Regine Velasquez Biography, Music, Family and Awards
Regina Encarnacion Ansong Velasquez (born 22 April 1970) is a Filipino singer, actress, television presenter and record producer. Popular for her wide vocal range, she is widely known as “Asia’s Songbird”. Velasquez has been hailed by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI) as the Philippines’ Best-Selling Artist of All Time, with more than 7 million units sold in the Philippines and another 2 million units sold across Asia.
Regine Velasquez Biography Image
Velasquez won the Grand Prize at the 1989 Asia Pacific Singing Contest in Hong Kong. In 1994, Polygram Records produced her first Asia wide-released album, Listen Without Prejudice. It is considered as Velasquez’ most successful album to date, selling more than 700,000 copies in Asia. The album has sold over 100,000 units in the Philippines, 300,000 units in China and 20,000 in Thailand.
In 2000, Velasquez’s music video “In Love With You”, a duet with Jacky Cheung, landed at the #1 spot on MTV Asia’s Top 20 Asian Videos. On the eve of the new millennium, as part of BBC’s Millennium Special 2000 Today, Velasquez, together with some 2,000 Filipino youth, sang the Philippine millennium theme, “Written in the Sand”. This was broadcast by BBC to 67 countries reaching almost a billion viewers.
At age 21, Velasquez was the first Asian solo performing artist to stage a solo concert at the Carnegie Hall in New York, as part of Carnegie Hall’s centennial-year concert series. In 2002, she was the first Filipino to win at the MTV Asia Awards held in Singapore as Favorite Artist Philippines. The following year, she won the same award at the 2003 MTV Asia Awards. In 2003, she became the first Filipino artist to have a CNN Talk Asia special interview with Lorraine Hahn. In 2012, Velasquez had the honor of being the first Filipino artist to stage a solo concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines.
Velasquez has performed and collaborated with several international artists such as Paul Anka, David Hasselhoff, 98 Degrees, Alicia Keys, Brian McKnight, Mandy Moore, Ronan Keating, Stephen Bishop, Jim Brickman, Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne, Dave Koz, Jacky Cheung, Grasshopper, Coco Lee, Michel Legrand, David Pomeranz, Eduardo Capetillo, Fernando Carrillo, David Archuleta, Russell Watson and Singaporean vocal band Skritch.
Her career has crossed over to television and film, earning her Best Actress awards for her portrayal of a mentally challenged woman in a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode entitled “Lobo”, and for her performance in the movie Of All the Things. Her movie Pangako, Ikaw Lang (I Promise, It’s Only You) earned her Box-Office Queen title.
1970–1985: Early life and discovery
Regine Velasquez is the first child of Teresita and Gerardo Velasquez, born in Tondo, Manila. Her family moved to Hinundayan, Southern Leyte, where Velasquez studied at the Hinundayan Central School. Music impacted Valasquez early on, due to her parents, and at six years old, Velasquez participated in a nationally-televised amateur singing competition, The Tita Betty’s Children’s Show. Her piece, “Buhat Nang Kita’y Makilala” (Since I Met You), won third place. Velasquez continued to compete in more singing competitions in small towns around the country. By the age of nine, Velasquez and her family had moved to Balagtas, Bulacan, where she studied at Balagtas Central School. She later studied at St. Lawrence Academy, where she won Vocal Solo and Vocal Duet awards for her school at the annual BULPRISA (Bulacan Private School Association) competition.
At fourteen, Velasquez entered the senior division of Ang Bagong Kampeon (The New Champion), a nationally-televised singing competition which she won, in 1984. She won a contract with OctoArts, recording the single “Love Me Again” as “Chona Velasquez”, her nickname at the time. She then joined OPM, an organization of Filipino singers, performing in music lounges all over Metro Manila.
At the behest of friend and fellow OctoArts recording artist, Pops Fernandez, Velasquez guested on GMA 7’s Variety TV show, Penthouse Live on 16 February 1986. Martin Nievera, Fernandez’s then husband and co-host of the show, suggested to Velasquez that she drop the name “Chona” and use Regine as her performing name. That year, her father resigned from his job as a construction estimator to fully attend to his daughter’s blossoming career.
Viva Records signed Velasquez to a contract in 1987, releasing her self-titled debut album Regine. The album contained the songs “Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang”, “Isang Lahi” and “Urong Sulong”. Her first televised performances were musical variety shows with ensemble casts, such as ABS-CBN’s Triple Treat and the Sunday variety show Teen Pan Alley. Velasquez and Alley’s Janno Gibbs continued to collaborate throughout the years, creating the musical Kenkoy at Rosing, recording the cover song “Magkasuyo Buong Gabi,” and performing duets in concerts.
1988–1991: Career breakthrough
In 1989, Velasquez was chosen to represent the Philippines at the Asia-Pacific Singing Contest in Hong Kong. On 23 December 1989, Velasquez won the grand prize with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel and “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls. After the competition, Asian press started branding her as “Asia’s Songbird”.
Jose Mari Chan chose Velasquez to record a duet for his album, Constant Change. The album was certified Diamond by the PRIMA. Gary Valenciano penned the song “Each Passing Night” which they recorded together for his album Faces of Love.
