Not many Asians could break through the international music scene, yet one Filipina has shattered boundaries to reach her dreams. With her chart-topping hit "Pyramid," 18-year-old Charice has already become a global singing phenomenon. Dubbed by talk show queen Oprah as the "most talented girl in the world," Charice rose to fame through the online video sharing site YouTube and since then, she has cemented her place in the international music arena.
Last Saturday, July 17, Charice concluded her three-day concert treat for Filipino fans at the Eastwood Open Park. Two days before, she performed at the Newport Plaza at Resorts World Manila (July 15) and at the Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio (July 16).
Not even a torrential downpour could stop the pop sensation as Charice excitedly entered the stage despite an initial microphone malfunction. Her transition from the young girl to a stylish teen was evident—her shorts-and-tank-top ensemble matched with a fedora hat was a stark contrast to the pre-teen dresses she used to wear in her local shows.
She jumpstarted the night with "I Love You," an upbeat song from her self-titled album released under Warner Music. She followed this up with Beyonce’s "Halo." She dedicated the song to the crowd and to all her fans in the Philippines.
"Pasensya na po kayo na umulan pero siyempre ang ulan naman po na yun ay blessings sa atin lahat," said Charice as she welcomed the crowd. She also acknowledged the presence of controversial couple Dra. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho. "Before ko po kantahin ang next song ko, gusto ko po mag-hi sa ninang ko, Ninang Vicki Belo, hello po! Ninong Hayden! Pumopogi lalo!" she quipped.
Her rendition of "Halo" was received with thunderous applause. Host Migz with a Z from 99.5 RT had a brief talk with Charice after the song and asked her: "Aside from being your mentor, what do you see David Foster as?" After Charice’s debut on Oprah, the Canadian songwriter-producer took Charice under his wing and made her an international singing sensation. Foster also produced her chart-topping album and co-wrote songs for the pop icon.
"Siyempre ninong ko siya," she said with a laugh. Charice also narrated how Foster introduces her as his "pang-anim na anak niya."
"In three years na pinagsamahan namin ni Sir David Foster, sobrang special," she continued. "Si Mr. David Foster, hindi lang siya songwriter, producer, hindi lang siya mentor ko, siya yung tao na hindi niya ipapa-feel sa ’yo na siya si David Foster. Ayaw niya actually yung na-sa-starstruck ka sa kanya. Gusto niya yung normal lang."
As a prelude to her next song, a video wall in the background showed a montage of stars who, like Charice, shot to fame with help from Foster: Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, Kenny Loggins, Michael Jackson, Peter Cetera, Brandy, among others.
Charice then sang "In This Song," a ballad co-written by David Foster for her album. She described the song as "the story of my life."
Before venturing into her next medley, Charice thanked Falsevoice, the username of Dave Duenas who uploaded her career-launching videos on YouTube. Her videos were discovered by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, opening a lot of foreign doors for the teen diva.
Several covers from her favorite singers followed: Lady Gaga’s "Just Dance," Miley Cyrus’ "Party in the USA," Michael Jackson’s "Rock With You," and Justin Bieber’s "Somebody To Love" and "Baby."
She seemed to have saved the best for last as she concluded the night with her hit single, "Pyramid." Before she performed her renowned hit, she jokingly asked the crowd: "May nakalimutan ba akong kantahin?"
P.O.5 mainstay Chris Cayzer also appeared on the show as the opening act. He performed acoustic versions of Train’s "Hey Soul Sister," Travis McCoy’s "I Wanna Be A Billionaire," and The Script’s "The Man Who Can’t Be Moved."
After completing the Korea and Philippine legs of her Asian tour, Charice will be in Japan, Thailand and Malaysia to promote her 12-track album. Charice is the first and only Asian to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200 album charts. She is also set to appear in international magazines. Starting July 28, she will begin taping her episodes as a foreign exchange student for the second season of the hit comedy-musical series Glee.