What is one thing that can be found in most Filipino households? A karaoke machine. In the Philippines, it is almost impossible for a local not to have love and passion for singing. Most of them start singing at a very young age, from performing at family parties, to joining talent competitions, and even getting discovered by record labels. Singing is a big part of the Filipino culture and in all honesty, most of them can be considered to have quite remarkable voices, especially the top female stars. In this issue, Top 10 takes their pick on Top 10 Female Singers from the Philippines.
- Charice Pempengco
Dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as ‘the most talented girl in the world’, international singing sensation Charice rose to stardom through Youtube. Her debut album granted her the title of first Asian solo singer in history to land in the top 10 billboard 200 albums chart. She also made her television debut when she joined American TV series Glee. Despite facing negative criticism from the media after coming out as a lesbian, she did not let anyone bring her down. “I used to care. I got hurt. Don’t do the same. Be free as a bird,” was how she responded to disapproving society. To add to her long list of accolades, she was also recently included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia in Entertainment and Sports.
- Sarah Geronimo
Known as the “Popstar Princess”, Sarah Geronimo is one of the youngest and most successful singers in Asia. After emerging as champion for a local singing competition in 2002, her career as a professional singer, recording artist, TV host, and actress had launched. She is not only a successful artist with many awards to her name, but also an inspiration to others. At local talent competitions, a lot of the young girls say that they aspire to be just like Sarah and follow in her path someday.
- Lea Salonga
Known for her powerful voice and perfect pitch, Lea is a singer and actress who is best known for her Tony Award winning role in Miss Saigon. She was also the first Asian in history to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on broadway. She has performed with legendary popera quartet Il Divo around the world, and has achieved great success in sold out concerts. Throughout her career, she has performed for Phillippine and American presidents, Princess Diana, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Lea currently serves as a judge on The Voice Philippines.
Melanie Alvarez, better known as Kyla, got the nickname ‘Queen of R&B’ from her adoring fans. She developed her singing passion at a young age, and jumped on any opportunity possible to showcase her singing ability. She started joining local singing competitions, and got the attention of former director Al Quinn who convinced her to join ‘That’s Entertainment’, a popular local talent show for younger generations. She eventually rose to stardom and became successful, adding plenty of awards and albums to her name.
- Regine Velasquez
Like many others on this list, Regine also joined singing competitions as a child and it was apparent that she was destined for singing. She was trained by her father, who actually came up with an interesting method by submerging her into the water up to her neck, which strengthened her voice. As the years went by, she continued to become more successful and reap in the rewards of her talent. She became an international star and released multi-platinum albums in Asia after touring around various countries, captivating jam-packed crowds, becoming a crowd favorite due to her charm. She is hailed by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry as the country’s best-selling artist of all time
- Yeng Constantino
The pop-rock artist embodies originality. Despite citing artists such as Avril Lavigne and Martina McBridge as her early influences, Yeng has her own distinctive style when it comes to her music and she writes most of her songs on her own. She also has the ability to pull off different hair colors, to set herself apart from other artists. The multi-platinum recording artist is also known as Philippines’ own rock princess. To celebrate a decade in the music industry, she plans to release a musical this year, featuring her discography from the past.
- Julie Anne San Jose
Julie Anne was part of Sugarpop, a children singing group which performed weekly in a show called SOP. When the show ended, she decided to evolve as a solo performer. She started performing songs on UStreams and became an internet phenomenon. At only 22 years old, Julie Anne now has a certified diamond record, and a single “I’ll Be There” which has been certified double platinum, triple platinum and quadruple platinum by the Philippine Association of the Recording Industry. Despite all the success, Julie Anne still values the importance of education as she just recently graduated with a degree in Communication Arts.>
- Lani Misalucha
Despite being born into a family with operatic singers, Lani never planned to be a professional singer. Instead, she wanted to be an astronaut. But with a voice of an angel, she realized she had the ability to do what not many could. She developed a dynamic versatility and could imitate the vocal stylings of the greats such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. She made history by becoming the first Asian to headline in a main showroom on the Las Vegas strip over a decade ago, and also voted best singer in the 27th annual Best of Las Vegas poll.
- Toni Gonzaga
Toni was always an instant favorite in singing competitions, and was constantly taking first prize. She got exposure at a very young age, and was used to performing in front of large audiences. She slowly built her way up by joining auditions, competitions, lounge singing and landing small roles. She has come a long way since then, achieving an endless list of awards and nominations, including a star in the Philippines Walk of Fame. Being a devout Christian, she still makes time for church every Sunday despite the hectic schedule of a superstar.
- Zsa Zsa Padilla
Daughter of the referee that served the famous Ali-Frazier world heavyweight boxing match, Zsa Zsa has performed in many successful concerts not only in the Philippines, but also overseas. She started off performing with a group, before deciding to embark on a solo career. Her specialties include ballads and Broadway hits, but her musical range is wide. She branched out and made the transition to acting, where she became even more successful and won many awards. Her daughter, Karylle, also followed in her footsteps and made waves in the entertainment industry by touring the world and adding accolades to her name.