Velasquez signed with Vicor Records and released several albums, starting with Nineteen 90. The album included “Narito Ako” (Here I am), her first Ogie Alcasid-penned song, “I Have To Say Goodbye” and “Promdi”. Her first major solo concert, Narito Ako, was standing-room only at the Folk Arts Theater, with Gary Valenciano as the guest performer. Velasquez’s debut United States solo concert, Narito Ako sa New York (Here I am in New York), was held at the Main Hall of Carnegie Hall on 11 October 1991.
She next released an album, Tagala Talaga (“A Genuine Tagalog Lady”). It comprises her renditions of classic Filipino compositions by Nonong Pedero, Willy Cruz, George Canseco, Louie Ocampo, Freddie Aguilar, and National Artists for Music Awardees Ryan Cayabyab, Lucio D. San Pedro, and Levi Celerio.
1992–1998: Asia-wide success
In 1992, Velasquez continued to guest on several variety shows in the Philippines. In July 1993, she was discovered by Alex Chan and Norman Cheng, the Regional Marketing Manager of Polygram Far East and President of Polygram Far East while watching her “Music and Me” concert. After the concert, they approached Velasquez and talked about their intention of signing her up to market her around the Asian continent. This would mark the beginning of her international singing career.
They featured Velasquez in a duet with Paul Anka called “It’s Hard to Say Goodbye”, which was included on her fourth album, Reason Enough, released in 1993. It was certified Platinum. It also featured “Sana Maulit Muli,” “Babalikang Muli,” and a duet with Gary Valenciano, “Slip Away.”
PolyGram Records produced her first Asian album, Listen Without Prejudice. “In Love With You,” a duet with Jacky Cheung, turned platinum in Taiwan seven days after its release. In its year-end sales of 1994, Listen Without Prejudice reported sales of over 300,000+ units in Asia within three months. It was reportedly the first huge success of PolyGram in the Asian continent.
Velasquez’s second album, My Love Emotion, featured “You’ve Made Me Stronger,” composed by Trina Belamide. Velasquez said this album was inspired from a live performance in Singapore. She performed in Singapore for the Perfect 10 Music Awards in 1995. She was nominated in two categories (Favorite New Act and Favorite Performance in a song for “In Love With You”) but lost. She sang “In Love With You” with a Singaporean singer and “What Kind of Fool Am I?”. After singing “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, Phil Buckle, the guitarist of Australian band Southern Sons, congratulated Velasquez and told her that he’d like to write her a song. Phil composed “My Love Emotion,” which eventually became the title of the album. She filmed two videos for “You’ve Made Me Stronger” and “My Love Emotion” and it sold 100,000 copies Asia-wide on the first month of its release. By the end of they year, My Love Emotion sold more than 250,000 units across Asia.
As part of her My Love Emotion Japanese album launch, Velasquez was invited to perform in many concert guestings, Asian music gatherings, and festivals such as Yoshinogari Ruins in Saga Prefecture in 1994 and 1995 wherein she did the opening and closing numbers.
On 18 October 1996, her third Asian album, Retro, was released. The album contains re-arrangements of her favorite songs and a few originals. She and Remus Choy made a music video for the duet “I Can’t Help It.” As part of Retro album’s promotion, Velasquez guested and performed with some of the songs included in her album at the event called The Open Concert in South Korea.
Velasquez joined Ryan Cayabyab’s musical adaptation of José Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere at the CCP in 1995. She played the role of Maria Clara opposite Audie Gemora’s Crisostomo Ibarra, directed by Nonong Padilla. Vic Del Rosario of Viva saw her performance and offered her the lead role in Wanted: Perfect Mother, a movie adaptation of the Mars Ravelo comic book series, loosely based on The Sound of Music. Martin Nievera wrote the theme, “You Are My Song,” one of Velasquez’s original hit singles. The movie was her first starring role and first pairing with Christopher De Leon.
On 20 April 1996, she did a free concert at the UP Sunken Garden to celebrate her tenth year in show business. It was her way of thanking her country for supporting her throughout the years. The special guests were Ivy Violan, Nanette Inventor, Bernardo Bernardo, the Tux, Louie Ocampo, Janno Gibbs and Cacai Velasquez. Velasquez herself was the stage director and she conceptualized the show herself with musical direction by Ryan Cayabyab. They were backed by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. That same year, Velasquez recorded a Christmas album, Love Was Born on Christmas Day, her final album under Polycosmic Records. She also ended her contract with Primeline, Inc., opting to manage her own career with her then road manager, Patty Mayoralgo.
On 7 June 1997, Velasquez and Philippine pop singer, Kuh Ledesma, staged the “Power of 2” concert in San Francisco and Pasadena in the U.S. The show was a success with over 12,000 people in attendance.Afterwards, she toured Canada (Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary) and shows with Pops Fernandez in Italy which were all deemed successful.
Viva Records released her multi-platinum R&B and hip hop album Drawn, produced by Mark J. Feist, featuring a portrait made by Velasquez on the cover. Songs like “How Could You Leave,” “Never Ever Say Goodbye,” and more upbeat songs like “Once in a Lifetime” and “Messin’ With My Head” celebrated her vocal power, technique, and versatility. A mix of original and cover tracks with an R&B flair composed the album. The only Filipino track in the album, “Ikaw (You),” was the theme song of her movie with Filipino matinee idol Aga Muhlach. The single “Emotion” was produced by Mark Feist, who later produced the Destiny’s Child cover of the same song in 2001 with very little variation. Velasquez also developed a sexier public image, distancing from her former demure one.
