Clearly, Idol Philippines judge Regine Velasquez-Alcasid won’t be considered as one of the country’s legendary OPM artists and hailed as Asia’s Songbird for nothing. Since she began her career, Regine’s exquisite, soaring, powerful voice enraptured the music industry, even making top caliber singers idolize and adore her. She would later transform into a multi-faceted artist, with impressive stints as a TV host and an actress.
Here are some key milestones in her three-decades-long career.
Ang Bagong Kampeon Winning Moment
Regine’s career started when she joined the amateur singing contest Ang Bagong Kampeon in 1984 using her real name Chona Velasquez. At 14 years old, the young songstress bested the competition and bagged the championship at the end of the season. She immediately signed a record deal and sang an astounding version of George Benson’s “In Your Eyes”.
First Hit Single
Having signed a record deal after her win, Regine had her very first single “Love Me Again.” But when she signed for another recording company, Chona became Regine Velasquez, and the label released her first debut album that carried her new name and first hit single, “Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang.”
Proving her title as Asia’s Songbird
Two years after her hit single, Regine flew to Hong Kong to represent the Philippines in the Asia Pacific Singing Contest. Her rendition of the songs “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from the musical Dreamgirls were her winning pieces in the finals.
Highlights of her Acting Career
Aside from her excellence in singing, Regine also showed her brilliance in acting. She took her first lead role in the big screen when she portrayed the character of the private tutor named Sam in the blockbuster 1996 romantic comedy film “Wanted: Perfect Mother,” opposite Christopher de Leon, wherein she also sang the theme song, “You Are My Song.”
In 2002, Regine starred on the Maalaala Mo Kaya episode “Lobo,” wherein she played a mentally challenged woman named Abby. For her astounding performance, she received the award for Best Single Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role during the 16th Star Awards for TV.
Best Selling Album
When she took control of her music career in the late 1990s, Regine released her biggest selling album, R2K, which was certified 12x platinum. It stayed on top of the music charts for over a year and was considered the most successful album by a female artist in OPM history. It featured such iconic covers of Jeffrey Osborne’s “On The Wings of Love” and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.”
Back to Back Win in MTV Asia Awards
In the MTV Asia Awards, Regine had back-to-back triumphs as the Favorite Artist in the Philippines. She won in 2002 and 2003 for her singles “To Reach You” and “Sa Aking Pag-iisa (remix)”, respectively. Performing in the awards show, Regine sang “Cry” in a duet with its original singer Mandy Moore.
Regine had her first solo hosting stint in the singing contest “Star for a Night,” in which Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo was adjudged the grand winner. The show was a Philippine version of the British singing talent show of the same title.
Aiming to raise funds for the Bantay Bata Foundation, Regine held the concert entitled “One Night with Regine at the National Museum” in April 2002. Singing a medley of her songs became one of the highlights of the said event.
In 2012, Regine celebrated her 25th year in the industry with the concert “Silver” at the newly constructed Mall Of Asia Arena.
In 2017, following the release of her album R3.0, Regine held the R3.0 concert at the Mall of Asia Arena to mark her 30th year in the industry. One of the most glorious moments in this concert was when she had a ‘birit showdown’ with other admirable singers namely Angeline Quinto, Julie Ann San Jose, Aicelle Santos, Jona and Morisette Amon.
Homecoming as a Kapamilya
After many years, the Asia’s Songbird officially became a Kapamilya once more. Her grand homecoming and contract signing as an ABS-CBN talent happened last October 16, 2018.
In December 2018, Regine sang “Ikaw Ang Aking Mahal,” the theme song of the action-drama teleserye The General’s Daughter that was composed by husband Ogie Alcasid.
Currently, Regine is a regular in the Sunday musical variety show ASAP Natin ‘To. Together with other much-admired artists in the industry, she gave memorable, astonishing performances.
Now, catch the one and only Asia’s Songbird in her first-ever stint as a reality talent show judge on Idol Philippines, which will premiere on Sunday, April 21, before Rated K.