From a childhood of domestic abuse and meager abundances, to performing on Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah and now reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Sales Chart, nobody could possibly have guessed Charice's fate. Her mentor David Foster, has called the pint-sized singer "the most talented girl in the world", which is quite the compliment considering he has worked with pretty much all of her idols including heavyweights Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Céline Dion. The eighteen year-old singer arrived in Toronto last night as part of a promotional tour which has her appearing on CTV's Canada AM, YTV, MuchMusic's MuchOnDemand and a live performance at Eaton Centre tomorrow, followed by a Meet and Greet at Indigo Bookstore. And this is only one of many promotional stop-offs.
Charice arrived at MuchOnDemand this afternoon and spoke about her rise to stardom after having been discovered on YouTube. She mentioned her influences and singing from a very young age in the Philippines, stating that music in her homeland tries very much to be like the amazing music in America. When asked about her friendship with Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber, whom also was discovered on YouTube, she said that the two are good friends and confirmed indeed that they are not dating. She indicated that she treats him like "her little brother". Charice though has her heart set on another very popular Justin (Timberlake, that is) and she giddily recalled how she got a chance to meet her idol last November, which had her literally shaking. Timberlake is said to have been floored by her three-song performance at the CS Board of Governors Gala, asking Foster "Where did you find this girl?".
Well, "that girl" had the young audience at MuchMusic as silent as mice while she fielded questions from fresh-faced host Jesse Giddings. Although it was an odd choice to perform for the young crowd, first single Note to God - a power ballad penned by Diane Warren - they finally warmed up, clapping along to her performance of current single Pyramid ft. Iyaz. The preliminary live performance of Note to God didn't fare so well. Her microphone cut out multiple times requiring her to re-sing the song, forcing the audience to stay 30 minutes past the show's normal finish time; a consummate professional. Giddings though, began to show slight signs of panic, indicating to the audience that he had a flight to catch to Vancouver after the show and the delays appeared to cut into his schedule. After the show's taping ended, she headed outside the studio to record a candid video for the station, where she sang snippets of some of her current favourite songs like Lady Gaga's Bad Romance with her nose plugged and Justin Bieber's Baby.
Her handlers were extremely kind to grant me a couple minutes of face time with her to take a photo together, chat and sign some photos for Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven readers. I can say first-hand that Charice is very, very sweet and she looks extremely happy to be at work. And despite insistent urging from her Manager to stop signing autographs for a gentleman who clearly would be selling her photos on eBay, she graciously stayed behind and personalized photos to him even. A class act.
Charice's self-titled debut is now in stores and despite rumours circulating that she will be appearing on Fox's Glee as a regular, she confirmed last week that this is simply a rumour. If you're in Toronto, don't forget to attend her free performance tomorrow at Eaton Centre Level 2 Albert's Way at 6:00 PM. If you want a Wristband for her Meet and Greet tomorrow it is recommended you get to Indigo Bookstore as early as possible tomorrow morning to get yours as quantities are given on a first come, first serve basis.
And if you haven't yet entered my Charice Prize Pack Giveaway courtesy of Warner Music Canada and Mr. Will-W.: Pop Maven, don't forget to enter soon!
Want more Charice pics? Look no further:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)