Choi was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She moved with her family to Hong Kong a few years later. She was educated at a number of institutions. She is fluent in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin.
After graduating from Rosaryhill School, where many other would-be pop stars had attended, she started working full-time as a model in Hong Kong. She was scouted by Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG), and was then linked with Gillian Chung to form the Cantopop group Twins.
Aside from her musical career, Choi has become a successful actress in the Hong Kong film industry, co-starred alongside actors such as Andy Lau, Eason Chan, Jay Chou, Mike He, Wu Chun and Nicholas Tse. She wrote an article describing her acting career:
Earlier, I shared with everyone some of my acting experiences. This time, I want to talk about movies. As an artist, whenever I'm working, I have to show my best side and give my best performance. I have to show the fittest side of me and hence, I'm often in "battle mode". When free, I like to watch slow-paced movies. I can't stand movies with too much excitement. I'm the type who can be easily sucked into the world of the movie. That type of fast-paced movie will end up making me tense and nervous so comedy, romance or movies centered on issues of humanity all suit me better."
Choi's first acting gig was a starring role in the 2000 television drama Youth Y2K. Then, Choi made her first film debut in 2001 in Funeral March (filmed prior to Twins' debut), which drew rave reviews from critics and earned her a Best New Artist nomination at the 21st Hong Kong Film Awards. Choi's next big acting break was in 2003 with her earnest and pretence-free portrayal of a young girl who battles through all odds in hopes of becoming a singer in Diva - Ah Hey.
Since then, Choi has taken Jim Chim as a mentor, and has been in the comedy film Simply Actors as a kind and comedic porn star. Her breakthrough role in the Pang brothers' psychological thriller Diary (2006) earned her many film award nominations and she received the Best Actress award at the 11th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan Korean Movie Award).
Choi's acting has been once again duly identified by an abundance of film critics with her portrayal of Dani Dan in Simply Actors. Only months later, she won the Best Actress and Favourite Actress awards at the 2007 Golden Bauhinia Awards for his performance in Simply Actors. Choi has also appeared alongside the Taiwanese singer Jay Chou in Kung Fu Dunk.
Choi has appeared in The Butterfly Lovers, based on the Chinese legend of the same name. Appearing alongside Wu Chun and Hu Ge, The Butterfly Lovers was released on October 9, 2008. Throughout the filming, rumors of an off-set romance between Choi and Wu Chun (the leading actress and actor) developed. Though they have denied such rumors, Wu has stated that the pair has reached an agreement with director Jingle Ma to collaborate once again in the future.
In December 2008, she began filming her first Taiwanese television drama, Calling For Love, produced by Angie Chai, co-starring with Mike He. The series was first aired in May 2010.
Finally in December 2009 after over a year of post-production, positive response at the Shanghai International Film Festival, The Storm Warriors was released with Choi taking on the main female lead role as Second Dream and starring alongside Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Simon Yam and Nicholas Tse. Though it was only released on 10 December, The Storm Warriors was ranked fifth in the list of Top 10 Hong Kong Movies of 2009 based on box office results.
In 2010, after having concentrated heavily on music in the previous year, Choi started taking on more acting projects. Her first film for that year was Beauty on Duty, which she co-starred with Sandra Ng. Following that, Choi appeared in Triple Tap with Daniel Wu and Louis Koo. Choi's next film, The Jade and the Pearl, saw her co-starring with Raymond Lam and her close friends Joey Yung and Wong Cho-lam, as well as a collaboration between Choi and Lam in singing a duet theme song. Choi has concluded work on God of Fortune's Inn with Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung. As of July 2010, she has started a three to four months long project, Mainland Chinese television series Sword Heroes' Fate, with Nicholas Tse again.
Choi's first solo song, Diva, Ah Hey!, was released in Twins' 2003 album Touch of Love. The song received a nomination for Best Song at the 23rd Hong Kong Film Awards and won a place in the Top 10 Songs at the Jade Solid Gold Songs Awards Ceremony. Choi's second solo song, Watching Movie Alone, was released in Twins' 2006 Mandarin album Around the World with 80 Dollars. Choi's third solo song, You are Not a Good Lover, was released in Twins' 2006 Cantonese album Ho Hoo Tan. This was Choi's first recorded personal composition and Twins' recorded version earned the place of Hit Song at the Metro Showbiz Hit Awards and one of the Top 10 Songs at the Jade Solid Gold Songs Awards Ceremony.