Drawn is one of Velasquez best selling albums: Two weeks after its release, it was certified Platinum with 40,000 copies sold and eventually certified 8x Platinum (350,000+ copies sold). It was considered the figure two weeks after the set of its release. Drawn was officially available on 22 November 1998 but, according to VMG advertising and promotion manager Bambi Diploma, a number of outlets sold the album as early as 16 November 1998.
1999–2005: Transition to independence
On 10 November 1999, Velasquez released her album R2K a mnemonic of (Regine 2000) which consists covers of international artists. It was certified Platinum (40,000) within 2 weeks of its release on 27 November 1999. It was also the first album by a local artist to include a bonus VCD, containing 6 music videos. In 2001, R2K was certified 8x Platinum (350,000+ copies sold) in the Philippines. But in 2004 it was reportedly certified 12X Platinum (480,000+ copies sold), but never awarded by its own label.
On the evening of 31 December 1999, Christian Lanzar, a Hemophilia stricken child was joined by more than 2,000 children, some who arrived as early as 10:00 a.m. to rehearse, at the top of Manila Peninsula Hotel. “I was gathering enough energy and strength to face a magnificent milestone in my life,” said Christian. Velasquez joined the contingent to perform the country’s millennial theme, “Written in the Sand” was beamed to 67 major broadcast networks in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Africa – reaching more than a billion of people. The first to view the broadcast were the people of the Kiribati Islands in Fiji, and the song crossed 24 time zones, culminating in the Samoa Islands.
Two years later, Velasquez released an all-original album titled Reigne. The album included songs like “To Reach You,” “Dadalhin,” and “Sa Aking Pag-iisa”which had a remix version.
Velasquez became the spokesperson for American fast-food chains like KFC and Wendy’s in Asia.
As an actress, she appeared in a number of Filipino films. In 2002, she won her first Best Actress award from Star Awards (for Television) in her portrayal of a mentally-challenged woman seeking acceptance and love in a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode entitled “Lobo”. “Lobo” is the highest-rated episode (47.9%) in the history of the show.
Velasquez also starred in the film “Ikaw Lamang, Hanggang Ngayon” and received an MTV Asia award for “Best Philippine Artist,”. She was named the “Box Office Queen” award the same year from the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial foundation.
She also staged One Night with Regine, a 2-hour benefit concert at the Philippine National Museum for the Bantay Bata Foundation of ABS-CBN. The concert won Best Musical Special at the 2003 Asian Television Awards. She was accompanied by the 85-piece San Miguel Philhamonic Orchestra and the San Miguel Master Chorale. Maestro Ryan Cayabyab was the show’s master conductor and musical director with RJ Rosales, Carol Banawa, Roselle Nava, Bituin Escalante and Ogie Alcasid as her guests. Her MTV Asia special entitled, Speak Your Mind, was nominated for the UNICEF Child Rights Awards. The production was commended for its agenda on child welfare, documenting the plight of homeless children swarming the streets of Metro Manila, in an effort to protect and safeguard their rights.
She also hosted the amateur singing contest, Star for a Night, which aimed at discovering new talents. The weekly show aired on IBC-13 and was a co-production with Viva.
Velasquez became the first and second recipient of the MTV Favorite Artist Award (Philippines) in 2002. During the 2002 award ceremony held in Singapore, she sang “Cry” in a duet with Mandy Moore, one of the hosts.
In 2003, Velasquez reunited with Martin Nievera in the Martín Nievera and Regine Velasquez World Concert Tour. The first quarter of 2004 saw Velasquez and co-artist, singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid in much-anticipated back-to-back concerts entitled The Songbird and the Songwriter. Velasquez formed her own record label called Songbird Music in that same year. She produced an album for Gabby Eigenmann who was her co-host in SOP. Velasquez won her MTV Favorite Artist Award (Philippines) for the second time in MTV Asia Awards.
In 2004, Velasquez released Covers Vol. 1, composed of cover songs including Original Pilipino Music (OPM) classics of male singers like Basil Valdez, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, Side A, True Faith, and Ariel Rivera. Velasquez transferred her amateur singing contest to GMA-7 and changed the name to Search for a Star.
Velasquez starred in GMA’s telenovela Forever in My Heart opposite Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta, and former flame Ariel Rivera. December 2004 was Velasquez return to major solo concert performance. She staged in a 24,000 seat Araneta Coliseum another set of back-to-back concert performances titled Reigning Still. The show was a success amidst a series of typhoons that ravaged Manila and nearby provinces.
Velasquez held the Reflections Concert series at Aliw Theatre late that year. The stage was decorated with mannequins wearing her gowns from the past decade which were later auctioned for the benefit of GMA’s Kapuso Foundation. The concert featured the prodigies “Wyeth Gifted Kids” (saxophonist Jacob Sarreal, violinists Joseph Valdés and Paulina, and classical cellist Pocholo Gutiérrez). The concert featured songs by her favorite singers or the foreign female singers who have influenced her career. The concert consisted of numerous medleys of hits by Barbra Streisand, Anita Baker, Sheena Easton, Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Celine Dion.
