15 Most Famous People from Singapore


Originally published by Lynn in February 2022. Updated by Charity K in May 2023. Updated by Ruth in March 2024.

The island city-state is located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Straits of Malacca to the west, the Riau Islands (Indonesia) to the south, and the South China Sea to the east. Singapore is often described as one of the cleanest and most orderly cities in the world, known for its glitz and glamour. To enter Singapore is to enter a world of architectural wonders and culinary delights, where lush greenery and Eco-Friendly malls coexist in confidence.


From shopping frenzy, delectable culinary delights, awe-inspiring museums, adventurous theme parks, and exotic gardens, Singapore is also home to wonderful people. Below are 10 famous people in Singapore;

Read more on famous people from other countries here.

1. Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew – Wikipedia

Lee Kuan Yew is widely recognized as the founding father of Singapore. He co-founded the People’s Action Party in 1954, and led his party to its first electoral victory in the 1959 election. He was appointed as the state’s first prime minister and served in that position from 1959 to 1990.

Lee was born on 16 September 1923 in Singapore, during British colonial rule, and was originally named Harry Lee Kuan Yew. He oversaw Singapore’s transformation into a developed country with a high-income economy within a single generation.

In 1990, Lee stepped down as prime minister but remained in the Cabinet under his successors, holding the appointments of senior minister until 2004 and then minister mentor until 2011. He died of pneumonia on 23 March 2015, at the age of 91.

2. Adam Khoo

Adam Khoo – Wikipedia

Adam Khoo Yean Ann is a Singaporean entrepreneur, author, and educator. He is the co-founder and Chief Master Trainer of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, one of Asia’s largest private educational institutions. Born on 8 April 1974 in Singapore.

Khoo became a self-made millionaire at age 26. In 2008, he was ranked among the top 25 richest Singaporeans under age 40 by The Executive magazine. In 2019, his company was ranked top 29th at the Enterprise 50 Awards organized by The Business Times and KPMG.

3. Joseph Prince

Joseph Prince – Flickr

Joseph Prince is the evangelist and senior pastor of New Creation Church, based in Singapore and one of Asia’s biggest churches. He was one of the church’s founders in 1983. He was born Xenonamandar Jegahusiee Singh on 15 May 1963 in Singapore. He adopted the name Joseph Prince while serving as an IT consultant, just before being appointed senior pastor in 1990. Joseph Prince is widely known for his show named “Destined to Reign,”.

Не was awarded thе “Frіеndѕ оf Zіоn Іntеrnаtіоnаl Rеlаtіоnѕ Аwаrd” fоr hіѕ аѕѕіѕtаnсе tоwаrdѕ thе Іѕrаеl реорlе bу Реrеѕ Сеntrе fоr Реасе іn Јаffа. His books have been worldwide success, such as “The Power of Right Believing,” “Destined to Reign,” etc.

4. Vanessa-Mae

Vanessa-Mae – Flickr

Vanessa Mae also called Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson was born on 27 October 1978 in Singapore. She is a violinist with album sales reaching several million. At age thirteen, Vanessa-Mae became the youngest soloist to record both the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos, according to Guinness World Records.

In addition to being a Violinist, she is also a professional skier. She was one of two alpine skiers who represented Thailand at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where she competed under the name of “Vanessa Vanakorn” her father’s surname. She was initially banned from skiing because a qualifying race for her benefit was alleged to be corrupt, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport later nullified the ban, citing a lack of evidence for her own wrongdoing or any manipulation.

5. Jackson Rathbone

Jackson Rathbone – Wikimedia Commons

Monroe Jackson Rathbone V is an American actor, singer, and musician best known for his role as Jasper Hale in The Twilight Saga film series. He was born on December 14, 1984, in Singapore because of his father’s job at Mobil Oil which took the family to different places.

From 2008 to 2012, he was the vocalist and occasional guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboardist of the funk rock band 100 Monkeys. He debuted his first solo album, American Spirit Blues, in 2018. 


6. Tila Tequila

Tila Tequila – Wikipedia

Tilla Tequila is Singaporean-born American television, and social media personality, actress, and singer. She was born Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen on October 24, 1981. She first gained recognition for her active presence on social networking websites.

In 2002, she became the first Asian to be featured as the Cyber Girl of the Week, and later Cyber Girl of the Month for ‘Playboy. As a musician, the talented celebrity recorded numerous songs and worked with big producers in the industry. She began by joining the ‘Beyond Betty Jean band and later linked up with ‘Jealousy.

