Charice Pempengco, generally known as simply Charice, is a young Filipina singing sensation who made her recording debut in 2008 after becoming an international media sensation. Though of petite figure, she is blessed with a mighty soprano voice reminiscent of her idols Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Born Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco on May 10, 1992, in San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines, she made her television debut in 2006 on Little Big Star, a Pop Idol-style talent show specific to the Philippines, and finished as a finalist. The following year she appeared on the South Korean television show Star King, another Pop Idol-style talent show. While Charice fell short of first place once again, videos of her performances began circulating on YouTube, and she was invited to the United States repeatedly to appear on television variety shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning America. Above all, repeat appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show did much to raise her profile.
Amid the media blitz, she made her recording debut in 2008 with the eponymous mini-album Charice on Star Records. The album was comprised of six cover songs, including versions of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls and "I Will Always Love You," the Whitney Houston vehicle from The Bodyguard. Her second album, My Inspiration (2009), was a Mother's Day-themed collection released in time for the holiday. Around the same time, Charice released her first single, "Note to God," written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster. She was closely affiliated with Foster, who had become a mentor for the young singing sensation. She signed to Reprise for another self-titled release, this one a full-length issued in 2010 and timed to appear with another appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. ~ Jason Birchmeier