Velasquez hosted Pinoy Pop Superstar (a singing competition on GMA 7 which aired from 2005-2008) which launched the career of Jonalyn Viray (1st Pinoy Pop Superstar Grand Champion who also competed at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood where she won five golds for Broadway, Original, Pop, R&B and Variety categories and was declared “Overall Champion Female Solo” in Broadway, Pop and Original).
She recorded the theme song “Di Na Nag-iisa” for the Darna TV series, based on the Darna comic book character created by Mars Ravelo. The theme song was composed by South Border’s Jay Durias and the song was nominated for an Aliw Award for Best Song Made For Television. The song was also used in the movie Till I Met You and is included in the original sound track.
2006–2008: 20th Anniversary and musical evolution
2006 marked Velasquez 20th Anniversary in the music business. She released the album Covers Volume 2, featuring covers of international hit songs including Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes” and The Beatles’ “Come Together”. All of the songs were presented with new arrangements in various musical genres. The first single was “Hold Me in Your Arms”, covering the Southern Sons song.
Her Valentine concert at the Araneta Coliseum, Forever After, co-starred Ogie Alcasid, Rico Puno, and Ai Ai Delas Alas. She and Pops Fernandez staged the North American leg of the Queens on Fire concert tour in the spring of 2006. The Forever After tour was staged in key US cities and at the Wembley Arena in London.
In the middle of 2006, together with manager Cacai Velasquez, boyfriend Ogie Alcasid, and brother-in-law Raul Mitra, Velasquez launched the IndiMusic record label. As part of her 20th anniversary celebration, she staged the Twenty concert, at the Araneta Coliseum in mid-October 2006. Velasquez also recorded “Maghihintay Ako,” the theme song for the sci-fi telenovela Atlantika.
In 2007, People Asia magazine’s “People of the Year” honored her with the Exemplary Achievement Award, shared with three others. On 14 March, Velasquez together with Kuh Ledesma represented the Philippines in the Mosaic International Music Festival in Singapore held at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Her movie, Paano Kita Iibigin, opened on 30 May 2007. The movie was the first co-production between Viva Films and Star Cinema which is owned by media conglomerate ABS-CBN. A soundtrack, featuring solos and duets by the co-stars, was released by Star Records, the first time Velasquez produced an album outside Viva Entertainment. The theme song was penned by Ogie Alcasid.
In August 2007, Velasquez and Alcasid began hosting Celebrity Duets (Philippines) on GMA 7. The show pairs up local personalities with local professional singers. Velásquez also endorsed Vicki Belo’s “Belo Essentials,” which includes singer Zsa Zsa Padilla and model/TV personality Lucy Torres. This year she recorded the theme song of GMA’s remake of MariMar.
Velasquez attended the 2007 Aliw Awards held at Palacio de Maynila and won “Best Major Concert Act (Female)” for her 20th year anniversary concert at the Araneta Coliseum. Velasquez was also awarded “The Most Successful Artist of the Year” award by Walk of Fame Philippines on 4 December 2007 in Eastwood, Quezon City.
Velasquez had a featured performance on Korean television KBS1 entitled Window of Asia showcasing her life. She also starred a weekly musical variety show on GMA7 titled Songbird which premiered 15 May 2008.
The “Up Close and Personal” solo U.S concert tour started in May 2008.
A series of concerts with Lani Misalucha started with a tour of the US and Canada in September 2008 before moving to Manila in 2009. Also in 2008, Velasquez released her 15th studio album, Low Key, which was certified Gold status three days after its release. In December 2008, she performed with Pops Fernandez, Kuh Ledesma, and Zsa Zsa Padilla in the biggest concert of the year at the Araneta Coliseum dubbed as Divas 4 Divas.
2009–2011: Directorial debuts, marriage and pregnancy hiatus
Velasquez’s Low Key under Universal Records became the first Platinum album of 2009.
Velasquez also played Anna in the series Totoy Bato, a soap opera. In March and May 2009, she went on tour in the US to stage The Divas 4 Divas US Tour; also, in 2009, Velasquez hosted the GMA singing competition, Are You The Next Big Star?.
Velasquez did a docu-biography show aired 24 May 2009 on the GMA Network as part of her month-long birthday celebration entitled “Roots To Riches”. The show featured untold stories, “going back to Regine’s roots from her amateur singing days in Malolos, Bulacan up to where she is now.” She also gave citation to her young rival in singing competitions, Minerva “Eva” Castillo. They joined in one stage singing, “Ako Ang Nagwagi”, a Dulce hit-song.
After being scheduled to perform at a concert with Charice Pempengco, Velasquez was forced to pull out after contracting the swine flu.
At the final requiem mass for President Corazon Aquino, 5 August 2009, Velásquez sang a duet with Martin Nievera, “The Prayer.”
On 1 and 8 August, Velasquez held a two-night sold-out concert entitled “Regine… Most Requested” at the SkyDome, SM North EDSA, which marked her return to the Viva fold. As the theme of the concert Velasquez performed her most-requested radio songs, OPM and popular hits of different artists such as the rock band Heart, Grammy-winning band Chicago, and Pinoy Rock band Eraserheads, Eva Castillo appeared as her special guest. The TV Coverage of her concert later shown on 21 November on her home network GMA7. Early December, she started her most requested concert in provincial places and early next year she is scheduled to finish her provincial tours.
