First, there was Moymoy Palaboy, a Filipino Singing-comic duo known for their talent in lip sync. They are the Obeso brothers, James Ronald (Moymoy) and Rodfil (Roadfill). When their mother Nenita died in 2006, they moved into their Aunt Benny’s home. Both brothers love to sing, Rodfil at videoke bars while James Ronald as member of the band Pasionista. Rodfil auditioned for Star in a Million but it was unsuccessful.
Then came Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco or Charice who has started joining singing contests (at her early age) wherein the cash prizes has been big help for her family’s daily expenses. She and her younger brother were raised solely by their mother (Raquel Relucio) because their father left them due to domestic problems when Charice was only three years old. Charice competed in more than 80 amateur singing contests, from town fiestas to TV competitions. In 2005, she joined Little Big Star, a talent show wherein she became a finalist and awarded 3rd place.
And, finally, Arnel Pineda who also began joining singing competitions when he was still a boy. At the age of 13, his mother died and Arnel started singing in exchange for food. He even became a scavenger of scrap metals just to earn money for his daily meals. After several years, Arnel has able to join different bands and started to feed himself through singing.
So, what do Moymoy Palaboy, Charice and Arnel have in common? They are all YouTube sensations and internet phenomena!
Moymoy Palaboy started to upload their lip synch videos in YouTube in 2007, and their videos’ views has reached over 5 million in 2008. (More than 12 million as of May 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU_nOtD7acQ&feature=related) Most of their videos were shot at home, where their aunt appeared in the background while candidly doing her daily household stuff.
Due to their popularity, celebrity guests also appeared in some of their videos (with Jennylyn Mercado http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5YW1A8mXR4).
And then eventually, Moymoy Palaboy made their first TV appearance in GMA Network’s Bubble Gang on June 27, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=XhaA19uGMRc), and their antics became regular features of the said show. Also, they became contract artists of GMA Artist Center and became recording artists in which their first song was Kapit (from the soundtrack of animated movie Dayo).
In 2009, their debut album entitled Uploaded was released under Sony BMG and on the same year, they started appearing in different TV series.
Just like Moymoy Palaboy, Charice Pempengco, rose to popularity through YouTube but this time on a global level. In 2007, an avid fan started uploading videos of Charice live performances on YouTube. The videos received millions of hits making Charice an internet star.
Her video singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” became a big hit on a Korean video sharing website. And because of this, she was invited to the South Korean talent show Star King (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFOjodU_ DvM&feature=related).
And upon seeing her Star King performance on YouTube, Ellen DeGeneres extended an on-air invitation for Charice to be a guest on (EDGS) The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Charice flew to the United States and excitedly performed two songs (I Will Always Love You and And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going) on the December 19, 2007 episode of the EDGS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB_hybC9bm4&feature=related ).
On April 8, 2008 she became a guest in the The Paul O’Grady Show in London, England. And then on May 12, 2008, Charice appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in an episode entitled the “World’s Smartest Kids”, wherein she performed Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVgo MWdXZgg). Oprah was so amazed with Charice’s singing prowess that through her recommendation, the legendary music producer David Foster took Charice as his newest protégé.
Charice performed with David Foster for the first time on the May 17 (2008) opening of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. And she had her first international concert stage in Foster’s May 23 tribute concert entitled Hitman: David Foster and Friends, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Charice sang a medley of Whitney Houston songs as well as her well-applauded piece “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”.
And no doubt, because of Youtube, Charice has gained worldwide recognition. She did duet with international celebrities like famous Andrea Bocelli , Celine Dion and David Archuleta.
She had her first internationally released single “Note to God” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4Xd435coD4&feature=fvw), which was produced by David Foster. The single ranked #24 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart and #44 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
In 2009, Charice made a cameo appearance in the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. And on February 23, 2010, her international debut album featuring the club remixes of her second single, “Pyramid” (featuring Iyaz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCPDoo_wwLM), were released and ranked #46 on the Billboard Dance/Club play songs charts on the week of March 6, 2010. (As of May 8, 2010 her remixes soared high to #2 on the Dance charts on billboard.com, while her album was on #8 of Billboard 200).
Another internet sensation, Arnel Pineda became an instant international celebrity because of YouTube. After uploading in the website one of his shows in Hard Rock Café Manila particularly his performance of “Faithfully” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ragdoUO6s5w) which was one of Journey’s biggest hits, the famous band lead guitarist Neal Schon was able to watch it and was so impressed when he heard Arnel sing the song as passionately and as intensely as the original vocalist Steve Perry.
Steve Perry, due to a throat problem can no longer sing that’s why the band members have been searching for Steve’s replacement for so many years now. And upon seeing Arnel’s Video, Journey members were relieved knowing they’ve finally found its new lead singer. And according to them, Arnel not only perfected that Steve Perry sound, but he’s also reignited the soul of the whole band. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUkksIV8dC8&feature=related)
(To be continued)
Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/