Asian Superstars Vol 4: Charice Pempengco from Youtube to Jacko
Veröffentlicht am Freitag, 10. Mai 2013 21:50
She was only two weeks away from the biggest moment, an artist could probably reach in pop music business: standing on the stage with the king of pop, Michael Jackson, performing a song together with him. It was in summer 2009, when Filipina singer Charice Pempengco announced that Jacko’s lawyer had approached her, because he had chosen her to be his special guest on his tour. They were about to perform Billie Jean together. It was like a fairy tale: Michael had seen videos of Charice dancing on his song. “I want this kid”, were his words – the legend tells. But they were never to perform together. Michael passed away a few days later. Charice was 17 years old as this happened, and almost a year before she released her first international studio album Charice – the same one was released 2008 on the Philippines only.
Charice Pempengco, better known only as Charice, was born 1992 in Cabuyao City. She was raised by her single mother Raquel. To help her earning money to support the family, she entered singing contests when she was seven years old – about a hundred further contests were to follow. In 2005, when 13 years old, she entered the TV show Little Big Star. She got eliminated in the first round, but got recalled and became one of the finalists. It took another two years when she got worldwide recognition. A supporter posted some performances of her on Youtube. And 15 million people watched it. This triggered a huge career that rocketed Charice into superstardom.
A Swedish production company invited her to do a couple of demo-recordings. After that she was invited to a South Korean talent show. It were also her Youtube videos that set Ellen DeGeneres on track to invite Charice Pempengco to her TV show – just the start of a series of international TV-show appearance, in which she performed covers of Celine Dion or Whitney Houston, two singers, her voice matches perfectly. Just a few weeks before the encounter with Michael Jackson, Charice was invited to Oprah Winfrey’s show “World’s Smartest Kids”. After that show, Winfrey got Charice together with producer David Foster. A lot of international invitations were to follow. One was to sing with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli in Italy or to Rotterdam, where she sang the club’s anthem in front of 50, 000 football fans.
It is a huge world, but in some respects it can be said that her international career is unprecedented for an Asian artist. Her album Charice entered the American Billboards 200 charts at number eight, making her the first Asian singer to reach the Top 200 album charts. Her most successful single to date is Pyramid, which reached the Top 40's in several countries.
Charice experienced a personal setback in October 2011, when her estranged father, 40-year-old construction worker Ricky Pempengco was stabbed in her hometown and died. Charice immediately stopped a concert in Singapore. Her father had an argument in a grocery store in San Pedro, Laguna, a Township south of Manila. As the police reported he got into an argument with a drunken man who stabbed him with an ice pick several times.
Charice states her mother as her major musical influnce. Raquel, who used to sing in a band, practiced with young Charice, when she was still a kid. Growing up she listened to Celine Dion, Whitey Houston or Mariah Carey. Even though Charice won’t get an opportunity to perform with Michael Jackson, there are a couple of other contemporary artists, she would like to be on stage together with one day, e.g. Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Eminem or Dr. Dre. And I bet – this time it will happen. It won’t take long. Andreas Nöthen