Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco is a Filipino singer who drew rave reviews once more at the Oprah Show a few weeks ago and also at the post-Oscar celebration sponsored by Oprah Winfrey to honor Oscar winners. It is one thing to receive standing ovation from ordinary people but to have received the same from fellow celebrities is an alert to us that this young star has finally arrived.
It was also Oprah Winfrey who acclaimed her as the Most Talented Girl in the World since 2009. In 2008, when she was 16, following the mind-boogling guest performance at the Oprah Show, she became increasingly a household buzz. She capped it off with a brilliant duet with Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden. It was during her guest appearance on Oprah that Celine – on national TV – invited Charice to join her onstage at MSG. It was a riot.
Following the pivotal moments with Oprah and Celine, post-dating her already established YouTube cyberspace fame - where she was first discovered, Charice has had duet performances with many famous performers around the world such as Andre Bocelli, the great Italian tenor.
She is the new Diva of the rarefied world inhabited by the likes of Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and few privileged others. Her song repertoire in the recent past has drawn heavily from the hit songs that built the fame of these divas. She draws the greatest influence and song materials from Celine Dion, whom she adored while growing up. When she was 3, she drew her pictures on her painting board with crayons. Imagine the fire and eruption when for the first time they met up and performed together. But now she sings her own songs.
If you may have consumed your 100+ listenings to her early adaptation songs, try listening to her sing Pyramid, Reset and Note to God, for example. You will see the fine evolution of her musical style and the greater definition of her musical range. The way she hits the supremely difficult high notes and sustain it will rock you off your seat. Maybe even cause you to drop a few tears. This girl can move emotional mountains, maybe tsunamis. She dazzles and convinces! She delivers.
If you haven't heard her, turn on your Youtube and be amazed. Plus she is certifiably a crossover star having a broad, loyal following from her own age group and the more mature ones and more. You cannot help but notice that she is a great dancer too. Watch her mimic Michael Jackson using latter's bravissimo moves and heart-stopping undulations orchestrated together by head, arms, feet and hips. Not nearly as great as Michael this little girl is but impressive enough to win a battle for the title of all-around performer.
David Foster, arguably the greatest pop composer/performer/arranger combined - of all time - as attested to by his more than 140 Grammy Awards (that's not a typo, dear), has carefully guided and nurtured Charice fast-track ascent onto the nether world of egregious fame. This is the same guy who guided Michael Buble, the present-day Frank Sinatra, onto the stratosphere of performing fame. The chemistry between the two is quite apparent. The mutual respect and admiration exceeds the ordinary business protocol between two famed artists. There is pure adoration. Look at their eyes. She has become a Foster child, to borrow her own words that she uttered at a celebrity bash thrown in honor of David Foster. Why not? She did write to him asking him to be her godfather. You know what, he said yes without blinking his heart.
Quo vadis, Charice? Sky is the limit. This 18-year old girl is a gift from God. Her vocal chords are still developing. With greater songs composed to challenge her emergent mezzo-soprano vocals, we gonna be witnessing a Super Diva occupying the bright sky for a long, long time. Let's hope success will not spoil her inexorable ascent and that this heavenly surprise from God will last many, many incandescent years minus the usual controversies that have cut short the brilliant careers of many. Not even burps and speed bumps, baby.
Aren't we glad her generation crossed with ours? Bravo, Charice! Please stay on your feet. Too bad she may not be able to perform a duet with the self-destructed Whitney Houston, whom she adored. But then again, who really knows? Whitney-Charice combo? It may wake up even the angels from hell.
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