Ngọc Minh (1945- ) is a famous Vietnamese singer and former cinema of Saigon actress. Due to her tireless work entertaining for the ARVN troops during the Vietnam War, Ngọc Minh has been dubbed as “Người Yêu Của Lính” (Soldier’s Love) after her signature song of the same name written by Nhật Trường.
She was born on November 20, 1945 in Móng Cái, a city of Quảng Ninh Province in North Vietnam, to parents whom were of Thai origin. In 1954, Ngọc Minh and her family migrated to South Vietnam resettling in the city of Đà Lạt. In 1964, Ngọc Minh made her debut live performance at the Quốc Gia Âm Nhạc (University of Saigon, School of Fine Arts) auditorium where she won over the audience with her heartfelt interpretations of the songs, Tình Ca (written by Phạm Duy) and Anh Về Một Chiều Mưa (written by Duy Khánh). Shortly thereafter, through the guidance of musician Đan Phú Ngọc Minh would become a headliner at various cabarets throughout Saigon such as Bồng Lai, Văn Cảnh and Olympia. In audio, Ngọc Minh recorded for the music label, Tâm Anh Nghệ Thuật, during the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Among her most popular audio recordings in Saigon prior to 1975 included the following songs, Khi Tôi Về (written by Phạm Duy), Ngủ Đi Con (written by Trịnh Công Sơn), Thu Sầu (written by Lam Phương), Huyền Thoại Chiều Mưa (written by Nguyễn Vũ) and Quen Nhau (written by Đỗ Lễ). In the spring of 1970, Ngọc Minh along with singer Ngọc Anh, the younger sister of legendary singer Khánh Ly, traveled to the United States on a concert tour performing at several different university campuses for audiences comprised of mainly foreign exchange students from South Vietnam. Aside from her singing career, Ngọc Minh had also pursued a successful career as an actress of television and films in South Vietnam prior to the Fall of Saigon.
While her husband had been sent away to reeducation by the new communist regime in Vietnam, on November of 1978 Ngọc Minh and her young son fled by boat and landed at Terengganu, Malaysia. After a year spent living in a refugee camp on the island of Pulau Bidong, Ngọc Minh and her son were granted entrance to the United States as political refugees. Several years later, Ngọc Minh would be reunited with her husband after he had been granted political refugee status in the United States. Almost immediately after resettling in the United States, Ngọc Minh was able to resume her singing career full force in the overseas Vietnamese music industry. In 1981, Ngọc Minh formed her own music label, Ngọc Minh Productions, and released her first studio album, Anh Giải Phóng Tôi Hay Tôi Giải Phóng Anh. The title track was written by legendary musician Nhật Ngân and would become one of Ngọc Minh’s first major hits in the overseas Vietnamese music industry. Throughout the 1980s and well into the early 1990s, Ngọc Minh Productions consistently released a dozen total studio albums which featured audio recordings primarily by Ngọc Minh, herself, as well as by various other artists including Khánh Ly, Xuân Sơn, Hải Lý, Sĩ Phú, Elvis Phương, Như Mai, Hương Lan, Vũ Khanh, Duy Quang, Mai Hương and Ngọc Lan. In addition to recordings for her own music label, Ngọc Minh had also recorded for several other major overseas music labels during the 1980s and 1990s such as Thanh Lan, Diễm Xưa Productions and Làng Văn.
In 2006, Ngọc Minh made her first video appearance for Asia Entertainment in a duet with singer Doanh Doanh reprising her signature song, Người Yêu Của Lính, featured on volume 50. During the next several years, Ngọc Minh would be invited back on the popular live show video series produced by Asia Entertainment a total of 8 more times. Among her most memorable music video performances on Asia Entertainment include the following songs, Thư Gửi Người Miền Xa (written by Trúc Phương), Anh Về Với Em (written by Nhật Trường), as a duet with singer Thanh Phong, Ai Nói Với Em Nếu Anh Là Lính (written by Minh Kỳ), as a duet with singer Tâm Đoan and Lá Thư Trần Thế (written by Hoài Linh), as part of a trio with singers Đan Nguyên and the late Giang Tử.
Since resettling in the United States, Ngọc Minh has not been able to fully resume her career as an actress. During the late 1980s, Ngọc Minh did act in a few well-received comedy sketches on Vietnam Program, a weekly Vietnamese language television show on channel 18, KSCI-TV, alongside other veteran performers such as Hùng Cường, Băng Châu and Nguyễn Long. In the 2000s, Ngọc Minh began a new career as a Vietnamese language radio personality. In recent years, Ngọc Minh returned to television as a talk show host for SBTN (Saigon Broadcasting Television Network).