Choi's remaining two solo songs, Little Sister and 60 Percent, were released before the Edison Chen photo scandal in their 2008 Mandarin album Tong Hua Yan Yu. Both solo songs were extremely personal, Little Sister, in particular, recounts Choi's relationship with her mother throughout the years despite her parents' divorce at a young age and won Choi several music awards at the Metro Showbiz Hit Awards and TVB8 Music Awards.
Choi's first solo single was released in 2008 with the award-winning Make a Wish, which sold 5000 copies within a span of 30 minutes with all proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Meanwhile, her two hit songs, Little Sister and Make a Wish ranked first in music charts and remained in the top 10 for four music charts over 11 weeks. With Twins placed on hiatus, Choi went on to be awarded with a variety of solo singer awards in 2008: Favorite Idol and Most Voted Singer at the Metro Showbiz Hit Awards, Most Popular Female Singer at the Vanguard Music Awards and Most Popular Hong Kong Female Artist at the Sprite Music Awards.
Towards the end of 2008, Choi further expanded her career, entering new fields of the entertainment industry. As an entertainer, not only is she an actress and singer, but she is now a theater star. In the musical, Knight Star, she stars as the female lead Rose. Acting as her lover, she has finally reunited with Jimmy Lin after seven years. Lin first collaborated with Choi in her first series The Monkey King: Quest for the Sutra when she first entered the industry. Other stars in the musical include Julian Cheung, and Alice Liu. The musical served as a promotional event for the Chivas company to expand in China with their "Live with Chivalry" campaign.
Choi's first musical collaboration as a solo singer with another artist was the duet Little Dimples, released in late September 2008, which she performed with JJ Lin. The song received six awards in the remaining three months of 2008.
Choi released her debut solo album Two Without One on 9 April 2009. In less than one week, the album sold 10,000 copies in Hong Kong and has been certified "Gold" in Hong Kong. In less than a month, the album sold a total of 30,000 copies in Hong Kong and was certified "Platinum". Due to high sales and demand, a second version of the album is slated to be released on 6 May as a limited edition with 5,000 copies available.
Following the success of Two Without One, Choi released her next EP, titled Another Me, on 15 October 2009. Consisting of five tracks and three music videos, the overall theme of the EP is an evolving process as an individual. The release of Another Me marked new territory for Choi with a black-and-white cover and a largescale photo exhibition open to the public. As with Two Without One, Another Me was also certified "Platinum", selling nearly 60,000 copies in Hong Kong, in addition to high sales in Asia and overseas. Choi's success as a solo female singer in 2009 was best displayed at the 2009 IFPI HK Top Sales Music Awards, where she was awarded "Top 10 Best Selling Hong Kong Singers of 2009". In addition, Two Without One and Another Me were each awarded "Top 10 Best Selling Cantonese Albums of 2009."
Following her success in 2009 as a solo singer, Choi released her debut Mandarin album As A Sa in 2010. With more than HK$1 million spent on producing the album, As A Sa was released across China on June 15. Consequently, Choi launched her country-wide promotional tour with a multitude of mini-concerts, autograph sessions, performances, recorded television programs, national radio interviews, and talk shows.
Choi has released her third Cantonese album Beauty Remains on 15 October 2010.
As a donor to the Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2001 and a Make a Wish ambassador in 2008, Choi released the hit single and award-winning Make a Wish, which sold 5000 copies within a span of 30 minutes with all proceeds going to the foundation. Choi also sold clothing from her own "SAL" clothing line to fans to raise more money for the foundation.
Choi also wrote an autobiographical book about her teenage years as a child of divorced parents. Although she remains close to both her parents, Choi lived with her father after her parents' divorce. However, following her decision to become a singer-actress, the time she spent at home and with her parents rapidly diminished. As a result, the means of communicating with her father became all the more special. In her book Single Family's Love, many little notes exchanged between her and her father over the years can be seen. Through the autobiography, readers are encouraged to find happiness in single parent families. The money raised from the 5000 Limited 1st Edition copies sold were all donated to the Make a Wish Foundation. Choi thanked her friends and fans for the good sales of her autobiography. Her friends such as Jay Chou (who wrote her book's introduction), bandmate Gillian Chung (who also put her thoughts into Choi's introduction), Niki Chow, Mani, and Wu Chun were big supporters as well, buying copies for their friends and families. As of now, a new edition of her book is being printed and will be distributed overseas.