She has been nominated for several awards and won The Soup Awards for Entertainer of the Year (2007), Bravo’s A-List Awards (2008), and The Spike Annual Guy’s Awards (2008).

Click here to read more about famous actors and artists.

Also check this
Best book about Singaporean Biographies See books
Best things to do in Singapore Things to do
Best things to do in Singapore Things to do

7. Kygo

Kygo – Wikipedia

Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll is a Singaporean-born Norwegian DJ, songwriter, and record producer. He garnered international attention with his December 2013 remix of the track “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran and his December 2014 single “Firestone” featuring Conrad Sewell. He was born on 11 September 1991 in Singapore to Norwegian parents and raised in Tønsberg.

Kygo’s stage name is derived from the first two letters of his first and last names. Kygo became the first house music producer to perform at an Olympics closing ceremony on 21 August 2016 at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

8. Louise Theroux

Louis Theroux – Wikipedia

Louis Sebastian Theroux was born in Singapore on 20 May 1970. He is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, broadcaster, and author. His work includes studies of unusual and taboo subcultures, crime and the justice system, and celebrities.

 He has received two British Academy Television Awards and a Royal Television Society Television Award. In March 2018, Billboard ranked Kygo 3rd on its 2018 ranking of dance musicians titled Billboard Dance 100. In 2018, he was ranked 32 on DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs of the world, and in October 2019 he was ranked 42.

9. Ross Butler

Ross Butler – Wiki bio

Ross Butler was born in Singapore on May 17, 1990. He is an actor best known for his role as Zach Dempsey in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and as Brett Willis on K.C. Undercover. Butler took his first acting class at age 21. He got his start with roles in student films and low-budget projects.

He is also a talented musician who often shares videos of himself covering pop songs on Instagram and is a skilled guitarist.

Click here to read more about famous actors and artists.

10. Joseph Schooling

Joseph Schooling – Flickr

Joseph Isaac Schooling is a Singaporean competitive swimmer. He was the gold medalist in the 100 m butterfly at the 2016 Olympics, achieving Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medal. He was born on 16 June 1955 in Singapore.

Schooling first qualified for the Olympics in 2012 after winning the 200 m butterfly at the 2011 SEA Games. His winning time of 50.39 seconds broke multiple records at the National, Southeast Asian, Asian and Olympic levels.

11. Zoe Tay

Zoe Tay is a Singaporean actress and former model. She is widely known as the Queen of Caldecott Hill. She was born on January 10 1968 in Singapore. She is one of the first actors to receive the Star Awards All-Time Favourite Artiste award along with Chew Chor Meng.

Due to her contribution to the television industry, a wax figurine was modeled after her by Madame Tussauds Singapore. The figurine has been on display in the museum since 2014.


12. Stephanie Sun

She is a Singaporean singer-songwriter born on July 23, 1978. She released her debut album, Yan Zi in 2000. It won her a Golden Melody Award for Best New Artist. Her second album Stefanie won her another Golden Melody Award for Best Mandarin Female Singer. 

Stephanie has sold more than 30 million records and has achieved popularity in Greater China and among the Chinese-speaking world. In 2022, more than 240 million people watched her performance in a one-hour virtual concert streamed on Douyin.

13. Goh Chok Tong

Tong was born on May 20, 1941. He is a Singaporean former politician who served as Prime Minister of Singapore between 1990 and 2004. He was a Member of Parliament between 1976 and 1988. He was a Member of Parliament for Marine Parade SMC between 1976 and 1988.

Before he was the prime minister, Tong was the country’s deputy prime minister. He advocated for Medisave which is a scheme that allows Singaporeans to set aside part of their income into a Medisave account to meet future medical expenses.

As Prime Minister, he introduced the Non-Constituency Members of Parliament to allow more opposition into Parliament. Goh’s tenure as prime minister was also marked by the 1991 aircraft hijack of SQ117, the 2001 embassies attack plot, the 1997 Asian Financial crisis, and the 2003 SARS outbreak.

14. Sim Wong Hoo

He was a Singaporean inventor and billionaire entrepreneur known for founding Creative Technology. It is a designer and manufacturer of products for personal computers and personal digital entertainment devices. He served as the chairman and chief executive officer of Creative Technology from 1981 until his death in 2023.

