Philippines is one of the top Asian countries with strong vocal prowess, and this is proven by some of their amazing talents including Philippines’ pride Lea Salonga, who is best known as the singing voice of Jasmine from Disney’s “Aladdin” and titular character from “Mulan”, Arnel Pineda who is the lead vocalist of American rock band Journey, and apl.de.ap, a member of Grammy-winning group Black Eyed Peas – but these are only a few of them.
And let’s not forget that there are tons of famous American singers who is of Filipino descent, some of them include Bruno Mars, Nicole Scherzinger, Vannesa Hudgens, Hailee Steinfeld, Enrique Iglesias, Cassie, Darren Criss from “Glee”, and Carissa Alvarado from Us the Duo group.
Like our previous articles, we are going to list out five top Filipino singers with great voice and songs, but do check out also our top five Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand singers as well!
1. Jake Zyrus
Previously known as Charice, Jake Zyrus went through gender transition, from female to male, back in June. As Charice, Jake was dubbed as “the most talented girl in the world” by Oprah Winfrey, who discovered him before his gender transition. Since then, Jake received a starring role in the American TV series “Glee” and had joined David Foster on his “David Foster and Friends” concert tour. His most famous single “Pyramid” featuring Iyaz peaked at the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 56, and charted within the Top 40 in a number of countries. Back then, his vocals was often compared to the likes of Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. After revealing his new identity, Jake disclosed that he had had both breasts removed and had begun testosterone treatment. He has also started to release new songs with his new deeper male voice which is said to have a similar range with Justin Bieber’s voice.
2. Sarah Geronimo
Also known as Sarah G, Sarah Geronimo is one of the top singers in Philippines and is often dubbed as the Popstar Princess. When she was 14 years old, she became the grand champion of the “Star for a Night” singing competition which launched her professional career as a multifaceted performer. Sarah is one of the Philippines’ most awarded young performers, receiving accolades even before she turned professional. Some of her music career highlights include coaching in “The Voice of the Philippines” and “The Voice Kids”, receiving tons of local awards including 12 Awit Awards, 8 Aliw Awards, and 26 Myx Music Awards which is the most in the awards history, winning Best Asian Artist at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2012, Best Southeast Asian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2014, Best Selling Filipino Artist at the 22nd World Music Awards, and Best Asian Performer at Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards in 2016.
3. Janella Salvador
Before becoming a singer, 19-year-old Filipina Janella Salvador started her career as an actress first in 2012. Her music career officially began in 2015 when she released her debut self-titled album, which peaked at #1, reaching platinum status by PARI with over 15,000 physical copies sold. Hong Kong Disneyland had also enlisted her to sing their decade anniversary English jingle titled “Happily Ever After” which was added to her album’s limited edition. Since then, Janella started to lend her voice to many Disney projects including “Disney in Concert–Tale as Old as Time” where she sang as Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Anna from “Frozen”, and she was also picked to sing the theme song of “Moana” for the Philippine release, alongside four other Southeast Asian versions including Thai, Vietnamese, Malay, and Indonesian. Her version of “How Far I’ll Go” currently holds 29 million views, the highest viewership amongst all the Asian counterparts on YouTube.
4. James Reid
James Reid is a Filipino-Australian who also started his career as an actor first. He began to dabble in the music industry when he released his first EP “We Are Whatever” in collaboration with Bret Jackson. As a solo artiste, James has received a total of 37 awards and 76 nominations, some of the notable ones include MTV EMAs Best Southeast Asian act in 2017, Favorite Pinoy Personality nomination at Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2016, Best Solo Star at SBS PopAsia Awards in 2015 and Best Fandom with Nadine Lustre in 2016. He recently released his third studio album “Palm Dreams” which feature the lead single “Cool Down”. The official music video for “Cool Down”, peaking at #1 on Pinoy MYX Countdown for 14 weeks, and peaked #1 on MYX Hit Chart for 11 weeks. “Cool Down” is the longest-staying at number 1 hit on Pinoy MYX Countdown.
5. Darren Espanto
Filipino-Canadian singer Darren Espanto is only 16 years old but he is slowly gaining popularity in the mainstream industry thanks to his strong vocal pipes. Started singing at the young age of 2, Darren won his first competition when he was 10. During the same year, he made his first TV appearance when he joined YTV’s reality television “The Next Star” in 2012, becoming the youngest finalist in the history of the show to be included in the Top 6. He gained prominence after joining the first season of The Voice Kids Philippines where he was coached by Sarah Geronimo. In 2014, Darren sang a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time” which topped the Philippine charts of Apple’s iTunes store, while his rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Somebody to Love” placed second. Though he is still a teen, Darren is already a recipient of 50 music awards, from ASAP Pop Viewers’ Choice Awards to Awit Awards, Push Awards, and MYX Music Awards.