On 28 August 2009, Velasquez launched a perfume collection via Bench. The two new scents were called Reigne and Songbird.
In 2010, Velasquez started the year by accepting a comic-villain role in GMA-7’s Darna. She starred as Darna’s nemesis, Elektra – Queen of Planet Women, Velasquez said it would be a different experience playing a villain. At the same time, Velasquez concluded the provincial tour of her SRO 2009 concert series, “Regine Most Requested”. Also in March 2010, she starred again in a new prime time offering on the GMA Network for their 60th Anniversary titled Diva, again with Mark Anthony Fernandez and supporting role of Glaiza de Castro. She also did a concert tour entitled Heart 2 Heart with Ogie Alcasid.
Velasquez attended the inauguration of the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III at the Quirino Grandstand on 30 June 2010, performing Aquino’s first campaign jingle “Hindi Ka Nagiisa” and “Bagong Pilipinas” together with other Filipino artists.
For the fourth time, Velasquez was ranked 8th in the top 10 of FHM Philippines 100 Sexiest Woman in the World.
In November 2010, Velasquez started filming for the series, I Heart U Pare opposite Dingdong Dantes.
Velasquez released an album under Universal Records titled Fantasy, a double album containing 22 tracks. Fantasy also has two sets of packaging. Each box-set contains 10 sets of post-cards in color and in black and white. Fantasy was certified Gold two weeks after its release in the Philippines, and after one month it was certified Platinum making it one of the fastest selling albums of 2010 in Philippine albums history.
On 7 February 2011, Velasquez TV series I Heart You, Pare premiered.
On 15 March 2011, Velasquez became the recipient of the MYX Magna Award during the 6th Myx Music Awards 2011 to commemorate her 25th year anniversary on the OPM Music Scene. Before accepting the special award, she was given a tribute by Yeng Constantino, Julie Anne San Jose, Frencheska Farr, Kyla, Mark Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go, Christian Bautista and her husband Ogie Alcasid who sang her hit-songs.
In June 2011 Velasquez was nominated as Coolest Female Singer in 2011 Yahoo Philippines OMG Awards, She got 43% of the overall votes, but she lost it to Charice Pempengco with 54% of overall votes.
2012–2014: Return to television and films, 25th Anniversary
After her nine-month career break, Velasquez made a comeback on her Sunday variety show, Party Pilipinas. On 12 February 2012 to promote her Valentine concert. Along with co-hosts Jaya, Rachelle Ann Go, Kyla and Jonalyn Viray, Velasquez did an impromptu/unrehearsed performance to give tribute to one of their biggest music influences, American singer Whitney Houston who died hours before the show started. Velasquez sang a medley of Houston’s hits such as “All the Man That I Need”, “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You” together with other singer. Prior to her performance, Velasquez talked about how Houston influenced her, “The songs of this diva shaped and inspired the singer that I am today, to commemorate her, this is my tribute to Whitney Houston” … “I’m deeply saddened by her passing. She influenced me, especially when I was just starting. I’m a fan and will always be one. Rest in peace, Ms Houston..”.
As part of her comeback, Velasquez had a sold-out joint concert with husband, singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, entitled “Mr. & Mrs. A” on 14 February 2012 (Valentine’s Day) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This was their first concert together as husband and wife, and after Velasquez gave birth to their first son. The concept of the show was also based on Velasquez’ experience in marriage and being a mother. Guests included Dingdong Dantes, R&B Princess Kyla, the first-ever “Star Power” winner Angeline Quinto, Erik Santos and Vice Ganda. American Idol Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta also performed with the duo.
In April 2012, Velasquez’ firstborn son, Nathaniel James Alcasid, was featured in her television commercial with husband Ogie Alcasid entitled, “Experience Love for Sun Life Financial”. Their TVC for Sun Life Financial was first aired on 9 April 2012.
On 14 July 2012, Velasquez performed together with Sharon Cuneta, Basil Valdez, Erik Santos, and Christian Bautista during the final performance night of the country’s most prestigious songwriting competition, the Philippine Popular Music Festival (PhilPOP).
On 15 July 2012, the filming of her third movie team-up with Aga Muhlach, Of All The Things under Viva Films, resumed after almost 3 years. The shooting was first postponed due to Velasquez’ concert in 2009. It was again postponed because Aga Muhlach filmed another movie under Star Cinema. The shooting had to postpone again because of Velasquez’ pregancy. Viva Management, together with the director of the film, Joyce Bernal decided to finish the movie due to the popularity of the characters.
As part of her TV comeback, Velasquez became a regular talk show host of GMA-7’s weekend show, H.O.T. TV, which premiered on 5 August.
In line with her 25th year anniversary in the business, Velasquez was awarded as Natatanging Alagad ng Musika in The 2012 Star Awards for Music alongside 11 other OPM artists. She was also nominated for two categories that night: Concert of the Year and Female Concert Performer of the Year for the Mr & Mrs A show.
Velasquez starred in a cooking talk show called Sarap Diva which premiered on 6 October 2012.
