Charice performs at the Mandalay Bay Events Center May 9, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
|Birth name||Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco|
|Also known as||Charice
|Born||May 10, 1992|
|Genres||Pop, R&B, soul|
Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco (born May 10, 1992), best known as Charice (a portmanteau of her first two names) or Charice Pempengco, is a Filipina international singer who rose to popularity through YouTube.
Pempengco was born in Laguna, Philippines. She and her younger brother, Carl, were raised solely by their mother, Raquel, after they left their father due to domestic violence when Pempengco was three years old.
To help support the family, she began competing in amateur singing contests at age seven, from town fiestas in provinces of Laguna and Batangas to several vocal competitions on TV. She is said to have joined over 80 singing contests.
In 2005, Pempengco joined Little Big Star, a talent show in the Philippines loosely patterned after American Idol. Eliminated after her first performance, she was later called back as a wildcard contender and eventually became a finalist. Although she was a consistent top scorer in the final rounds, she only finished in third place based on text voting.
Pempengco made minor appearances in local television shows and TV commercials, but essentially had fallen off the radar after her stint at Little Big Star. It was not until 2007 that Pempengco gained worldwide recognition after an avid supporter started posting videos of her live performances onto YouTube under the username FalseVoice. The videos received millions of hits making Pempengco an internet phenomenon.
In June 2007, Pempengco was invited to do a demo-recording for Ten Songs/Productions, a music publishing company in Stockholm, Sweden. She recorded seven songs - six covers and an original song entitled "Amazing". A few of these songs were rerecorded for her self-titled Philippine album, Charice.
After a video of her singing the Dreamgirls anthem "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" became a hit on a Korean video sharing website, Pempengco was invited to the South Korean talent show Star King. In the October 13, 2007 edition of the show, she performed "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and "A Whole New World" with Kyuhyun from a popular South Korean boy band Super Junior.
After seeing her Star King performance on YouTube, Ellen DeGeneres extended an on-air invitation for Pempengco to be a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Pempengco flew to the United States for the first time and performed two songs on the December 19, 2007 episode of the show - "I Will Always Love You" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going".
After her appearance on Ellen, Pempengco made a second appearance on South Korea's Star King as the "Most Requested Foreign Act" on the December 28 edition of the show. She performed Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and sang a duet with singer Lena Park.
For bringing honor to her home country, Pempengco was invited to the Malacañang Palace in January 2008 where she performed for Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She returned to the international scene in 2008 when she guested in the April 8 episode of the The Paul O'Grady Show in London, England.
Her self-titled Philippine debut album Charice was released in May 2008. The mini album, consisting of six songs and six backing tracks, was awarded gold certification in the Philippines in October 2008. The album was eventually recognized to have achieved platinum status in 2009. Pempengco appeared on the May 12 edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show in an episode entitled the "World's Smartest Kids", in which she performed Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing. It was through the recommendation of Oprah Winfrey that music producer David Foster took Pempengco under his wing. She performed with Foster for the first time as one of the entertainers on the May 17 opening of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.
She made her debut on the international concert stage in Foster's May 23 tribute concert, Hitman: David Foster and Friends, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. She performed a medley of songs from The Bodyguard as well as her standard, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". A CD/DVD of the concert, including Pempengco's The Bodyguard medley, was released on November 11, 2008. The show was aired several times on PBS and other public television networks starting in December 2008 under the Great Performances banner.
One of the singers at the concert was Pempengco's idol, Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli subsequently expressed interest in performing a duet with Pempengco and personally invited her to be a guest on his birthday concert "The Cinema Tribute" held on July 20 at the Teatro del Silenzio in his hometown of Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy. Aside from her solo performances, she also did a duet of the song "The Prayer" with the famous tenor in front of more than 8,000 people.
Pempengco was invited to perform for the Feyenoord's Centennial Anniversary in the Netherlands held on September 26. Before a crowd of about 50,000 football (soccer) fans she sang the team's anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone."
Pempengco made a second appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on the September 9 "Dreams Come True" episode, in which Oprah referred to her as "The Most Talented Girl in the World." She sang Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" with David Foster on piano, then Oprah went on to surprise her with an appearance by Celine Dion via satellite, who invited her to sing a special duet at New York City's Madison Square Garden as part of Dion's Taking Chances Tour.
She performed her promised duet with Celine Dion on September 15. They sang "Because You Loved Me," which was dedicated to Pempengco's mother. The performance received rave reviews in The New York Post and The New York Times. The duet was eventually featured on the September 19 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Pempengco would then perform at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children Benefit Concert at the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort. It was at this event that she met one of her musical influences, Mariah Carey.
In November, she appeared on Good Morning America with David Foster to promote David Foster's tribute album, Hitman: David Foster and Friends. She performed The Bodyguard medley and "I Will Survive." At the end of the month, she performed "Because You Loved Me" on the Good Housekeeping Showboat float at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In January 2009, Pempengco performed at two presidential pre-inaugural events in Washington, D.C., namely the Martin Luther King Jr Realizing The Dream Gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and at the Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala at the Mandarin Hotel.
In February, she performed at two post-Oscar award events, Oscar Night at Mr. Chow's and Oprah's Oscar After Party held in Kodak Theatre. She debuted a new original song entitled "Fingerprint", which was written by Robbie Nevil and produced by David Foster.
In April, Pempengco appeared as one of the guests in the season premiere of Ti lascio una canzone, an Italian musical variety show televised from Teatro Ariston in the city of Sanremo. She performed "I Will Always Love You", "I Have Nothing", "The Prayer", and "Listen". Later that same month, she would go on to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of about 57,000 baseball fans during the Los Angeles Dodgers 52nd season home opener at Dodger Stadium.
