Regina Encarnacion Ansong Velasquez
April 22, 1970
Tondo, Manila, Philippines
Regina Encarnacion Ansong Velasquez ( // rih-JEEN veh-LAS-kez) (born April 22, 1970) is a Filipino singer, actress, and record producer who came to prominence after winning the 1984 Ang Bagong Kampeon and the 1989 Asia Pacific Singing Contest. Velasquez signed with OctoArts International under the name Chona in 1986 and released the single "Love Me Again", which was commercially unsuccessful. After adopting the stage name Regine Velasquez, she signed a recording contract with VIVA Records in 1987 and released her eponymous debut album containing the singles "Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang" and "Urong Sulong".
After being signed to Polygram Records, Velasquez gained recognition in Southeast and East Asia with her albums Listen Without Prejudice (1994) and My Love Emotion (1995), the first of which became her best-selling record, and produced "In Love With You", her most successful single of the 1990s. She followed this with 1996's Retro , a cover album incorporating elements of rhythm and blues, jazz, and disco music. After leaving Polygram Records, Velasquez signed a joint deal with Los Angeles-based producer Mark J. Feist and VIVA Records, and released an album titled Drawn (1998). Velasquez was given full creative control as executive producer on her album R2K (1999), which became the highest-selling by a female artist in the Philippines. During this period, Velasquez ventured into acting, playing leading roles in the romantic comedy film Pangako Ikaw Lang (2001)—for which she received a Box Office Entertainment Award—and the drama series Maalaala Mo Kaya (2002), which earned her a Star Award for Best Actress. She expanded her career into reality talent television shows, serving as a presenter on Star for a Night (2002), Pinoy Pop Superstar (2004), and The Clash (2018); and as a judge on StarStruck (2015) and Idol Philippines (2019).
Having sold more than seven million records domestically and a further million and a half in Asia, Velasquez is the best-selling music artist of all time in the Philippines. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Velasquez has received various awards, including two Asian Television Awards, two MTV Asia Awards, 21 Awit Awards, 22 Box Office Entertainment Awards, 15 Aliw Awards, and 10 Star Awards for Music. Referred to as "Asia's songbird", she is regarded for her vocal range and belting technique, and has consistently been credited with inspiring a generation of Filipino singers.
"We were very poor but we were happy. My parents made sure that we ate on time and that was enough for me. [My father] had scoliosis and he was working at a construction site; he wasn’t earning enough. My mom was good with money. She was able to stretch whatever little money we had."
Regina Encarnacion Ansong Velasquezwas born on April 22, 1970, in Tondo, Manila, to Teresita (née Ansong) and Gerardo Velasquez. The singer has three sisters; Cacai, Diane, and Deca; and a brother named Jojo. Her family moved to Hinundayan, Southern Leyte, where Velasquez spent the early years of her life. At age three, Velasquez became interested in music after listening to her father singing to lull her to sleep. She would listen to her mother play guitar and piano while her father sang, and referenced Sharon Cuneta's "Mr. DJ" as one of the first songs she learned.
Velasquez started singing at age six; 'sThe Tita Betty's Children Show.she underwent intensive vocal training with her father, who immersed her neck-deep in sea water and had her go through vocal runs. She credits this unorthodox method for strengthening her core and stomach muscles, and developing her lung capacity. Velasquez was placed third in her first singing competition on Betty Mendez Livioco
When Velasquez was nine, her family moved to Balagtas, Bulacan, where she attended St. Lawrence Academy and competed for her school at the annual Bulacan Private Schools Association competition.In 1984, at fourteen, Velasquez auditioned for the reality television series Ang Bagong Kampeon . She qualified and became the show's senior division winner, defending her spot for eight consecutive weeks. Velasquez went on to win the competition and was signed to a record deal with OctoArts International.
In 1986, Velasquez initially used the stage name "Chona" and released the single "Love Me Again", Martin Nievera , Velasquez adopted the stage name "Regine".which was commercially unsuccessful. At the behest of another OctoArts recording artist Pops Fernandez, she was invited to appear on the late-night television show The Penthouse Live! . While rehearsing for the show, Velasquez caught the attention of Ronnie Henares, a producer and talent manager who signed her to a management deal. At the suggestion of Fernandez's husband and the show's co-host
Velasquez signed with VIVA Records and released her debut album Regine in 1987.Henares served as an executive producer, and engaged songwriters Joaquin Francisco Sanchez and Vehnee Saturno. Three singles were released in 1987; "Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang", " Urong Sulong", and "Isang Lahi". During this period, Velasquez appeared on ABS-CBN television shows Triple Treat and Teen Pan Alley. Two years after the release of her debut album, Velasquez represented the Philippines in the 1989 Asia Pacific Singing Contest in Hong Kong. She went on to win the contest, performing the songs "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the musical Carousel and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from the musical Dreamgirls .