Velasquez staged a solo-major concert entitled Silver at the 20,000-seater Mall of Asia Arena on 16 November 2012. Velasquez became the first Filipino artist to stage a solo-major concert at the Arena. The event was cut short after she lost her voice because of a viral infection. She promised fans, she’d perform for free due to cancelling.
On 5 January 2013, Regine resumed her Silver Rewind concert. The songbird fulfilled her promise, and her fans showed up again, filling the Mall of Asia Arena to capacity. The concert was attended by many celebrities; Kris Aquino, Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Wilma Galvante, Direk Laurice Guillen, Aga Muhlach, Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, Vicky Belo & Hayden Kho, Fanny Serrano, Vice Ganda, Sarah Geronimo, Toni Gonzaga, Eugene Domingo, Iza Calzado, Raymond Gutierrez, Jennylyn Mercado, Karylle, Marjorie Barretto, Boboy Garovillo, John Lapus, Angeline Quinto, Bayani Agbayani and so much more was musically directed by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and Raul Mitra and was accompanied by the 60-piece Manila Symphony Orchestra. Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs, Michael V. and Lani Misalucha were the guest artists during her first Silver Concert on 16 November 2012, while Jaya, Rachelle Ann Go, La Diva, Gloc-9, KC Montero, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola guested during the repeat on 5 January 2013.
Another recognition has been received by Velasquez this year, which she garnered a Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Musical/Comedy) award for her film Of All The Things at the 10th Golden Screen Awards.
On 12 June 2013 during the 115th anniversary of Philippine Independence, Regine Velasquez was named by MEGA Magazine as one of the 10 MEGA Global Pinoys.
In August 2013, Regine Velasquez was included in YES! Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful Stars list.
Regine Velasquez garnered 4 nominations at the 5th PMPC Star Awards for Music: Female Concert Performer of the Year (for SILVER concert & Foursome concert) and Concert of the Year (for SILVER concert & Foursome concert). Foursome Concert was also nominated as Best Collaboration in a Concert at the Aliw Awards.
On 13 October 2013, Regine Velasquez won as Female Concert of the Year (for her Silver Concert) at the 5th PMPC Star Awards for Music. Also, her collaboration concert “Foursome” with Ogie Alcasid, Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera won as Concert of the Year.
Regine Velasquez was nominated for three categories at the 2013 World Music Awards (WMA): World’s Best Entertainer of the Year, World’s Best Live Act, and World’s Best Female Artist. This year’s list of WMA nominees include Adele, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, and many others. The awarding date is yet to be set.
25 October through 4 November, Velasquez flew to North America to stage the US tour of her critically acclaimed and successful 25th Anniversary Concert, SILVER, which was dubbed as a major US comeback after a long hiatus from doing tours abroad.
Upon her return to the Philippines, Velasquez released her 16th Studio Album after three years, titled, Hulog Ka Ng Langit. The album is her first album after getting married and giving birth to her son, Nathaniel. It is also is the first album bearing her married name, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. The album was a success for upon its release; Hulog Ka Ng Langit debuted at number 1 in the Philippines. And in 2 weeks, Hulog Ka Ng Langit was certified Platinum with more than 15,000 copies sold making the album as the fastest-selling Philippines albums of 2013.
On 14 February 2014, Velasquez staged a concert with Martin Nievera their concert titled Voices of Love, which was staged at the 20,000 seat Mall of Asia Arena. The concert was a reunion between Velasquez and Nievera after the success of their second major concert collaboration entitled Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez 2003 World Concert Tour. The concert had a repertoire of Broadway tunes and their rendition of love songs. Velasquez recorded her own rendition of Frozen’s hit song, “Let It Go”, where Velasquez combined the versions of Demi Lovato and Idina Menzel. The performance went viral in Philippine social networking sites and on Chinese social networking sites, Toudou and Baidu.
In June 2014, Velasquez lead the 27th Awit Awards with 6 nominations: Hulog Ka Ng Langit as Best Selling Album of the Year and Best Album Package, “Nathaniel (Gift of God)” for Best Inspirational/Religious Recording, “Hele Ni Inay” as Best Christmas Recording and Best Song Arrangement, and “Nandiyan Palagi” as Best Song Written for Movie/TV/Stage Play. She won the Best Album Package, Best Inspirational Recording, Best Arrangement and Best Christmas Recording.
In August 2014, Velasquez also lead the 6th PMPC Star Awards For Music with 6 nominations: Album Of The Year, Female Recording Artist Of The Year, Female Pop Recording Artist Of The Year, Album Cover/Concept of the Year all for her studio album Hulog Ka Ng Langit and Concert of the Year and Female Concert Performer of the Year for her valentine concert Voices of Love.
In December 2014, Regine Velasquez won Best Christmas Recording for “Hele Ni Inay” and Best Inspirational/Religious Recording for “Nathaniel (Gift of God)” at the 27th Awit Awards. Hulog Ka Ng Langit won Best Album Package and Hele Ni Inay won Best Song Arrangement.
2015–present: Concerts, TV shows, 30th Anniversary
In February 2015, Velasquez together with Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Lani Misalucha staged a two-night sold out show at the SM Mall of Asia Arena featuring quartet singing, power duets, Broadway music and their own hits.
In June 2015, Velasquez won the 46th GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards: Female Concert Performer of The Year for Ultimate concert.
