Widespread criticism of her singing haunted Maggie Cheung for a year

PHOTO: YouTube/China HunanTV Official Channel

For years, Maggie Cheung was the toast of the town.

The Hong Kong actress was starring in acclaimed movies and sweeping up awards.

"Everything was just so smooth and I had never suffered any major blows in life," she recently said on the Chinese variety show Master In The House.

Then came her infamous performance in 2014, when she took to the mic at the Strawberry Music Festival.

Netizens ripped into her rendition of Teresa Teng's Tian Mi Mi, the theme song of her 1996 film Comrades: Almost a Love Story.

"A voice forsaken by heaven" and "Out of tune" were some of the comments back then.

Maggie was devastated.

"I cried every day for the first few days," the 54-year-old said on the show.

"I was just so sad as I had always been that princess who had it smooth sailing."

She revealed that the foray into music lost her many friends from the movie industry too.

"They scolded me and I probably needed about a year to really stand up and say 'I'm fine'.

"I felt embarrassed about meeting anyone," said an emotional Maggie.

Eventually, the screen icon recovered - with a fresh outlook.

"After that year, I felt that I became stronger and I'm not afraid of anything now.

"Why am I not allowed to play this game anymore just because of a few words that you guys said? I think it's unfair and I will continue playing. I will play till the day that I say I am not playing anymore."

Master In The House is a reality programme that sends seven showbiz rookies to stay with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Sammi Cheng, Jam Hsiao and Maggie.