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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charice Pempengco

Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco, who is better known by her screen name Charice Pempengco (born May 10, 1993 in Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines, is a Filipina singer who became a singing sensation throughout the world through YouTube. She started joining singing contests at the age of seven but became widely known in her native Philippines when she placed third in Little Big Star.

Little Big Star:

Pempengco joined Little Big Star in 2005, when she was only 12 years old. She was eliminated right away but was later picked in a wild card round to re-enter the competition. She worked her way up to become a finalist. Although she was the consistent top scorer in the final rounds, she only finished in third place.

YouTube Sensation:

Pempengco first attracted attention in the cyberworld when the FalseVoice channel of YouTube posted her Little Big Star performance of Whitney Houston's hit, "I Will Always Love You." Many viewers thought her singing was fake, and that she was only lip synching because of her unbelievable vocals. Another popular video was a face-off between Pempengco and America's Got Talent winner, Bianca Ryan. These videos brought Pempengco to the attention of Ten Songs Productions, a record company based in Sweden. She then traveled to Stockholm in June 2007 and recorded seven songs, which inluded three cover songs, namely Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," and the Shakespeare Sisters's "Stay" plus four original songs, "Amazing," "All The Money in the World," "It Can Only Get Better," and "Born to Love You Forever." There is no news about when an album will be released.

A few months later, FalseVoice released a video of Pempengco singing the Dreamgirls anthem, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." This earned her an invitation from one of the biggest television networks in South Korea, Seoul Broadcasting System, in October 2007 to perform on a talent show called Star King. The Korean audience was wowed by her jaw-dropping rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Many viewers reposted her Star King performance on YouTube, and Pempengco found her way into American television. TV network E!'s The Daily Ten featured her Star King performance with the headline, "A Star Is Born" on November 14, 2007 and then crowned her as the "Queen of the Week" on the Hollywood Royalty segment, this time with the headline, "A Queen Is Born" on November 16. Pempengco's performance on Star King was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on its November 28, 2007 episode, in which Ellen showed web videos of different people she would like to have as guests on the show. After showing the video, DeGeneres did a standing ovation and imitated Pempengco's gestures. She later personally invited the young singer to perform on the show.

On December 19, 2007, Charice sang her already popular "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going" and "I Will Always Love You" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, leaving the audience, Ellen and all of America in awe.