Thursday, June 6, 2013

Some of Charice's bravest moments

Charice Pempengco recently ended months of speculation when she admitted that she’s gay during an interview on a Filipino showbiz show called The Buzz. When the 21-year-old singing sensation was asked about her sexuality, she calmly replied, “Yes, I am a lesbian”. The former Glee star was soon overwhelmed by emotions and quickly broke down in tears.

These were tears of joy however as she exclaimed, 'Now, I feel free. I can go out of the house without fear and be certain that I'm not stepping on anybody's toes’. Charice also went on to confess how she had kept her sexuality a secret and that she was worried some of her fans would stop supporting her if she had come out of the closet. 'But to those who can accept me, thank you very much,' she added. 'We are all equal, whether you are gay or straight.'

Following in the footsteps of her former co-star Chris Colfer and Star Trek's Zachary Quinto, Charice’s move of publicly revealing her sexuality is a bold and brave one. In light of this, we’ve decided to compile ten of Charice’s bravest moments.

She may be a tiny girl, but she’s got a big voice and a strong heart…

Charice (her full name is Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco) was born in San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines. She was raised by her single mother, Raquel, who was the first to discover the young starlet’s extraordinary voice when she came home to her four-year-old belting out Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On atop the kitchen table.

With some voice coaching from her own mother (who was a singer in a band herself) and armed with a courageous young heart, Charice went on participate in a myriad of singing competitions at the mere age of seven to help support her family. In total, she remembers joining close to 100 competitions back then. What a feat for a 7-year-old!

When she was just three years old, Charice recalls a traumatizing memory of her father choking and having her mother at gunpoint when an argument between her parents escalated. 'My dad was about to shoot my mom, and I couldn't do anything,' she revealed to Oprah Winfrey during an interview in 2008.

Following the incident, Charice’s mother left the marriage and brought up young Charice single-handedly.

At the age of 12, Charice joined Little Big Star, a singing contest for children on Filipino TV network ABS-CBN. Initially, her screen time seemed short-lived when she was eliminated after her first performance but was brought back to the show as a wildcard contestant.

Things improved vastly for her from then on, as Charice began dominating the show’s subsequent rounds and eventually emerged as one of the competition's finalists.

After being extremely impressed by her performances on Little Big Star, South Korean talent show Star King invited 15-year-old Charice to perform a duet 'A Whole New World' with K-Pop boyband Super Junior star, Kyuhyun. One good thing led to another, and subsequently US talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres herself chanced upon her performance with the Korean superstar and extended an on-air invitation for Charice to be on her show.

Young Charice seemed to hit a purple patch right after her debut appearance in America on The Ellen DeGeneres show. The following year, Charice received another invitation to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, for a themed segment called World's Smartest Kids. She performed such a moving rendition of Whitney Houston's 'I Have Nothing” that she earned a standing ovation from the audience.

The performance also wowed Oprah Winfrey so much that she called to stop Charice's returning plane to the Philippines the following day, and introduced her to legendary music producer David Foster. He eventually took her under his tutelage.

It’s one thing to perform in front of a massive crowd at such a young age, but it’s another to sing live with one of the greatest singers in the world, Celine Dion, and hit every note flawlessly. Charice and Celine’s breathtaking duet of ‘All By Myself’, which she dedicated to her mum, earned rave reviews on the New York Times and New York Post.

It’s safe to say that Charice stole the spotlight from Celine, and we all know that doesn’t happen very often.

On October 2011, Charice’s estranged father, Ricky Pempengco, was murdered in her hometown in the Philippines. The tragic incident happened when Ricky bumped into a drunken man who quickly became angry and continued to stab him on his chest and back with an ice pick.

Even though she was not raised by her father, Charice laid him to rest at his funeral. She was strong enough to give a memorable eulogy and even sang his favourite song during what must be an incredibly tough time for the teen.

Having been perceived as a sweetheart for most of her time in the limelight, things took a turn for the worse in early 2012 when she traded in her signature long black locks for an ‘edgier’ and lighter short ‘do. She also revealed two tattoos.

What seemed like a normal day for Rihanna was a backlash for Charice. She received much criticism from the press and her fans for her drastic transformation. But the 4-foot-9 star stood tall and said, “I don’t care if you hate it, I don’t care if you don’t like it. What you see now is the real me” You go, girl!

Shortly after her father’s death, Charice took to Twitter to express her feelings towards her father’s family, after finding out her aunt had told reporters that Charice and her mum might be pleased now that Ricky Pempengco was dead.

On the social networking site, Charice called out her father’s siblings and lashed them for putting words in her mouth. She also publicly claimed that they had not let her visit her father while he was alive and also told her not to use his surname.

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