Creative Technology is notable for its products such as the Sound Blaster audio card and the Creative ZEN range of audio and media products.


15. Fandi Ahmad

He was born on May 29, 1962. He is a Singaporean professional football manager and former player. He mainly played as a striker but also played as a midfielder. With the Singapore FA, he played for Malaysia Cup state sides Kuala Lumpur FA and Pahang FA.

With the Singapore national team, he earned 101 caps and scored 55 goals. he also won three Southeast Asian Games silver medals while being captain from 1993 to 1997. After retirement, Fandi began his managerial career in 2000 by helping his former playing club SAFFC.

Top 20 Amazing Facts about Singaporeans

Beyond the gleaming skyscrapers and lush greenery, the heart of Singapore lies in its people, the Singaporeans. Singaporeans have etched a remarkable narrative in the global landscape. Join us as we uncover the top 20 amazing facts about Singaporeans, providing an insightful glimpse into the rich tapestry of this Southeast Asian gem. From their cosmopolitan outlook to the intricacies of daily life, these facts illuminate the essence of Singaporeans. 

1. Singaporeans are known for their linguistic abilities

Singapore stands out as a remarkable example of a multilingual society where linguistic diversity is not just appreciated but also embraced as a core aspect of national identity. English serves as the lingua franca, ensuring effective communication among the various ethnic groups. However, Singaporeans often demonstrate a remarkable proficiency in multiple languages. Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil are recognized as official languages, reflecting the cultural mosaic that defines Singapore.

2. Singaporeans are passionate about food

User: (WT-shared) Shoestring at wts wikivoyage, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Singaporeans are renowned for their unwavering passion for food, transforming the city-state into a global culinary destination. The term food obsession barely captures the depth of Singaporeans’ relationship with their cuisine. From bustling hawker centres to Michelin-starred restaurants, the gastronomic scene in Singapore is a sensory delight that mirrors the nation’s multicultural makeup.

Singaporeans take pride in their discerning palates and are known for their willingness to explore new tastes. Food is a social glue, bringing families and friends together for shared meals and celebrations. The ubiquitous question, Have you eaten? is more than a casual inquiry; it’s a reflection of the genuine concern and warmth inherent in Singaporean culture.

3. Singaporeans get to enjoy an abundance of green spaces and parks

Despite its status as a bustling urban metropolis, Singapore is often referred to as a Garden City due to its remarkable commitment to green spaces and environmental sustainability. This term encapsulates the city-state’s dedication to incorporating nature into its urban planning, creating a harmonious balance between the concrete jungle and lush greenery.

Singapore’s commitment to environmental sustainability is further exemplified by its ambitious tree-planting programs, vertical greenery initiatives, and stringent regulations to preserve green belts. The Garden City concept has not only shaped Singapore’s physical landscape but also fostered a collective consciousness about the importance of environmental stewardship.

4. Singaporeans benefit from an efficient and well-connected public transportation system

Daibo Taku, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore boasts a highly efficient and well-connected public transportation system, making it a model for urban mobility. The city-state’s commitment to providing accessible, reliable, and sustainable transportation has played a pivotal role in shaping its modern urban landscape.

As a testament to its success, Singapore’s public transport system has received international acclaim, setting benchmarks for other cities striving to create smart, sustainable, and people-centric urban environments. The continual expansion and improvement of public transport infrastructure demonstrate Singapore’s commitment to maintaining its status as a global leader in efficient urban mobility.

5. Singapore has strict laws, including a ban on chewing gum

Singapore’s reputation for cleanliness and orderliness is exemplified by its strict laws, including the infamous ban on chewing gum. Implemented in 1992, this unique regulation was introduced as a measure to maintain public hygiene and cleanliness in the city-state.

While the chewing gum ban may appear stringent, it aligns with Singapore’s broader commitment to creating a clean and well-maintained public environment. The city-state places a premium on civic responsibility, and the ban on chewing gum serves as a visible reminder of the collective effort required to uphold Singapore’s high standards of public cleanliness. Beyond the ban itself, the implementation of strict regulations reflects Singapore’s proactive approach to urban planning and the creation of a conducive environment for residents and visitors alike. 

6. With limited land space, Singaporeans enjoy high-rise living

In the vibrant city-state of Singapore, high-rise living has become an inherent part of urban life due to the constraints of limited land space. The skyline is a testament to the city’s vertical expansion, dominated by awe-inspiring skyscrapers and residential towers. With a strategic approach to urban planning, Singapore maximizes its limited land resources by constructing vertically, creating a distinctive and modern cityscape.

