Pinoy Voices in the International Scene. Guess Whose on Top?

Praised by the whole wide world for their amazing vocal prowess. Imitated but never copied, praised and oft-times chided but still coming on strong. Yes, they’re the Philippines’best export to the world for deep inside,these masters of the craft of singing are certified Pinoy in heart and in blood – 101%.


Music is universal. It crosses the mountains of Russia, the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates, the slopes of Alaska or the jungles of the Amazon and unites every breathing human being into one progression of a beautiful cadence. It’s no accident every nation has a national anthem. Songs unite us. And in this regard, one of the best gift the Philippines has given to the world are its plethora of gifted singers who continually amaze the world in their awe-inspiring performances. That with the advent of technology is able to rich even the blindest of the blinds and soften the hardest of hearts – worldwide.

Friends, Pinoys, countrymen, lend me your musical ears. Allow me to present the most-praised, most-sought after Pinoy singers who have continually given the world another reason to sing its heart out.

#10: CharicePempengco


Who would not recognize CharicePempengco who have made such hits worldwide as the David Foster song Pyramidcapturing U.S., global audiences and Pinoy hearts in the process.She has become a household name in the U.S., performing in such widely-followed global talk shows as Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah and singing in such notable events as 2 US presidential pre-inaugural events.

Of course, this nightingale’s glorious sound ever so ingenuously discovered online (making 15 million hits on Youtube) had to have somebody to call as special someone. And she did. Hardly being able to contain it all, formerly-alluring Charicewho now sports boyish looks finally admitted on June 2, 2013 that she is a lesbian. No problem, Charise. Just continue singing.

Birth Name: Charmaine Clarice RelucioPempengco

Bithday: May 10, 1992 (age 22)

Origin: Cabuyao CityLaguna

#9: Rose Fontanes

Rose Fontanes

Another Pinay who brought tremendous praise for Filipinos globally is Rose “Osang” Fontanes. A Filipino caregiver, Osangconquered Israeli hearts in their first ever season of The X Factor Israel.

Her winning piece is  “This Is My Life” by Shirley Bassey. Like CharicePempengco, Rose has been open about being a lesbian. Let’s hear it Rose!

Birth name       Rose Fostanes

Born          January 2, 1967 (age 47)

Origin: Taguig, Philippines

#8: Charlie Green

Charlie Green

Charlie is born in England of a pure Filipina mother, Cecilia Sumargo from Cebu and an English father, Robert Green. It seems the Pinoy blood got the better of him as he soon was winning audiences all over the world in a U.S. and Asia tour.

Charlie made his mark  on the second series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2008 dazzling audiences with his impeccable jazz style rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind song. Currently, Green has standing contracts with Viva Records.

Birth name:     Charlie Green

Born:        February 16, 1997 (age 17)

Origin:      Droitwich, Worcestershire, England

#7:Jasmine Trias

Jasmine Trias

Now, here’s one who’s pure-bloodied Pinoy who made Philippines proud, born in Hawaii of pure-bloodied Filipino parents.

Jasmine made a name for herself and for the whole Filipino race when she placed third in American Idol. She has won the hearts not only of the judges including Simon Cowell who replied “Jasmine, it was just superb” to her Top 12 rendition of “Inseparable“.

Jasmine was honored in Pinoy country, given an audience with the President of the Republic of the Philippines. She has also become official endorser for McDonalds and Hapee toothpaste.

Birth name:      Jasmine Trias

Born:         November 3, 1986 (age 27)

Origin:      Mililani Town, Hawaii, United States



Dubbed the “New Siren of The Strip” since performing in Las Vegas since 2004, Lani’s angelic voice has captured and won American tastes and Filipino hearts worldwide.

Born into a musical family, her father being an operatic tenor and her mom a coloratura soprano, Lani topped in the local industry fronting bands and topping Philippine Charts,eventually winning Grand Prize in 1999 Metropop Song Festival earning her Artist of the Year Award.

Her star finally shone bright globally when she became the first Asian to headline in a Main Showroom in a Las Vegas Strip. Her singing style has caught so much attention among audiences worldwide she has earned the staff pick Best Singer in the 27th Annual Best of Las Vegas poll.

Born:         August 3, 1969 (age 45)

Origin:      Manila, Philippines


Nicole Scherzinger

Born in Hawaii of a Filipino father and Russian mother, Nicole has sold 16 million albums worldwide as a solo artist and 54 million as the lead singer of Pussycat Dolls.

