The Biography and Fame of The Diamond Voice Singer, Pen Ron​

A photo of Mrs. Pen Ron from Wikipedia

Pen Ron was a very popular former Khmer Singer in the 1960s and 1970s, who had succeeded in the art industry since the start of the 1960s. Her fame continued to grow when she collaborated with the Golden Voice Singer, Sin Sinsamut, in 1966. Little is known about Pen Ron’s personal story except that she disappeared during the Khmer Rouge.

A drawing of Mrs. Pen Ron by Shana Cleveland

Pen Ron benefited from her jawline, for it allowed her to sing beautifully. Born in Battambong province, she was born to a train track worker and a housewife. She had 5 siblings: Mr. Pen Sitha, the voice recorder Mr. Pen Lon, boxers Mr. Pen Katathon and Ms. Pen Rom.

Arriving in Phnom Penh in the early 1960s, Pen Ron was still single and had not become a singer yet. However, upon her arrival in the city, she was singing in concerts for selling tickets.” It was until 1964 that she became a professional singer.  

Some of the famous songs that she sang were "Dance While You’re Young," "Sva Ram Monkeys," "Tam Kam Tov Kon" and many more. Many famous song composers: Mr. Ma Lao, Mr. Pov Sipho, and Mr. Kong Bun Chhoeun...etc, constantly wrote songs for her to sing. 

Pen Ron was unable to escape from the Pol Pot Regime due to her fame. They killed her, along with her kids, at Bati district, Takeo Province in 1976-1977. Before the death, the soldiers stripped her clothes, broke her neck, and threw her into the pit along with her kids and other civilians. 

Even though she’s gone, her work and fame remain alive inside every Cambodian’s heart. 

By: Moeun Kimyan