Ros Serey Sothea, Queen of Golden Voice Singer​

A Picture of Ros Serey Sothea, Queen of Golden Voice Singer. Photo:

Ros Serey Sothea was a famous Khmer singer in the 1960s and 1970s. She was well-known for the best singing partner of the Golden Voice Singer, Sin Sisamouth. She was born on November 06th, 1948 in Damnak Luong Village, Wat Kor Commune, Battambong Province. She was the fourth child among five siblings.

A photo of Ros Serey Sothea. Photo:

While studying, her name was known as Ros Sothea, but then her villagers started calling her Ah Rey as a nickname because she had such a high-pitched voice like cicadas. 

Reasons to become a singer
In 1963, she received a gold medal of the province during the Khmer New Year singing contest. Unfortunately, during the contest, Serey Sothea was harassed by the son of Sawmill owner of Battambong province. Later, she had family issues after losing the lawsuit about the harassment. She then supported by her professor to join the band and gave her a middle name “Serey” as a wish for a better start of her life.

Later in 1967, she came to Phnom Penh and joined a band as a singer and then as an actress. Also, Im Song Seum, her singing partner, was a person who gave her the supports and guidance of life like she was a part of his family.

Due to her talent in singing, she was chosen as a regular singer at places such as Mekong Bar and others. She then met Sin Sisamouth and their cooperation in singing made Ros Serey Sothea became even more famous, which led to a lot of supports from the country and even from the Monarch. In 1969, she was honored by the King as “Queen of Golden Voice” of Cambodia. 

Ros Resey Sothea. Photo:

Her Love Life
During the arouse of her fame, there was a son of the Full Moon bar and Filmmaker owner who was going after her, yet the man's family did not support, and she was threatened by them. She then decided to get married to Sos Mot who was also a singer. However, her family did not like him because he had two ex-wives and had no true feelings for anyone. Also, he was the kind of guy who was extremely jealous of her success and men who came to watch her. He even used violence over her until she had a miscarriage a five-month baby. After seeing such a condition, her older sister asked her to obtain a divorce; however, she got threatened by Sos Mot that he would kill her whole family. To be secured, her sister decided to take her back to Battambong province.

She then was convinced by Sin Sisamouth to come back to Phnom Penh and continued her career. In late 1969, Ros Soreysothea met a guy named Huy Siphann and they had a son together. The family lived in peace and full of happiness.

In 1970, Ros Sereysothea was known to be the first Cambodian woman in history to do the parachute which made her even more famous.

In 1971, she was taken away from her family by the General Srey Yar. She later became his wife and they had four children. 

During the years of Khmer Rouge, Ros Sereysothea was forced to marry a soldier with a paralyzed arm. However, there was no happiness in her marriage because her husband got jealous all the time and there was violence. The family conflict continued until the military cadres came to educate her to pay respect to her husband. However, around the mid-1977, the military cadre overheard Ros SereySothea being disrespectful to her husband, so they took her to another village and she disappeared.

By: Hon SreyNit