Most of us probably only know Martin Nievera as the veteran singer and “Concert King” who gave us the classic hits “Kahit Isang Saglit”, “You Are My Song,” “Say That You Love Me,” “Ikaw ang Lahat Sa Akin,” and “Be My Lady,” as well as a well-liked, seasoned presenter who never fails to amuse us with his hosting stints in the past years.
But this 2023, he’s going to show us once again his flair in discovering and honing new breeds of talents as one of new coaches of the upcoming The Voice Kids Philippines Season 5. And before we get to this facet of him anew, let us revisit first his magnificent television journey over the past three decades in this Kapamilya Spotlight feature.
He may be the son of famous 60’s Filipino balladeer Bert Nievera, who used to perform with the Hawaii-based musical group Society of Seven and the grandson of 1940s prominent mezzo-soprano opera singer and radio personality Lourdes Corrales, but that did not keep him from carving his own path in the local entertainment scene.
In his Magandang Buhay interview in 2016, Martin reminisced about how he got discovered while singing at the shower of his high school’s locker room. He was part of the basketball varsity team, but only as a bench warmer as he admitted not being a very good one at it. A wrestling coach overheard him and told him to attend the choir auditions the next day, which he did. He made it, and the next thing he knew, he was already singing backup in a choir for legendary American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow for his three-day concert. And that, aside from the influence of his dad and grandma, made him realize that he really wants to be a singer.
It was further fortified by his unforgettable stint in the California State Talent Competition, wherein he’s the only Filipino who competed against over four thousand other contestants for four days long, and its eventual overall grand champion. He told the momshie-hosts in his latest Magandang Buhay guesting in 2022 that his winning piece was the Whitney Houston hit “The Greatest Love of All,” which his father taught him in his younger years.
After almost two decades of living in the United States, Martin came back to the Philippines in 1982 to pursue his singing career – and he succeeded. Aside from being able to release his first long play (or LP) “Martin…Take One”, he was given his own variety show as well, which he co-hosted with his now ex-wife Pops Fernandez. Besides, he was also able to try his hand in acting and radio hosting.
He has been with in ASAP since it began on February 5, 1995 – his 33rd birthday – three years before he completely transferred to ABS-CBN in 1998. He was bestowed the nightly musical talk show Martin Late At Nite that ran from 1998 to 2003 and was remade into Martin Late @ Night in 2013.
In 2010, he and his contemporary Gary Valenciano were tapped to host the musical game show Twist And Shout, which was succeeded by his first-ever stint as a mentor-judge for a reality talent search through The X Factor Philippines in 2012. He also took on the same role in the 2016 reality music competition I Love OPM.
Along with his being an ASAP Natin ‘To mainstay in the recent years, he also dabbles into hosting a talk show again via LSS: The Martin Nievera Show, which is being telecast from the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).
In July 2022, ASAP Natin ‘To celebrated the 40th showbiz anniversary of the Concert King by having the Kapamilya singers sing some of his greatest hits through the years, namely, “Be My Lady”, “Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin”, “Kahit Isang Saglit”, “How Can I”, “No Way To Treat A Heart”, and “Say That You Love Me”.
And just last February 5, he marked his 61st birthday with a star-studded production number with his fellow singers and hosts in ASAP through the years. This coincided with the program’s 28th anniversary celebration, which made him extra sentimental and emotional. He reminisced about his 28-year milestone as one of its pillars and how he was actually the one who came up with the title “ASAP” when it was still being conceptualized almost three decades ago.
The esteemed veteran singer also admitted how important the program is for him as this gives him purpose in life. “I have a family to go to church with every Sunday. This is church everyone. This is church! And we’ve been doing this for the past 28 years with love, passion and responsibility.”
Show your love and support to the Concert King Martin Nievera by watching The Voice Kids Philippines Season 5 beginning this February 25 and 26, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, and TV5.