Charice Pempengco Biography

Charice Pempengco, a Filipina pop, R&B, and rock singer, rose to fame as an internet sensation after her captivating performance in a talent show went viral on YouTube. Her journey from poverty and escaping an abusive father to becoming a recognized artist is truly inspiring. With her energetic performances gaining worldwide recognition, she received invitations to record albums and appeared on popular American television shows like ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. Having found a mentor in David Foster, she was hailed as the “Most Talented Girl in the World” by Oprah herself. However, her career faced challenges after she bravely revealed her sexual orientation.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Jake Zyrus
  • Age: 31 Years
  • Family: Spouse/Ex-: Alyssa Quijano (2013–), mother: Racquel
  • Height: 5’1″ (155 cm)

Childhood & Early Life

Charice Pempengco was born on May 10, 1992, in Cabuyao City, Laguna province, Philippines. When she was a child, her mother Raquel left her abusive father and took her and her younger brother, Carl, to live with her grandmother. Charice’s mother, a former singer who worked at a garment factory, discovered Charice’s singing talents when she was only four years old. Charice started participating in local singing competitions when she was seven. The financial struggle of her family continued for a few more years, during which they were even homeless for a while. However, the prize money she won from singing contests eventually helped them move into an apartment in which she had her own room.


In 2005, Charice Pempengco took part in the talent show ‘Little Big Star’ in Philippines, in which she reached the finals and secured the third place. Two years later, a fan of hers uploaded a video of her performance on YouTube, which gained worldwide attention and made her an international star within a short time. She received offers from record companies and was invited to perform on various shows, including ‘Star King’ in South Korea and ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in America.

She released her debut EP ‘Charice’ in May 2008, which became Platinum certified in the Philippines. She also appeared on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ multiple times and performed with renowned artists like David Foster and Andrea Bocelli. Charice continued to release albums and served as a judge on ‘The X Factor’ in the Philippines. In 2016, she released a rock album titled ‘Catharsis’.

Major Works

Charice Pempengco’s self-titled debut album ‘Charice’ is her most successful album so far. The album, which was certified Platinum in Japan and the Philippines, established her as an international star. She also became the first Asian artist to reach the top 10 on ‘Billboard 200’ with this album.

Awards & Achievements

Charice Pempengco became the first Asian artist to reach the top 10 on ‘Billboard 200’ with her album ‘Charice’ which debuted at No.8. She also received a star in the Eastwood City Walk of Fame.

Personal Life & Legacy

Charice Pempengco’s father, Ricky Pempengco, died in October 2011. She came out as a lesbian in 2013 and has been in a relationship with girlfriend Alyssa Quijano. The couple reportedly broke up in May 2017.


One of Charice Pempengco’s earliest childhood memories is witnessing her father pointing a shotgun at her mother, but they were saved by the neighbors. She was also invited to be a guest performer on Michael Jackson’s tour, but unfortunately, he passed away before the performance could happen.

Leave a Comment