In September 2015. Velasquez won the 5th EdukCircle Awards as “Most Influential Female Concert Performer of the Year” for Ultimate. Velasquez joined Jennylyn Mercado and Joey De Leon in the panel of main jurors of StarStruck (season 6) hosted by Dingdong Dantes and Megan Young.
Velasquez embarked on a new concert series entitled Regine.. At The Theater which was held at The Theatre of Solaire Resort & Casino on 6, 7, 20 and 21 November 2015. The intimate concert featured popular show tunes from theatre and classics from broadway musicals. On 3 April 2016, she along with husband Ogie Alcasid and their Christian band “1 Walker” successfully held a worship concert-for-benefit titled “Reborn:1 Walker” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Velasquez’s first movie role was in the film The Untouchable Family. She soon ventured into comedy films. She was cast in the 1988 film Pik Pak Boom. She then co-starred in the flick Elvis and James.
Velasquez debuted as a bonafide movie star in 1996 in her first lead role in the movie Wanted Perfect Mother. Also in the same year, she was one of three lead actresses in the iconic musical comedy DoReMi alongside Donna Cruz and Mikee Cojuangco. Despite being an integral part of the movie, Velasquez’s vocals were not used in recording of the movie’s soundtrack due to contractual limitations (she saw still under contact with PolyGram Records at the time). It was a then-upcoming VIVA Records singer Krystine, who recorded vocals for her part in the original soundtrack. In the movie version, Velasquez was able to record her vocals just in time before its release.
In 1998’s Honey Nasa Langit Na Ba Ako, she played a ghost who died in a car accident days before her wedding day. In the same year, Velasquez co-starred with Filipino dramatic actor Aga Muhlach in the romantic film Dahil May Isang Ikaw. Their team-up would spawn other blockbuster hits in the following years. In 2000, she starred in the mega blockbuster romantic movie Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw with then-comebacking Filipino actor Robin Padilla. In 2001 she starred in Pangako Ikaw Lang which earned her a Box-Office Queen award from the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation awards.
In 2002, she won her first Best Actress award from Star Awards (for Television) in her portrayal of a mentally-challenged woman seeking acceptance and love in a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode entitled “Lobo”. Lobo is the highest-rating episode (47.9%) in the history of Maalaala Mo Kaya.
Velasquez starred in two more romantic films in 2002 and 2003; Ikaw Lamang, Hanggang Ngayon and Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigin Ka. In December 2003, she appeared in Mars Ravelo’s Captain Barbell as “Darna”.
Velasquez starred in romantic films in 2006 and 2007 with Till I Met You and Paano Kita Iibigin. In June 2008, she was the voice of Urduja in the original Filipino animated film Urduja.
In 2009, Velasquez conceptualized the story for OMG (Oh, My Girl!). She appeared in a cameo role as a production assistant.
In 2012, Velasquez made her comeback in the big screen through her third movie team-up with Aga Muhlach, Of All the Things (film), under Viva Films. The film was shown over 120 theaters nationwide and earning 15million in opening day. It was her reunion movie with Mulach after their blockbuster films, Dahil May Isang Ikaw and Pangako Ikaw Lang.
Velasquez possesses a four-octave vocal range. Classified as a Lyric Soprano, Velasquez is famous for her effortless and exceptional sustained belting while doing her vocal acrobatics in the key of her highest pitch. She has exhibited her belting and sheer lung power while singing onstage sitting in lotus position, while lying on bed and even while being suspended up on a harness in mid-air. Velasquez credits this from her father’s vocal training technique where she is submerged neck-deep in the sea to strengthen her diaphragm and build up her vocal cords and lung power.
Many famous international musicians has complimented her vocal prowess. Grammy-award winner Michel Legrand has praised Velasquez, saying, “The first time I heard her sing, I said to myself, ‘what the hell? I owe it to the rest of the world to introduce this voice to them’. She is the voice with both the range and the heart – which is like none I’ve ever heard of in my entire career.” After singing A Piece of Sky with Velasquez, Legrand exclaimed, “It’s tough to sing that song after Barbra Streisand, I will tell you, but to sing with Regine is.. I’m in heaven. She sings so well, she has such an extraordinary technical and sensitive voice and talented expression.” When asked who was Brian McKnight’s favorite Filipino singer, the 16-time Grammy nominated artist immediately answered Regine Velasquez, “Regine is probably one of the greatest singers I have ever heard anywhere. She can hold her own next to anyone. I doubt that anybody would want to come behind her after she sings.”
Velasquez credits Barbara Streisand, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as her major influences in her early years. Velasquez idolizes Whitney Houston for her style because of her R&B influence. When she first heard Mariah Carey sing, she was blown away, and liked the fact that Carey can write her own songs. However, Barbara Streisand who directs and stars in her own movies, has influenced Velasquez the most. Velasquez said the first time she saw Streisand perform was on TV in one of her musical specials, she told The Philippine Star, “I can still remember that time. I watched it from our neighbour’s TV set, because we didn’t have one then.”
Legacy and impact
Velasquez is one of the most influential and celebrated artists in the country. Her vocal style, technique, and music has inspired generations and has been imitated countless times ever since her career begun in the late 80’s. Velasquez is credited for popularizing the style of belting in Philippine music. Most amateur singers in singing competitions performs original songs by Velasquez or songs that were revived by her. Many considered singing her songs as a great way to show one’s vocal prowess and capability. The Manila Bulletin has stated that, “Most of our top selling new female singers are still and mere parrots of her in terms of vocal acrobatics and predilection to show off her high range.”
