Dubbed as the “Asia’s Songbird,” Regine Velasquez is often considered as the country’s greatest singer. The diva was born on April 22, 1970 in Tondo, Manila, and her family moved to Southern Leyte while she was still young. Her parents played a large part in her development as a singer. Her father helped her strengthen her voice by letting her sing while she was submerged neck-deep in water. It was her mother who taught her how to interpret songs and how to perform onstage. Regine joined numerous singing contests to hone her skills. Her family later on moved to Bulacan, where she continued to win more contests all over the country.
It was in 1984 that Regine started her professional singing career. She was fourteen when she joined the singing contest Ang Bagong Kampeon, where she sang a beautiful rendition of “Saan Ako Nagkamali?” Regine became the show’s first grand champion, having won for eight straight weeks. She got a contract with OctoArts and recorded the single “Love Me Again.” She chose Chona Velasquez as her first stage name. The singer performed in music lounges to boost her exposure.
In 1986, Regine Velasquez performed on the variety show, Penthouse Live, which was co-hosted by singer Martin Nievera. It was Martin who suggested the new screen name, Regine. Her father resigned from his job in construction to focus full-time on her career. A year later, Regine got a contract from Viva Records, and released her self-titled album, which spawned hits such as “Urong Sulong” and “Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang.”
The singer recorded a duet with Jose Mari Chan for the song “Please Be Careful With My Heart.” This boosted her career even further, and the song’s album was given a Certified Diamond Record Award. Regine started to perform with other big names in the music industry, and had her first major solo concert. She released massive hits such as “Narito Ako” and “Sana Maulit Muli.”
Regine expanded her singing career to the Asian market. She released her first Asian Studio album, Listen Without Prejudice, which contained the single “In Love With You,” a duet with singer Jacky Cheung. She followed this up with another hit album, Retro, which contained covers from 1970s hits.
Retro was followed by Drawn, which featured a hip-hop and R&B sound. The album reached multi-platinum status, and marked the start of Regine’s transformation to a sexier image.
Her success spilled into TV and movies as well. She became a regular host of the variety show SOP, as well as the music show Star for a Night. She earned several product endorsements, and won countless awards for her music. The diva proved to a leading lady material as well. She appeared in several hit movies, starring with big stars such as Robin Padilla and Aga Muhlach. The singer also starred in several primetime shows for GMA-7, most recently the lead role in the remake of the Korean hit My Name is Kim Sam Soon.
Regine’s Lovelife and controversies
Regine velasquez had two notable relationships in showbiz. One was with singer Ariel Rivera, which hogged the headlines because of the love triangle that developed between them and actress Gelli De Belen. Regine was accused of stealing Ariel away from Gelli.
She is now in a relationship with Ogie Alcasid, whom she has been working with for years. Her involvement with Ogie also got tongues wagging, because when their relationship started, Ogie was in the middle of a separation from his wife Michelle Van Eimeren.