Recently appearing on NBC’s hit show, The Voice, Filipina American Cheesa showed the nation that she has the musical chops to compete with the best. Her distinct, powerful and soulful voice caught America’s attention and was praised by distinguished artists like Cee-lo (her coach on the show) and Christina Aguilera. However, her journey was not one that didn’t have it’s fair share of challenges and tests. After moving from Hawaii to California to pursue singing, Cheesa found herself working at her career for over a decade, until her big break on The Voice. Since then, her career is only looking up.
With her new single, I’m Not Perfect, she shows that she is much more than just a pretty voice. She’s a woman who has something to say and brings to the forefront a reality faced by many young women – the challenge of true self-acceptance and self-love.
Find out more about Cheesa in our interview after the cut!
It shocks us still that 48-year-old Whitney Houston has passed away. Though her last few years have been marked by substance abuse, drunken performances and a mess of a love life, Whitney’s golden years cannot be forgotten. This was the voice who gave us classics including, “I Will Always Love You,” “How Will I Know,” and “Saving All My Love For You.” Whitney also inspired a generation of balladeers and divas — everyone from Beyonce to Christina Aguilara.
Though it was Jennifer Hudson who sang the tribute for Whitney at this year’s Grammy’s, our favorite tribute has been 17-year-old Filipino singer Charice Pempengco’s tear-strewn “I Will Always Love You.” Capturing Ms. Houston’s subtle, emotive, melismatic (melismas are those quick runs up or down the scale on one syllable) style best, Charice reminds us of the legacy one woman has left behind.
Filipina Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco, widely known as Charice, just debuted her newest video, “One Day.” It was written as a part of the ACUVUE® 1•DAY Contest, where teens were asked to submit a photo and with a one-sentence caption stating what they hoped to accomplish “one day.”
Darien Chen, Rona Capono and Kevin Yu were the lucky trio who, as a part of their win, were flown to L.A. to star in the video, focusing on the typical struggles of high schoolers. Chen is in the beginning of the video and is seen drawing a self-portrait (he wants to be an artist!). Then you can spot Yu making some twists and turns as a dancer. And Capono, who wants to be a pediatrician, makes her cameo as a shy high schooler who goes through the awkward moment of not knowing where to sit during lunch (we’ve all been there, I’m sure).
“I’ve really grown to love the art of dance, and in entering the contest I hoped that it would help take me a step forward in pursuing my dream,” Yu said. “Working with Charice was amazing, she’s so inspirational! This overall experience so far has just been tremendous; I’m just loving every second of it.”
I remember seeing Charice make an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show only a few years ago and I was blown away by her voice . . . and amazing story of how she got to where she is now. If you don’t already know, she was born in the Philippines and raised by a single mother after they ran away from her abusive father. To make ends meet, Charice performed wherever she could, starting at the age of seven. Despite the struggles, she always kept in mind her dream of making it big in the music industry. It’s nice to see that Charice is inspiring so many people and giving opportunities to teens just like her. Way to give back, Charice!
Filipina superstar Charice recently made her second appearance as Sunshine Corazon on Glee, and we’re sure her fans were ecstatic. What if you got a chance to make an appearance on Charice’s new music video? Ecstatic? We think so.
Now through May 23, 2011, you can enter the ACUVUE® 1•DAY Contest for a chance to win a featured role in Charice’s new video for “One Day” (yes, the song co-written and co-produced by Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers) and a trip to L.A. Read on for more details.
“As you know this season, we have 15-year-olds trying out. Maybe that was to discover a superstar like Thia.” Those are the words from American Idol’s host, Ryan Seacrest, as he introduced Thia Megia in the Top 12 finalists round, and we couldn’t agree more. Thia, only 15 when she auditioned, is the youngest contestant to ever grace the American Idol stage and I can’t start to explain how talented she is. Just imagine, people are describing her as the younger version of Charice, and that says a lot.
Glee’s second episode of the season is on tonight! And this being the Britney episode, we know it’s going to be a good one.
However, it was last week’s episode that was an unforgettable one to our writer, Camelia.
Here are her thoughts.
As an admitted gleek I had been waiting all summer for last week’s season two premiere of the Fox hit show Glee. As a Filipina American I was eagerly anticipating seeing 18-year-old singing sensation Charice belt her heart out for the world to hear. Charice’s appearance on Glee is a huge deal for the Filipino/Filipino American communities, but it is also a huge deal for the Asian/Asian American communities as a whole because she is continuing to put Asians/Asian Americans on the map in big ways.
The fact that Charice landed a role on an über popular primetime television show is a big deal to me, personally, because I grew up rarely seeing any Asian Americans on TV. However, when I did see an Asian American they were usually the bad guys beating people up with their karate moves; the nerdy guy or girl in the background; or the outcast foreigner with a thick accent and only speak broken English. What’s even more exciting to me is that on Glee Charice, a girl born and raised in the Philippines is playing the role of a Filipina girl born and raised in the Philippines who “totally” speaks English, as she told Rachel Berry.
As soon as Charice’s character Sunshine Corazon began singing her breathtaking version of “Listen” from Dreamgirls, tweets about Charice exploded on Twitter and people immediately updated their Facebook statuses to praise the young vocal prodigy. YouTube star AJ Rafael tweeted to the singer, “Charice, I love you. You make us singers proud. And most importantly you make us Filipinos proud.” Hundreds of Filipinos instantaneously retweeted Rafael’s message in support of their fellow Filipino.
The fact that individuals like Charice, Harry Shum, Jr., Jason Wu, AJ Rafael and Manny Pacquiao can become household names here in the U.S. shows the positive shift going on in our society right now. More and more people are recognizing the talents of Asian Americans and are no longer limiting them to just being intelligent and hard working. We’re slowly moving away from further perpetuating stereotypes about Asians such as being the “model minority” and it is FREAKING AWESOME. It’s awesome that young Asian Americans growing up right now can look up to musicians, dancers, fashion designers and athletes who may have similar backgrounds to theirs and look like them.
Glee airs on FOX Tuesdays at 9PM.
Add another Asian face on the hit musical dramedy Glee for next season, premiering in the fall. This time, it’s YouTube teen sensation Charice Pempengco, the pint-sized cutie with the voice of a diva.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the 18-year-old Filipina will be playing a foreign exchange student whose amazing voice threatens queen Glee bee Rachel (Lea Michele).
She just released her self-titled debut album last month, where it ranked eighth in the Billboard Top 200.
Check her out as a 15-year-old.
And then her appearance on Ellen, her U.S. debut.
I think Charice is a perfect addition to Glee. Her voice really is amazing. What do you think? Will you watch?
Photos courtesy of Charicemusic.com.