David Foster & Friends 2008

When Oprah called Foster, she asked if he had any gigs in which Charice could perform. He said that there was an upcoming tribute to him ("David Foster & Friends") featuring many of the superstars he had worked with over the years. Oprah insisted that Charice perform, to which Foster's reply was "Whatever Little O wants..." And so, on May 23, 2008, in Las Vegas, Charice took her place alongside some of the greatest luminaries in popular music: Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, and Kenny G, to name but a few. To say she rose to the occasion is an understatement. Charice absolutely wowed the audience, singing a medley of "I Have Nothing" and "I Will Always Love You." As Charice finished, she was receiving a huge standing ovation -- the only one of the evening.

"Ugly Duckling" to Beautiful Swan

Charice had been told that she would never be a success because she "wasn't good enough" and "wasn't pretty." In fact, it was worse than that. Some of Charice's classmates were so cruel as to call her "ugly" and "loser." Just for comparison, here's a video of Charice singing "To Love You More" at age 9 and seven years later, at age 16.

Charice's performance at age 9, on the show Bulilit StarQuest, earned her the grand prize. I love Charice's exaggerated gestures and choreography, which were created and coached by her mother ("Mommy Raquel"). In a smoother and more refined form, many of these would continue to be incorporated into Charice's repertoire. Unfortunately, Charice did not fit the Filipino ideal of beauty -- tall with European features, light skin, and long tresses.

Compare this to Charice's performance seven years later. Not only is her voice much more powerful, her ability to improvise around the melody is exceptional. Charice's obvious pleasure and confidence shine. And look what a pretty young woman she's become! Just like the ugly duckling who was relentlessly criticized for being different, Charice is now a beautiful swan. This performance aired on Umagang Kay Ganda (TV show), 11/13/2008.

Note to God

"Note to God," the first single from Charice's international debut album, was released on May 12, 2009. It peaked at first place in sales on iTunes and Amazon.com and shot to number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100. You can support Charice by downloading "Note to God" from either of these sources for just $0.99.