Choi became an ambassador for the 30 Hours Famine charity in the beginning of February 2009. She went to Nepal for a week to help the locals by bringing supplies to schools. In return, she was taught the local gardening technique. In April 2009, Choi performed at the 30-Hour Famine Concert, opening the concert and performing an assortment of new Chinese and English songs, as well as old Twins songs for nearly an hour.
200221st Hong Kong Film Awards - Nominated for Best New Performer Award for Funeral March
200410th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards - Nominated for Best Actress Award for The Death Curse
23rd Hong Kong Film Awards - Nominated for Best Original Film Song Award for Diva, Ah Hey
4th Chinese Film Media Awards - Awarded Most Popular Actress Golden Award (Hong Kong and Taiwan) for Diva, Ah Hey! / The Twins Effect
2006Yahoo! Search Award 2006 - Awarded Local Movie Actress Award
Metro Radio King of Entertainment News - Awarded Queen of Actress Award
2007HKSAR 10th Anniversary Film Awards - Awarded My Favourite New Generation Actress Award
HKSAR 10th Anniversary Film Awards - Awarded Most Potential Actress Award
Hong Kong Filmart 2007 - Awarded Most Popular Local Actress Award (Top 5)
11th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival(PiFan) - Awarded Best Actress Award for Diary
12th Golden Bauhinia Awards - Awarded Best Actress Award for Simply Actors
12th Golden Bauhinia Awards - Awarded Most Popular Actress Award for Simply Actors
5th MTV Super Award - Awarded Most Characteristic Actress Award (Hong Kong and Taiwan)
200814th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards - Nominated for Best Actress Award for Simply Actors
27th Hong Kong Film Awards - Nominated for Best Actress Award for Simply Actors
3rd Tencent 2008 Net Star Ceremony - Awarded Best Actress for Taiwan and Hong Kong for The Butterfly Lovers
Metro Radio Hit Mandarin awards - Awarded Hit Song Little Sister
Metro Radio Hit Mandarin awards - Awarded Favorite Karaoke Song Little Sister
Metro Radio Hit Mandarin awards - Awarded Favorite Idol
Yes Idol 2008 - 4 awards received - Including Female Yes Idol of 2008.
Vanguard 2008 Music Event 《音乐先锋榜》 - Awarded Most Popular Female Singer award
TVB8 Music award - awarded a Top Ten Gold Song award aka Golden Song award Little Sister
The Sixth "Yahoo! Popular Search Awards 2008" - awarded Most Popular Song - Make A Wish
The Sixth "Yahoo! Popular Search Awards 2008" - JJ and Charlene Choi awarded Most Popular Mandarin Song - Little Dimple
3rd Quarter TVB music awards - awarded China's Most Popular Song Little Dimple
TVB Weekly, "The Most Popular Brand Awards 2008" - awarded Queen of Advertisement 2008
Metro Radio Hits Music Songs: Make a Wish
Metro Radio Hits Karaoke Songs Awards - Little Dimples
Metro Radio Hits Songs Awards: Little Dimples
Metro Radio Hits Most Voted Singers Big Awards: Charlene Choi
Baidu 2008 Most Searched Taiwan and Hong Kong Actress
Baidu 2008 Most Searched Duet - Little Dimple
Sprite Music Awards - Awarded Most Popular Female Artist (Hong Kong)
Sprite Music Awards - Awarded Best Duet (Little Dimples)
Sprite Music Awards - Awarded Media Award (Hong Kong)
2009Music King Awards - Big Media Award
Yahoo! Brand Awards - Brand Award for Coca Cola Ad with William Chan
Sina Music Awards - Top 20 Most Listened Songs for Make a Wish
Metro Music Mandarin Awards - Top 21 Songs for Little Dimples
Metro Music Mandarin Awards - Best Karaoke Song for Little Dimple
Metro Music Mandarin Awards - Most Popular Idol (Hong Kong & Taiwan)
HK Radio Station - Ranked #4 for Female Artist with the Most Airplay
Singapore Golden Melody Awards - Nomination for Favorite Female Artist Award (Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong - The only Hong Kong Female Singer nominated)
Top 5 Best Selling Actress 2009 (3rd year in a row)
Jade Solid Gold Round 1 Awards - Excellent Election-Winning Classics for Two Without One
Jade Solid Gold Round 2 Awards - Excellent Election-Winning Classics for I'm Sorry
TVB Weekly Most Popular Brand Awards – Most Popular Advertising Female Artist Award (second year in a row)
