Gleeful Charice on music, places, and international stardom

by Nickie Wang

THE last time we had a chat with Charice was when in a press conference for a Valentine concert at the Philippine International Convention Center in February. Since then, the 18-year-old singer has been traveling to different cities around the globe, performing before big crowds and enthralling them with songs like “Note God” and her own rendition of power ballads originally sang by Whitney Houston and Celine Dion.

Five months later, we had another chance to see the teen singing sensation before she endeared herself to Filipinos with a series of concerts over the weekend.

Charice performed cuts from the internationally released self-titled album at the Newport Plaza, Resorts World on July 15, Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio on July 16, and at the Eastwood Mall Open Park on July 17.

In the five-month period, significant events happened in Charice’s career: she had her fourth appearance in Oprah to launch her first American-made album; made the rounds of international publications; performed in many different and important venues; cast in the newest season of top-rating comedy musical Glee; announced that she wants to be a lawyer; and visited places she never thought would be reached by someone like her who started basically from scratch; and earned the moniker, international music scene’s new pop princess.

“I’m really thankful to all the support I get from all my fellow countrymen. Performing before them give me a different feeling,” says the petite singer.

Charice’s performance in Manila is part of her very first Asian Tour that kicked-off in South Korea on July 11. After the three-day concert in her hometown, she went to Japan (July 19 to 21) where she already has a number of following. The album recently topped Amazon Japan. After visiting the lucrative market of Japanese Music, she will then continue promoting Charice in Thailand and finally in Malaysia.

While in South Korea, the young belter made an appearance in Star King, the talent show instrumental in her international discovery. Her rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m not Going” was her key to being discovered by Ellen DeGeneres and later on by Oprah Winfrey.

“They kept on telling me that I really don’t need to appear on the show because I’m already famous,” Charice giggles pertaining to the people from the Korean program, “But it’s my way of thanking them. Without Star King I wouldn’t be able to reach this far.”

Going places

Charice is literally going places and her face will be seen in more territories in the months to come. She lists Chicago, Paris, and Seoul as three of her most favorite places due to massive support she received during her performances in the aforementioned cities.

Recently she sat for interviews with US Weekly and Rolling Stone. She is also set to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue.

“I can’t really confirm that, all I can say is, you just have to wait and see,” Charice said, adding that she would be appearing in Glee.

According to initial reports, Charice will play an international exchange student in the series, which is one of the most watched programs in the United States with an average 13 million viewers per episode. Charice explains that she cannot give further details on her appearance in Glee because she has not read the script yet. She is set tape on July 28.

Back to her roots

Though she has gone to many places no other local artists have been to, and worked with big names in the international music industry, and met music top-notched artists, Charice still looks back to her roots. At the press conference held at the Richmonde Hotel in Eastwood City, someone asked about her being idolized by Sarah Geronimo, who hosted the Little Big Star where she lost to teen singer Sam Concepcion. She simply said that things will not change and Sarah is still one of her inspirations.

Finally after asserting that “Filipinos will always have a special place in her heart” the teen singing sensation revealed that the three-day concert in Manila is just a sneak preview of an even bigger showcase of her amazing talent. Charice will be one of the featured artists in a star-studded concert of David Foster on Oct. 23 at the Araneta Coliseum. The musical event will also see live performances of Peter Cetera, Natalie Cole, Ruben Studdard, and The Canadian Tenor.

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