Numerous artists have acknowledged Velasquez as an influence, including Sarah Geronimo, Angeline Quinto, Toni Gonzaga, Sandara Park, Jonalyn Viray, Morissette Amon, Kyla, Rachelle Ann Go, Jed Madela, Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, KZ Tandingan, Julie Anne San Jose, Aicelle Santos, Maricris Garcia, Christian Bautista, Bituin Escalante, Mark Bautista, Elha Nympha, KC Conception, Frencheska Farr, and Charice. “She started it all. We would not know what our musicality and singing styles would be like if we were not influenced by the one and only Regine Velasquez.” declared Yeng Constantino during an interview in 2016.
Politicians and industry moguls such as Governor Vilma Santos, CEO of ABS-CBN corporation Charo Santos-Concio, Congresswoman Lucy Torres, Mayor Richard Gomez and showbiz personalities such as Kris Aquino, Sharon Cuneta, Vice Ganda, Martin Nievera, Judy Ann Santos, Boy Abunda, Pops Fernandez, Sunshine Cruz, Agot Isidro, Ryan Agoncillo, Rica Peralejo, and Cacai Bautista has cited Velasquez as their favorite singer. According to Kuh Ledesma, Velasquez is “the consummate artist, very professional and very talented. Truly warrants envy from everyone else in the industry.” During Velasquez’s guesting on Boy & Kris, actress and TV host Kris Aquino has stated, “Regine is my favorite. I am willing to trade everything I own just to have her voice.”
Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid announced their engagement at Party Pilipinas on 8 August 2010 after seven years of their relationship. That same year, they married in Nasugbu, Batangas. The couple’s son, Nathaniel James (“Nate”), was born in November 2011.
Velasquez revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage prior to her marriage with Alcasid. She cites that personal tragedy as a reason for her conversion as a born-again Christian.
Velasquez allegedly suffers from dyslexia.
Philanthropy and other activities
In 1994, Regine Velasquez became the ambassador of Citizens Drug Watch of Duty Free Philippines, an anti-drug campaign in the Philippines along with Richard Gomez (who directed all 5 TVCs), Pops Fernandez, Ciara Sotto and Martin Nievera.
In 1999, Regine Velasquez and the Municipality of Pasig did a fund raising event called Muling Aawit ang Pasig it was the concert were Velasquez performed, the proceeds goes to the rehabilitation of Pasig River. Later on it was followed with another event called Piso Para sa Pasig also starred by Velasquez all the proceeds goes to the cited recipient.
In 2002, Unicef picked Regine Velasquez as the one of their Ambassadors in Asia. As one of her first project, Velasquez did a documentary MTV Asia special entitled Speak Your Mind which was nominated for the UNICEF Child Rights Awards. The production was highly commended for its agendum on child welfare, documenting the plight of homeless children swarming the streets of Metro Manila, in an effort to protect and safeguard their rights.
In May 2002, Regine Velasquez staged the Bantay Bata Benefit concert, One Night with Regine, set at the stairs of the Philippine National Museum which won Best Musical Special at the 2003 Asian Television Awards.
In 2005, Regine Velasquez sold 40 of her gowns in an auction sale launched on 23 October 2005 on the Mel & Joey talk show with the proceeds going to GMA 7’s Give a Gift: Alay sa Batang Pinoy project which desires to give some needs for those in need. The auction resulted in more than P 800,000 (Philippine Peso).
In response to typhoon Ondoy in 2009, Regine Velasquez joined other celebreties who donated more than P 300,000 for the victims and she did a relief works in the affected areas. In December 2009, Velasquez did a Musical Special called After The Rain starring the stories of the families that has been affected by the Typhoon. She also donated MP3 players, designer bags, shoes and gowns to Shop & Share Philippines.
In 2010, Regine Velasquez was named as one of the ambassadors of Operation Smile a non-government organization, which provides medical treatment to children with cleft palate.
In 2013, Regine Velasquez sold items of jewelry and clothing as well as accessories for the benefit of Yolanda victims. Aside from her auction sales, Velasquez together with Universal Records donated P 500,000 to Philippine Red Cross. She also assisted in Red Cross’s repacking operations in Kalayaan and Quezon City with her husband Ogie Alcasid. In the same year, Velasquez recorded PLDT’s tribute song for teachers “Believing In Me” for free, who calls it her gift for the teachers. The song’s lyrics are heartfelt experiences of every students who found love and careful guidance form their teachers as they were growing up. Velasquez also did a couple of shows here and abroad for PLDT’s Gabay Guro.
- Regine (1987)
- Nineteen ’90 (1990)
- Tagala Talaga (1991)
- Reason Enough (1993)
- Listen Without Prejudice (1994)
- My Love Emotion (1995)
- Retro (1996)
- Love Was Born On Christmas Day (1996)
- Drawn (1998)
- R2K (1999)
- Reigne (2001)
- Covers, Vol. 1 (2004)
- Covers, Vol. 2 (2006)
- Low Key (2008)
- Fantasy (2010)
- Hulog Ka Ng Langit (2013)