Charice Pempengco was a superstar on YouTube before she had a contract. She is a testament to the fact that an artist on the other side of the world can grab the attention of an American audience and its global neighbors with the click of button.
This young, talented woman has even been named the Most Talented Girl in the World by Oprah. While many would feel the pressure of such high praise; she is humble and gracefully accepts the responsibility that comes with being pointed out as the one of the most promising young artists of our generation. Charice recently appeared on “Glee” and this appears to be only the beginning of a fulfilling and illustrious career.
She has come a long way from home in the Philippines, but home is still in her heart.
Read on as we learn more about Sunshine Corazon, better known as Charice Pempengco.
Global Grind: You were a YouTube sensation prior to your current popularity. How shocking was it making the transition?
Charice Pempengco: It was much more shocking when I got so many hits on YouTube from all over the world, right after a friend of mine posted my appearance from a song contest. I got more fans after I appeared on Ellen and it grew larger after my Oprah appearances and the release of my first record. Of course the exposure on “Glee,” because the show has so many devoted fans, brought things to even greater exposure. But the fans are really nice when they come up to me.
Above: Charice Pempenco at Motion Picture & Television Fund event.
How were you discovered?
My mother heard me singing “Happy Birthday” one day, really loudly. I was four years old. My mom is a singer too, so she began training me and giving me lessons. Next I started entering singing contests around Southeast Asia. Then in America, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah and David Foster all saw me on YouTube and contacted me. So I credit all of them, as well as my mom, for “discovering” me.
You are the first Asian singer in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart. What does this mean for you, your family and your country?
I cannot describe how proud this makes me. Of course proud to be Filipino and representing my country wherever I go.
Above: Charice Pempenco in a pink polo shirt.
Your character on “Glee” is Sunshine Corazon. Does Sunshine share any similarities with Charice?
Sunshine loves to sing and so do I … We both have lots of energy and are very friendly.
What can we expect on “Glee” this season?
I have no idea what is going to happen. They don’t even tell the cast. They keep everything a secret until after we’re done filming.
Above: Charice Pempenco smiles for the camera.
What was the funniest moment in the studio with Bruno Mars making the song “Before It Explodes”?
It was an honor to work with him.
What is the difference between performing for an American crowd and crowds overseas?
I think crowds are pretty much the same everywhere. Naturally when I’m in the Philippines, I feel totally comfortable.
Above: Charice Pempenco strikes a pose wearing big chain.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist interested in getting 260 milllion views like you have?
Don’t ever give up on your dreams.
Oprah dubbed you as the Most Talent Girl in The World. What was your reaction?
I love Oprah and feel so grateful that she was such an early supporter. Her entire staff have been so loving and wonderful to me. I cannot say enough about how much respect and appreciation I have for Oprah.
Above: Charice Pempenco with blinged out mini purse.
You’re currently filming a comedy called “Here Comes the Boom” starring Kevin James, Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler. What have you absorbed from being around these seasoned actors?
They all treat me really well and they are very patient with me because acting is very new to me. I love how we all get a chance to sit down and talk before filming.
As a kid, you supported your family for many years with the prize money you won from various singing contests in Southeast Asia. Any philanthropic initiatives in the works?
I am the youth ambassador to Operation Smile.
Above: Charice Pempenco looking up at the audience.
What are three Filipino meals that I need to try?
Paksiw, Adobo, Sinigang and Fried Tilapia.
Above: Charice Pempenco sings her heart out.