Ellen DeGeneres flew her to the US for the first time from her native Philippines after watching her sing on YouTube. Oprah called her “the most talented girl in the world.” Andrea Bocelli personally invited her to duet with him for his birthday concert in Italy. She sang “Because You Loved Me” alongside Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden.
And then Glee came a-calling. Charice Pempengco, the 21-year-old pint-sized powerhouse also known as Sunshine Corazon, took an assbackwards route to McKinley High. By the time her voice echoed inside those hallowed halls, Pempengco had already put out two albums and established enough credit to sign a lease in New York without a guarantor. (Ba-dum-CH!) But seriously. She was well-established well before she gave Rachel Berry a run for her money in the show’s second season.
Lately, she’s been biding her time by doing things like recording a song written by Bruno Mars, singing the theme song for Final Fantasy XIII-2, judging local talent on The X Factor Philippines and generally living her dream.
“To those who could accept, and who could accept me, thank you very, very much,” she said. “I just want to say to all of you that I feel very light – that I can leave the house knowing I am not hiding anything … I love myself, that’s why I’m able to do this.”
We support you, Charice! And so do her fans — Pempengco followed up her announcement with a separate video message for everyone who’s helped her rest easy about her big reveal:
“I just want to say thank you, personally, to all my fans, to all the people who are still supporting me, who are still there for me. Honestly,” she said, “I’m very, very happy. I can’t explain how happy I am right now hearing all the positive things.”
Featured image via People.com