High-rise living is not merely a necessity; it has evolved into a symbol of Singapore’s urban efficiency and innovative approach to housing its residents. The vertical architecture not only addresses space constraints but also offers stunning panoramic views, contributing to the allure of high-rise living in the Lion City.

7. Singaporeans take pride in maintaining a clean and orderly environment

Singaporeans have fostered a culture of cleanliness that extends beyond personal habits to encompass the entire environment. The city-state is renowned for its pristine streets and well-maintained public spaces, thanks to strict anti-littering laws and ongoing cleanliness campaigns. 

Singaporeans take pride in their surroundings and actively contribute to maintaining a clean and orderly environment. The government’s commitment to cleanliness is evident in its proactive initiatives, such as the Keep Singapore Clean campaign. Public education plays a crucial role in instilling a sense of responsibility and civic pride in residents. The result is a city where cleanliness is not just a priority; it is a way of life. The meticulous attention to cleanliness contributes to Singapore’s global reputation as one of the cleanest and greenest cities, enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

8. Singapore is a melting pot of cultures

Adsfghj., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore’s rich tapestry is woven from the threads of diverse cultures, creating a harmonious blend that defines the nation. The population of Singapore is a vibrant mosaic, comprising various ethnic groups, including Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian communities. This cultural diversity is not merely coexistence but an integral part of daily life. 

From religious celebrations and festivals to culinary traditions and language, each community contributes to the colourful tapestry of Singaporean culture. The nation’s commitment to multiculturalism is enshrined in policies promoting racial and religious harmony, fostering an inclusive society where different cultures are respected and celebrated. This cultural diversity is a source of strength and resilience for Singapore, enhancing its global appeal as a dynamic and cosmopolitan hub.

9. The Merlion is an iconic symbol of Singapore

The Merlion, an iconic symbol of Singapore, serves as a visual embodiment of the city’s history and transformation. This mythical creature, with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, represents Singapore’s origins as a humble fishing village Singapura, meaning Lion City in Malay and its evolution into a bustling metropolis. 

The Merlion statue, located at Merlion Park, has become an emblematic landmark, attracting visitors from around the world. The symbolism goes beyond the literal, embodying the spirit of Singapore’s growth, strength, and resilience. The Merlion stands as a proud guardian of the city’s heritage while embracing the modernity and progress that define its present and future.

10. Singapore is home to the world’s first nocturnal zoo

Allie Caulfield, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore proudly hosts the world’s first nocturnal zoo, the Night Safari, offering a unique and immersive wildlife experience after sunset. Located within the lush Mandai rainforest, the Night Safari provides a habitat for diverse nocturnal animals, allowing visitors to observe their natural behaviours in an environment designed to mimic their native settings. This groundbreaking attraction not only showcases Singapore’s commitment to innovation in tourism but also reflects its dedication to wildlife conservation. 

The Night Safari has set a precedent for ethical and sustainable animal tourism, contributing to global efforts to preserve biodiversity. Visitors can embark on a captivating journey through various ecosystems, witnessing the wonders of the animal kingdom under the cover of darkness. The Night Safari stands as a testament to Singapore’s ability to create distinctive and world-leading attractions that combine entertainment with education and conservation.

11. Singapore has stringent drug laws to maintain a drug-free society

Singapore maintains stringent drug laws with severe penalties for drug-related offences, reflecting the nation’s unwavering commitment to cultivating a drug-free society. The strict regulations underscore the importance placed on public health, safety, and social well-being. By taking a proactive stance against drug abuse, Singapore aims to create an environment that prioritizes the welfare of its citizens and ensures a secure and healthy future.

12. Singapore is actively embracing technology and aims to become a Smart Nation

Smuconlaw, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a bold leap into the future, Singapore is actively evolving into a Smart Nation. The city-state is at the forefront of technological integration, leveraging digital services, smart infrastructure, and the vision of a cashless society. With initiatives like the Smart Nation program, Singapore aims to enhance efficiency, connectivity, and the overall quality of life for its residents. Embracing technology on a national scale, Singapore sets the stage for a modern, interconnected society that redefines urban living in the digital age.

