Pan Ron (Pen Ran)
Pan Ron (Khmer: ប៉ែន រ៉ន, Khmer pronunciation: [paen rɑːn]), also known as Pen Ran in Western popular culture, was a Cambodian singer and songwriter who was at the height of popularity in the 1960s and early 1970s. She had some success in the early 1960s after her hit "Pka Kabass" in 1963, but she became a national star when she began recording with Sinn Sisamouth in 1966.
In the late 1960s, Ron recorded many solo hits and duets with Sinn Sisamouth. Ros Serey Sothea's debut in 1967 had little effect on Pan's career and perhaps even broadened Pan Ron's popularity as the second leading lady of music.
During the 1970s, aside from singing film songs, Ron had a number of hits including "Kanha 80 Kilograms" featured in Voy Ho's 4th album in 1972, and "Komlos Jreus Jap". Pan Ron is considerably one of the most versatile singers in the history of music, having a repertoire consisting of traditional, rock, twist, cha cha cha, agogo, mambo, madizon, jazz, and folk songs, leaving a legacy of Cambodian 1960s and 1970s music behind. While Pan Ron was the second lady of Khmer music during the 1960s and 1970s, little is known about her life. What is known of her comes from hundreds of songs, many of which she both wrote and performed.
Not much is known about Ron's personal life, as she was noted to keep as much of her private life out of the public's eye. Her younger sister Pan Rom, said her sister survived up until the Vietnamese invasions when the Khmer Rouge launched their final series of mass executions. In a 2015 BBC documentary on the band Cambodian Space Project, which has covered many of Ron's songs, it was alleged by an interview subject that Ron was tricked by the Khmer Rouge into performing one of her songs, after which she was led away and executed.
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