From 1980 to about 2004 I was a radio DJ, show producer, and concert co-promoter. During my nearly 25 years, which started at WSBU radio at St. Bonaventure University, and ended at WZZZ in Oswego County, with a recording studio in my home, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing many musical superstars from Kenny Loggins, Joan Jett, and Mariah Carey, to Boyz II Men, Lonestar, Madonna, and Beyonce. And through those years I was witness to rising stars in the recording industry. Some of the artists had to pay their dues and take years to establish themselves, while others burst into instant stardom like a meteor through the August sky.
I recall during my college days being handed a new album (yes, made of vinyl back in those days) from a new artist named Madonna. I played her first release entitled ‘Borderline’, and remember seeing the phone lines explode with instant fans. The rest is, as they say, History. Then while producing and hosting my Monday Night Dancetrack show on Star 105.5, I received a new single from Gloria Estefan’s record company, and remembering that I instantly knew that her ‘1, 2, 3’ single was bound for #1. Today it still serves as one of her best songs in her catalog.
So there’s a brief background of how I come to think that I may know just a little about the music industry and what makes an artist successful. And having said that, I just came across an 18-year old sensation whose voice can quite honestly be compared to the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. This new artist goes by just one name; her name- Charice.
Charice was born in the Philippines and sang in the streets and local taverns to literally feed herself and her mom. At age 13 she began to appear on TV talent shows in her country, and YouTube videos began to appear that blew viewers away. She was then invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show three years ago as part of Oprah’s annual Kids with Talent episode. Following that performance she began to be recognized as a true child prodigy. When Charice began to be mentored by the likes of Celine Dion her destiny was formed and her future was created.
Just a week ago Charice appeared on Oprah for a third time. However this time it was not to tell her story or become noticed. It was a time to celebrate the release of her debut, self-titled album (and nowadays that means on CD and digitally downloadable). On the show she sang her debut single entitled ‘Pyramid’ featuring Iyaz, and at that moment my ears tingled and my heart raced the way it did when I heard the incredible sound of Vanessa Williams or a 16-year old Beyonce of Destiny’s Child for the very first time. Some people can sing, some can play musical instruments, and how they play and sing is a gift. For me, my singing and instrument playing are somewhat limited (unless you think the jingle to the Nestle Crunch bar on the clarinet is the next great thing on commercial radio). For me, my gift is my ears, and these ears of mine know talent when they hear it and recognize a star before they bloom. And my ears had a celebration when they heard Charice for the first time. She is truly the next great thing! At only 18, it is exciting to think that we will be lucky enough to hear Charice sing for decades to come. With world-famous songwriter David Foster now working with and mentoring Charice, her future is in good hands. In fact Charice recently announced that she has chosen David Foster as her god-father. With leadership and mentoring from the likes of Oprah, Celine Dion, and David Foster, not to mention having your god-father as one of the best songwriters of all-time, Charice is bound to be one of those one-name stars that we will celebrate for years to come.
To find out more on Charice and view her latest ‘Pyramid’ music video visit her website at www.charicemusic.com.