Battambang where she became well known by the locals.
In 1967, Ros Serey Sothea was discovered by the National Radio service in Phnom Penh where she became popular across all of Cambodia. She was particularly noted for her high and clear voice. Her first hit was “Stung Khiev” which was a duet with Im Song Seurm. She also did collaborations with other prominent singers Pen Ran, Houy Meas, Sos Mat while actively maintaining a solo career as well. Eventually she became a regular duet partner with Sin Sisamouth, the era’s leading singer.