Top 5 Times We Fell in Love with Lea Salonga

 

Just about everyone seems excited for Lea Salonga’s return to Broadway alongside George Takei and Telly Leung in the new musical Allegiance. The musical, which was inspired by Takei’s actual childhood experiences, premiered in 2012 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Much to the excitement of fans, Allegiance is now set to open on Broadway by November 2015, with previews as early as October 2015.

If you’re unfamiliar with the breathtaking talent of Lea Salonga, then today’s your lucky day! We’ve rounded up five of the many, many moments we fell in love with Salonga to give you a brief glimpse into why she has so many loyal fans.

 


 

1) A Disney Legend
You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t mention Disney when they talk about Lea Salonga’s achievements. In 2011, Salonga was honored as a Disney Legend and for good reason! Not only did she perform at the grand opening of Hong Kong’s Disneyland and help voice Mrs. Kusakabe in Disney’s English dub of My Neighbor Totoro, she is also famously known as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin and as Mulan in Disney’s Mulan. So the next time you sing along to “A Whole New World” and “Reflection,” remember that the powerful voice belongs to Salonga.

 


 

2) On Stage
In 1989, Salonga was cast as the lead role in the musical “Miss Saigon.” This quickly catapulted her into fame as she won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theatre World award for the same role. She then went on the being the very first Asian cast as Eponine in “Les Misérables” and later as the character Fantine. She spoke to Rappler of her fond memories of the production saying, “For me, having performed in the two anniversary concerts was the most amazing experience ever. Sitting and working amongst some of the most amazing talent assembled felt like a dream, and I wasn’t entirely sure I belonged in this group. But it was amazing celebrating the show with many thousands of people [who] loved it as much as I did, or even more so.”

 


 

3) Breaking Records by Making Records
Needless to say, Salonga has received endless praise from the Filipino community. She made the Philippines especially proud by breaking a number of records. For instance, in 1993, Salonga became the first Filipino artist to sign on to an international label, Atlantic Records. She is also the very first Filipino artist to receive a major album release and distribution deal in the United States.

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Photo courtesy of YouTube

 


 

4) Humanitarian Work
On October 15, 2010, Salonga was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Programme was created to try and raise public awareness on issues relating to hunger and poverty. “It’s an incredible honor, but it’s also a great challenge,” Salonga said of being a Goodwill Ambassador during an interview. “I’m from the Philippines and there are millions of people who are hungry and who are poor and the issue of poverty in my country is so great. Hopefully, people back home will turn their attention to this campaign and to what FAO is trying to do.”

Photo courtesy of www.broadwayworld.com

Photo courtesy of www.broadwayworld.com

 


 

5) Her Inspiring Story
Okay, so it’s obvious that Lea Salonga is talented, but what about her as a person? Watch just a few interviews with Salonga and you will not only be a fan of her singing, you will also be a fan of her personality and her story. At 17, Salonga was a pre-med student, but things took an instant turn when she nailed the audition for the lead role in “Miss Saigon” after singing “On My Own” during her– a song from “Les Misérables” that she would go on to sing on the Broadway stage.

 

Feature image courtesy of www.interaksyon.com

Lea Salonga Sings “A Whole New World” 21 Years Later

 

Some know 43-year-old Lea Salonga as the first Asian actress to play Éponine and Fantine in the Broadway musical Les Misérables. Others know her as the first Filipina to be signed to an international record label. But I’m going to go ahead and bet that most of you know Salonga as the singing voice of Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan.

It’s been over two decades since the release of  the beloved Disney animation Aladdin. This means it’s been over two decades since we first heard the unforgettable duet, “A Whole New World.”

Recently, Lea Salonga took us back in time by performing the beloved song alongside opera group Il Divo. 21 years later and she still sounds just as breathtaking as she did then!

 

 

Salonga’s work has gained her a Laurence Olivier Award, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Award and Theatre World Awards. In 2010, she was named a Disney Legend for her work in Disney. Currently, Salonga is a coach on the Philippine edition of The Voice.

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Fan Sings “A Whole New World” With Lea Salonga, Shows Us What True Happiness Looks Like

 

For todays #TBT, we bring you a video from 2011. Now don’t let the date fool you– even now in 2014, the video is still making us smile. In fact, the video is making it’s way onto social media once again for another round of viral popularity.

Jared Young, an aspiring performer, claims that he dreamed of playing the role of Aladdin. The driven young man auditioned for the role at Disney’s California Adventure and even made it to the final cut, but he wasn’t casted. Not one to give up, he auditioned again the next year and (sadly) was not casted a second time.

As it turns out, Young only had to wait a few more years for his dream to come true. On September 2011, Young attended Lea Salonga’s Concert at the BYU De Jong Concert Hall. As many of you know, the popular Filipina singer and actress was the official singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney animated film Aladdin.

To everyone’s delight, Salonga surprised her audience by inviting a random audience member to join her on stage to sing “A Whole New World.” As fate would have it, Salonga chose Young.

The best part of this video is Young’s clear excitement and enthusiasm. The entire time, Young is grinning from ear to ear and his happiness is simply infectious. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself.

 

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