Global Chinese Music Awards - Best Duet for Little Dimple
Global Chinese Music Awards - Golden Melody Award for Two Without One
Global Chinese Music Awards - Top 5 Most Popular Mandarin Female Singers
HKFDA (HK Fashion Designers Association Annual Best Dressed Personalities Award Show - Top 10 Best Dressed Personalities
Touch Icon Awards - Touch Icon of the Year
Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards - People's Choice Best Dressed Award
Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards - Top 10 Most Searched Songs Award for Two Without One
JSG Round 3 Awards - Top 14 Songs for Survivor
2009 China Digital Music Awards - Most Downloaded Duet for Little Dimple (5,465,381 times)
Baidu 4th Most Searched Taiwan and Hong Kong Female Singer (74,539,012 hits)
MOOV #9 Most Downloaded Song of 2009 for Two Without One (108,049 downloads)
Metro Radio Survey of Over 10,000 Hong Kong high school students: Students' Favorite Female Singer (2nd place)
Metro Radio Survey of Over 10,000 Hong Kong high school students: Idol with the Healthiest Image (1st place among male & female singers)
Metro Radio Hits Awards - Top 21 Hit Song Award for Two Without One
Metro Radio Hits Awards - Top 4 Best Female Singers Award
Metro Radio Hits Awards - Top 4 Cover Songs for I'm Sorry
Metro Radio Hits Awards - Top 3 Most Voted Singers Award
Metro Radio Hits Awards - Ultimate 4 Channels Album Outstanding Performer Big Award GOLD
TVB8 Music Awards – Top 10 Mandarin Songs for Two Without One
Among Movie Actresses in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China: #4 Highest Revenue in 2009
Among Movie Actresses in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China: Highest Salary per movie
Chosen among professionals in all of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China as #2 in "Ten Most Beautiful Women of 2009"
2010RTHK Top 10 Chinese Gold Songs Awards - Hong Kong & Taiwan Top 10 Excellent Singers Winners
RTHK Top 10 Chinese Gold Songs Awards - National Award for Top 5 Best Female Artists
RTHK Top 10 Awards - Top 5 Female & Male Artist Broadcasts/Radio Airplays
U-Channel Radio Music Awards - Millennium's Decade Artist with the Healthiest Image
Canadian Hit Music Awards - North America's Most Esteemed Top 10 Songs for Two Without One
JSG Top 10 Awards – Golden Melody Top 10 Songs Award for Two Without One
JSG Top 10 Awards – Outstanding Performer Award (Silver)
Sina Music Awards - Top 20 Most Listened Songs for Two Without One
Sina Music Awards - Outstanding Performer Award
Sina Music Awards - Most Searched (Hits) Artist Award
Yahoo! Poll - Voted as Netizens' Most Ideal Lover
Bravely March Forward Show - Won Best Actress Title
IFPI HK Top Sales Music Awards - Top 10 Best Selling Hong Kong Singers of 2009
IFPI HK Top Sales Music Awards - Top 10 Best Selling Cantonese Albums of 2009 for Two Without One Album
IFPI HK Top Sales Music Awards - Top 10 Best Selling Cantonese Albums of 2009 for Another Me EP
2010 Forbes China Celebrity 100 List – Ranked #52 Among All Celebrities from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan combined (Based on 2009 income and frequency of media exposure)
JSG Round 1 Awards - Top 14 Golden Melody Awards for Able to Let Go
Yahoo! Brand Awards - Most Ideal & Desired Spokesperson Award
QQ Music (China’s largest internet music platform) – #1 Overall Music, #1 Mandarin Music, #1 New Music for Confidant
QQ Music (China’s largest internet music platform) – #2 Ranked Album for As A Sa
Music King Awards – Nominated as Most Popular Hong Kong Female Singer
Metro Radio Mandarin Hit Music Awards - Hit Female Singer Award
Metro Radio Mandarin Hit Music Awards - Most Popular Global Idol Award
Metro Radio Mandarin Hit Music Awards - Top Mandarin Hit Songs for Confidant
7th Music King Awards - The Album of the Year for Two Without One
7th Music King Awards - Top 10 Golden Melody Mandarin Songs for Confidant
25th China Golden Eagle TV Awards – Nomination for Hong Kong & Taiwan's Most Popular TV Series for Calling For Love
Golden Melody Music Awards – Best KTV Song of the Year for Little Dimples
Golden Melody Music Awards – Top 10 Mandarin Songs for Big Storm