13. UNESCO has recognised Singapore’s hawker culture as an Intangible Cultural Heritage

Singapore’s hawker culture, renowned for its affordable and diverse street food, has received international recognition as UNESCO designated it an Intangible Cultural Heritage. This acknowledgement highlights the cultural significance of hawker centres in shaping Singapore’s culinary identity and fostering community bonds. The recognition underscores the importance of preserving this unique aspect of Singaporean heritage for future generations.

14. The majority of Singaporeans live in public housing flats

ProjectManhattan., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A testament to effective urban planning, the majority of Singaporeans reside in public housing flats, a triumph of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) program. This initiative provides affordable and well-designed housing, ensuring that a significant portion of the population enjoys comfortable living conditions. The success of public housing in Singapore reflects a commitment to social equality and sustainable urban development.

15. Singapore boasts a low crime rate and is known as one of the safest cities in the world

Singapore proudly boasts a low crime rate, solidifying its reputation as one of the safest cities globally. Stringent law enforcement, community engagement, and a focus on preventive measures contribute to the city-state’s enviable safety record. The low incidence of crime enhances the overall quality of life, fostering a secure environment where residents and visitors can confidently engage in daily activities.

16. Singapore is known for its innovative and futuristic architecture

Victor Dam, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore’s skyline stands as a testament to innovative and futuristic architecture, captivating the world with iconic landmarks that redefine urban landscapes. Structures like Marina Bay Sands, with its gravity-defying rooftop pool, and Gardens by the Bay, featuring otherworldly Supertrees, showcase the city-state’s commitment to pushing architectural boundaries. This innovative approach to design not only shapes the city’s visual identity but also reflects Singapore’s aspirations for a forward-thinking and modern urban environment.

17. Smoking is heavily regulated in Singapore

Singapore’s commitment to public health is evident in its strict smoking laws. Smoking is heavily regulated, with designated smoking areas ensuring a balance between personal choices and public well-being. The city-state imposes strict fines for smoking in prohibited zones, discouraging practices that could compromise air quality and impact the health of non-smokers. This proactive stance on tobacco control aligns with Singapore’s broader efforts to create a clean, healthy, and considerate living environment for its residents.

18. Singaporeans enjoy an efficient healthcare system

Singapore’s healthcare system is a model of efficiency, providing quality medical services to residents and visitors alike. The combination of state-of-the-art medical facilities, highly trained healthcare professionals, and a focus on preventive care contributes to the overall well-being of the population. The system’s effectiveness is reflected in positive health outcomes, low infant mortality rates, and a high life expectancy. Singapore’s commitment to healthcare extends beyond treatment, emphasizing health education and awareness to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their well-being.

19. Singapore has a vibrant arts and cultural scene

Despite its compact size, Singapore boasts a vibrant and thriving arts and cultural scene. The city-state embraces creativity and expression through numerous galleries, theatres, and events that showcase both local and international talent. From the iconic Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay to the diverse exhibitions at the National Gallery Singapore, the arts scene plays a crucial role in shaping Singapore’s identity and fostering a sense of cultural diversity. Festivals, performances, and public art installations contribute to a dynamic and inclusive cultural landscape.

20. Shopping is a favourite pastime for Singaporeans

Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shopping is deeply ingrained in Singaporean culture, making it a favourite pastime for residents. The city-state offers a plethora of shopping options, from high-end luxury boutiques in Orchard Road to bustling markets like Chinatown and Little India. The diverse array of shopping districts and malls caters to varied tastes and preferences, reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of Singapore. The shopping culture extends beyond retail therapy; it serves as a social activity, bringing people together in vibrant spaces where they can explore, discover, and indulge in the latest trends and timeless classics.

Read more on famous people from other countries here.

Also check this
Best book about Singaporean Biographies See books
Best things to do in Singapore Things to do
Best things to do in Singapore Things to do

Planning a trip to Paris ? Get ready !

These are Amazon’s best-selling travel products that you may need for coming to Paris.


  1. The best travel book : Rick Steves – Paris 2023 – Learn more here
  2. Fodor’s Paris 2024 – Learn more here

Travel Gear

  1. Venture Pal Lightweight Backpack – Learn more here
  2. Samsonite Winfield 2 28″ Luggage – Learn more here
  3. Swig Savvy’s Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle – Learn more here

Check Amazon’s best-seller list for the most popular travel accessories. We sometimes read this list just to find out what new travel products people are buying.