In May, Pempengco released her Philippine second album entitled My Inspiration, an inspirational album with a Mother's Day theme. The album consisted of 12 tracks, including an original composition by Jonathan Manalo entitled "Always You" and a cover of Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World" performed as a duet with her mother. The album was certified gold in the Philippines about two months after release, and then platinum in December 2009 as shown during December 13, 2009 episode of ASAP '09. Also in May, she would again perform at a David Foster and Friends concert held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For the third time, Pempengco made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on the May 18 "Finale: Oprah's Search for the World's Most Talented Kids" episode. She debuted her first internationally released single "Note to God", which was written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster. The single was also made available for digital download on the same day and debuted at #24 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart, #44 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, #9 on the Hot Canadian Digital Singles chart and #35 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. Later that same month, she was again invited to guest at Ti lascio una canzone for their May 23 finale episode and the May 30 gala episode.
Pempengco staged her first major solo concert dubbed Charice: The Journey Begins on June 27 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Philippines to a sold-out crowd. Her guests included Christian Bautista, Kuh Ledesma (a last minute substitution for one of the main guests and one of Pempengco's musical influences, Regine Velasquez, who was hospitalized right before the show) and Little Big Star finalists.
Pempengco contributed to two Christmas albums in 2009. The first as David Archuleta's duet partner for the song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in his Christmas album entitled Christmas from the Heart. The second is a compilation Christmas album entitled A Very Special Christmas Volume 7 in which she contributed her own rendition of "The Christmas Song". She was one of the headlining acts in the David Foster and Friends 10-City North American Tour that ran during the fall of 2009.
Pempengco made a cameo appearance in her first feature film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which was released in North America on December 23. She is also part of the official movie soundtrack with her rendition of "No One" by Alicia Keys accompanied by The Chipettes. Later in the month, Pempengco appeared on Singapore Idol's grand finale episode as a guest performer, where she performed two of her signature songs, The Bodyguard medley and "Note to God".
On January 23, 2010, Pempengco appeared on Io Canto, a popular children's singing competition in Italy. She performed her usual standards plus an Italian favorite entitled "Adagio", made popular by Lara Fabian. On January 31, Pempengco was one of the featured musical acts on a NBC Sports taped coverage of Silk Soy Milk Skate for the Heart, a show designed to raise awareness of heart disease. She performed "Note to God" and debuted two new songs included in her debut album, "In This Song" and "Breathe Out".
The album version and club remixes of her second single, "Pyramid" (featuring Iyaz), from her international debut album is slated for release on February 23, 2010. The Pyramid Remixes EP debuted at #48 on the Billboard Dance/Club play songs charts on the week of March 6, 2010.
Her international debut album with Warner Records label is scheduled for a May 11, 2010 release.
Prior to her American performances, it was reported that Pempengco never received any formal training apart from informal voice lessons from her mother.
In an ABC News interview, David Foster mentioned that Pempengco has the ability to mimic other people's voices, which, according to him, is a characteristic of good singers. In a separate interview, Josh Groban stated that Charice's voice is one of the most beautiful voices he has heard in a long time. The New York Post once called her a vocal prodigy for being able to sing 'big songs' even in her tender age.
Under the guidance of her mentor, David Foster, Pempengco performed for many charity events that included Barbara Davis' Carousel of Hope Gala (October 2008), Big Brothers Big Sisters Rising Stars Gala (October 2008), Harmony with David Foster & Friends Gala and Concert (September 2008), Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Gala (December 2008), Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XV (March 2009), The Heart Foundation (May 2009), The Songs of Our Lives Volume II Benefit Concert (June 2009), Andre Agassi's 14th Annual Grand Slam for Children (September 2009), the 8th Annual Smile Gala (October 2009), Miami Children's Hospital 2009 Diamond Ball & Concert (October 2009), and the 2009 Cedars-Sinai Board of Governor's Gala (November 2009).
Pempengco also sponsors the education of seven children through World Vision Philippines and is a supporter of Bantay Bata. Along with other Filipino celebrities, she also appeared in a Philippine-based commercial for "Ako Mismo" (translated to "I, Myself"), a non-political movement that encourages youths to participate in socio-civic activities. She helped launch an environmental awareness campaign with Hewlett Packard Philippines under their "My Backyard" initiative, even lending her voice for the campaign theme song written by the Center of Excellence (CENTEX) students.
She was one of more than 30 Filipino artists who contributed to "Kaya Natin 'To", a song patterned after "We are the World" benefiting the victims of Typhoon Ondoy. All proceeds from the sale of the song went to the disaster relief efforts of the Philippine Red Cross and Gawad Kalinga.
|2010||Pyramid Remixes EP
Notes: A Albums were released only in the Philippines.
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions|
|2009||"Note to God"||44||24||—||35|
|2010||"Pyramid" (featuring Iyaz)||—||—||26||—|
|2006||"I'll Be There"||Little Big Star|
|"Awit ng Kabutihang Asal" (with Little Big Star Finalists)||Little Big Deeds|
|"Sana" (with Little Big Star Finalists)|
|2007||"Smile"||H.O.P.E. (Healing of Pain and Enlightenment)|
|2008||"A Song for Mama"||Love Life (Life Songs & Life Stories of Boy Abunda)|
|"The Bodyguard Medley (I Have Nothing/I Will Always Love You)"||Hit Man: David Foster & Friends|
|2009||"And I am Telling You (I'm Not Going)"||OPM Number 1's|
|"It Can Only Get Better"||I Move. I Give. I Love.|
|"Note to God"||NOW That's What I Call Music, Vol 31|
|"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (David Archuleta feat. Charice)||Christmas from the Heart|
|"The Christmas Song"||A Very Special Christmas Vol.7|
|"No One" (The Chipettes feat. Charice)||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|