When it comes to music and the movies, Filipinos are known to have impeccable taste. This is why singer-actresses would always be around and keep entertaining the public with their artistic gifts.
In the history of local show business, there are a number of female stars who are also established recording artists whose popularity can’t be underestimated. It’s amazing how they are able to succeed in both fields. Given a deep thought, there seems to be a magical bond between their two fields, acting and singing, that make them last long in the ‘biz. It is believed that if you’re a renowned singer, you will try acting as the next big step to further your career.
Almost all renowned female singers were tapped to do a movie. It helps that they have hit ditties which usually become the titles of their blockbuster offerings. These female recording stalwarts can promote the movies through their songs which enjoy constant airplay over the radio.
We listed some of the most successful and influential singer-actresses in Philippine showbiz whose names remain as revered as ever despite the influx of new talents in the scene.
NORA AUNOR. The country’s Superstar. It’s no secret that she first forayed into the entertainment scene via her singing prowess. She was an unbeatable Tawag ng Tanghalan champion during her teens before she eventually got into acting. It’s simply splendid how she enchanted the masses through her massive talent. While being a front-rank recording artist who has spun dozens of hits, she also evolved into being a premiere actress whose highly-commendable body of work make her a true national treasure.
Ate Guy’s career has now spun over six decades and still continues to thrill audiences with her sterling portrayals on screen. With her numerous awards both as a singer and performer, her name will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of everyone.
SHARON CUNETA. During the late ‘70s, she was the most popular teen recording sensation. From “Mr. DJ,” “High School,” “Santo Niño” to “Dear Heart”, “P.S. I Love You” and “My Only Love,” she endeared herself to the public. When she entered the movies in the early ‘80s, most of her songs became the titles of her screen assignments. Promoting her films didn’t become difficult as her songs could be heard anywhere. Her combined success as a recording and box-office draw catapulted her to the zenith.
Over the years, apart from her triumphant films at the tills, she released lots of studio albums that reached Gold and Platinum status, staged SRO concerts here and abroad, and won acting trophies which further solidified her stature as the one and only Megastar.
REGINE VELASQUEZ. Before clinching the title as Asia’s Songbird, she first joined and won in numerous amateur singing tilts. Her big break came when she won in Ang Bagong Kampeon and Viva took notice of her potential. She sang lots of theme songs for the outfit’s box-office movies then, and eventually was tapped to appear in some vehicles which gradually honed her acting skills.
Over the years, she staged countless SRO concerts, released hit albums, did blockbuster films opposite the hottest leading men of her era, like Aga Muhlach, Richard Gomez, Christopher de Leon, Robin Padilla and Piolo Pascual. Reg is also a well-known TV host and continues to be the barometer of success for aspiring music divas.
SARAH GERONIMO. Touted as the next Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez, this Star for a Night grand champion is a real darling of the masses. Her hit singles became national anthems of the now generation, like “Forever’s Not Enough,” “Sa Iyo,” “How Could You Say You Love Me” and “Dahil Minahal Mo Ako.” Over the years, she staged successful SRO concerts and did box-office hit movies most notably those opposite John Lloyd Cruz (A Very Special Love, You Changed My Life and It Takes a Man and a Woman) that gave her acting nominations. She continues to wow audiences in the hit Sunday variety show ASAP and became coach and judge in The Voice of the Philippines.
So far, Sarah has amassed awards from various award-giving bodies like Awit (12), Aliw (8) and MYX (26). She is truly deserving of the moniker bestowed on her which is Pop Princess.
DONNA CRUZ. She is the original Multi Media Star. Donna was a product of the kiddie singing search Bulilit Bagong Kampeon. A member of the famous Cruz clan in the local ‘biz, the be-dimpled lass became the princess of Viva Entertainment. She became the outfit’s goldmine when both her records and movies turned out to be smash hits. Some of her classic ditties include: “Kapag Tumibok ang Puso”, “Boy”, “Rain”, “Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot”, “Ikaw Pala ‘Yon”, “I Can”, “Ikaw Lang at Ako” and “Only Me and You.”
She has a number of hit movies and television programs opposite Ian de Leon, Keempee de Leon, Jao Mapa and Jason Everly. Donna bagged an acting award for Muling Umawit ang Puso, her film with Superstar Nora Aunor.
POPS FERNANDEZ. She was one of the torchbearers for OctoArts during her prime. Her hit songs include “Dito,” “Just Say You Love Me” and “Don’t Say Goodbye,” among others. Pops lorded it over the concert scene with her jam-packed shows which earned her the title Concert Queen.
Apart from recording and concerts, Pops also became a well-known and award-winning TV host starting with Penthouse Live. She also did lots of youth-oriented films then opposite estranged husband Martin Nievera.
ZSA ZSA PADILLA. She made a successful solo career as a songstress after her stint with the band Hotdog. Among her hit ditties are: “Kahit Na,” “Hiram” and “Point of No Return,” among others. Gifted not only with a distinct voice but a lovely face, she eventually ventured into acting and over the years established herself as an acclaimed performer. She already received acting accolades from various award-giving bodies apart from her best-selling albums.
LEA SALONGA. A combination of talent, wit and beauty, it’s no wonder she received international acclaim for the hit Broadway presentation, Ms. Saigon. Before reaching her present stature, she already started as a teeny-bopper appearing in numerous Viva offerings then, like Pik, Pak, Boom, Dear Diary and Captain Barbell.
Her theatre background helped a lot for Lea to get the plum role as Kim in Ms. Saigon. “Mula Noon, Hanggang Ngayon,” “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal,” “If Only” and “The Journey” are among her unforgettable hits. Her movie with Aga Muhlach, Sana Maulit Muli was both a commercial and critical success.
MANILYN REYNES. She was the hottest female young star of the early ‘90s, the reason why she was called The Star of the New Decade. Starting as a child actress, her fans multiplied when she entered the recording field. Until now, her signature song “Sayang na Sayang” has instant recall among listeners.
For a time, Mane became Regal’s Horror Queen as she appeared in many of its horror presentations. Until now, she still sings and appears on television, a proof that there will always be room for a talent like her no matter what.