Definitely a global icon, Nicole first appeared as a back-up vocals for a rock band Days of the New. She has since left the band and successfully auditioned tothe burlesque troupe, The Pussycat Dolls touring the world eventually as its lead singer. It was in 2011 that she released her debut studio album, Killer Love, which established her as a soloist to beat.

Birth Name:     Nicole PrescoviaElikolaniValiente

Born: June 29, 1978 (age 36)

Origin: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

#4:Arnel Pineda

Arnel Pineda

Now, on to a street vagabond who by sheer talent and perserverance in his music went on to become a global icon and frontman of world-renowned band Journey.

Losing his mother at a tender age of 13 and wanting to ease his father’s burden, Arnel struck out on his own in his early teens. It’s hard to imagine how from being a sleep-anywhere can-hardly-eat street punk can become so famous today. But Arnel stayed true to his music starting out at 15 years old in 1982 in a band called Ijos. Ijos morphed into the band Amo which won the Rock Wars contest in the country and whose members would soon leave Arnel to form The Boss.

Pineda got his break whenJourney saw his rendition of the famous band’s songs in YouTube in February 2007.

Birth name:      Arnel Pineda

Born          : September 5, 1967 (age 47)

Origin: Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines

#3:Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars may not need any forward description whatsoever as he is a global sensation carrying tours worldwide and completing a very successful tour in the Philippines recently.

Allow me to discuss his claim to fame as a Filipino singer. Bruno was born in Hawaii to a Filipina mother named Bernadette San Pedro Bayot who has since passed away in 1st day of June, 2013. His father, a Puerto Rican met his mom in a show where both were performing, the latter as a hula dancer and the former as a percussionist.

To cap, Mars has won 2 Grammy Awards and sold over 11 million albums and 68 million singles worldwide.

Birth Name      : Peter Gene Hernandez

Born: October 8, 1985 (age 28)

Origin: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Apl may have been born of an African American father stationed at Clark Air Base but life was hard for him at the onset as his father left the family shortly after his birth. His mother a true blue Pinay named Criselda Pineda raised him and his 6 younger sibling as a single mom. However, fate would smile at young Apl, then called by his given name Allan, as through the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, an American would soon adopt him at 14 enticed by Disneyland.

Today, is a global icon being a member of the Grammy-award winning group The Black Eyed Peas and a record producer. What’s striking is fame did not blind the man. Apl never left his roots maintaining dual citizenship as an American and a Filipino and keeping a name that means Allan Pineda Lindo (Apl) de (of) Angeles City Pampanga (Ap).

Born:         November 29, 1974 (age 39)

Origin: SapangBato, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines

#1:Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga

Lea stands alone. For all the awards and acclaim she has given the Philippines, putting her statue in every government building seem fitting.

To boot, when Lea got the lead role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, she heaped so many critical acclaim for her astounding performances that has not been equaled by any Pinoy yet – Broadway success wise. Among them: the OlivierTonyDrama DeskOuter Critics and Theatre World awards.

And that’s just for starters, today Lea holds the distinction as the first Filipino artist to be signed to an international label and first Philippine-based artist to be given a major album release and distribution deal in the United States conquering musical divides worldwide. Added to that Lea has been named in 2010 as a Disney Legend for her splendid work in the Walt Disney company.

Birth name:      Maria Lea Carmen ImutanSalonga

Also known as Lea Salonga-Chien

Born:         February 22, 1971 (age 43)

Origin: Ermita, Manila, Philippines

That’s it folks. That should do it. I hope this treat left not a sour taste in your mouth. If it did, please let me know in the comments section below.

Allow me to end with a parting shot form one of this A-listers. Taken straight out of the wonderful world of Wikipedia:

“I’d always been a working musician in Hawaii and never had problems paying rent. And then it’s like, ‘Now I’m in L.A. and my phone’s getting shut off.’ That’s when reality hit. I started DJ-ing. It was something silly. I told this person I could DJ because they said they could pay me $75 cash under the table. I didn’t know how to DJ. I lost that job pretty quick.”

—Bruno Mars, speaking about his experiences of moving to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career.

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4 Responses

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  1. Hubert1 says:

    Lea Salonga on Aladdin still gives me the chills even to this day!

  2. olaf! says:

    I think this list was made before Frozen was released?

    • Chanel says:

      olaf! sorry Frozen’s Let it Go is sung not by a Filipino – no no no, not even by a mile. It’s composer Robert Lopez is half-Filipino though.

  3. Chanel says:

    my heart goes to Arnel Pineda! good thing he hung in there even with the addiction. just luv him singing Born to Be My Baby!

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