Velasquez released her second studio album Nineteen 90 in 1990.She worked with Louie Ocampo on the album's lead single "Narito Ako", which was originally recorded and performed by Maricris Bermont and written by Nonong Pedero for the 1978 Metro Manila Popular Music Festival. Later that year, she headlined her first major concert at the Folk Arts Theater. She recorded "Please Be Careful With My Heart" with Jose Mari Chan, who released the track on his album Constant Change ; she also sang backing vocals on Gary Valenciano's "Each Passing Night", which appears on his album Faces of Love.
In 1991, Velasquez made her North American concert debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City,a first for an Asian solo artist. Soon after, British theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh invited Velasquez to audition for the West End production of the musical Miss Saigon . She received a letter from the production offering to train her in London but she declined the offer, partly because of her lack of experience in musical theater, and because she wished to remain with her family.
Velasquez's third studio album Tagala Talaga was released in October 1991.It includes cover versions of recordings by National Artist for Music recipients Ryan Cayabyab, Lucio San Pedro, and Levi Celerio. The album's lead single, titled "Buhay Ng Buhay Ko", was originally recorded by Leah Navarro and was written by Pedero, with whom Velasquez had worked on Nineteen 90. Other notable singles from the album include "Anak and "Sa Ugoy Ng Duyan".
PolyGram Far East announced a joint-venture licensing deal in the Philippines in July 1993 with the formation of its subsidiary PolyCosmic Records.Velasquez recorded a duet titled "It's Hard to Say Goodbye" with Canadian singer Paul Anka, which became the new label's maiden release. The single was later included on her fourth studio album Reason Enough. David Gonzales of AllMusic described the album as "more attuned to international ears" and said Velasquez's vocals are "thin and unimpressive". One of its singles, "Sana Maulit Muli", won the Awit Award for Best Performance by a Female Recording Artist in 1994.
Velasquez released her fifth studio album Listen Without Prejudice in 1994. 's David Gonzales called the record "adventurous" and said, "Cheung's presence on the duet had much to do with the overseas success". The album had sold more than 700,000 copies regionally, including 100,000 in the Philippines, making it the best-selling album of Velasquez's career to date.She worked with songwriters including Glenn Medeiros, Trina Belamide, and John Laudon. The album was released in several countries in Southeast and East Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. The album's lead single "In Love With You" features Cantonese singer Jacky Cheung. AllMusic
Velasquez's sixth studio album My Love Emotion was released in 1995.During production, she engaged Japanese songwriters including Mariya Takeuchi and Kazufumi Miyazawa. The title track, which was written by Southern Sons vocalist Phil Buckle, was called "a triumph" by AllMusic editor David Gonzales, who described it as "an outstanding vehicle, containing a strong melody and hook in the chorus". The album made combined regional and domestic sales of 250,000 copies.
For her seventh studio album Retro (1996), Velasquez recorded cover versions of 1970s and 1980s hit singles by artists including Donna Summer, Foreigner, and the Carpenters.The album's only original track, "Fly", is credited to Earth, Wind & Fire members Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis because the song interpolates the melody of their single "September". Velasquez left PolyCosmic in 1998, and signed a six-album contract with the MJF Company. That year, her ninth studio album Drawn was released. MJF head Mark J. Feist wrote and produced most of the tracks, including the lead single "How Could You Leave". Drawn sold more than 40,000 copies and was awarded a platinum certification within two weeks of its release.
Velasquez produced most of her next album R2K ,which was released on November 27, 1999. She recorded covers of other artists' songs, including Jeffrey Osborne's "On the Wings of Love", Dionne Warwick's "I'll Never Love This Way Again", Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", and ABBA's Dancing Queen. AllMusic editor David Gonzales criticized the record's "infatuation with Western popular music" and called Velasquez's singing "self-assured" but rather "unimpressive". Commercially, R2K sold more than 40,000 copies in its second week of release and earned a platinum certification. A year after its release, the album was certified 4× platinum. R2K has since been certified 12× platinum, becoming the highest-selling album by a female artist in the Philippines. On December 31, 1999, Velasquez was a featured musical act in 2000 Today , a BBC millennium television special that attracted a worldwide audience of more than 800 million viewers with its core program broadcast across the world's time zones, which began with Kiribati Line Islands and ended in the American Samoa.
Velasquez headlined and directed the R2K Concert at the Araneta Coliseum in April 2000,which won her Best Female Major Concert Act at the 13th Aliw Awards. Ricky Lo from The Philippine Star described the production as "electrifying" and complimented Velasquez's "boundless energy and creativity". She also performed a concert at the Westin Philippine Plaza that year, which spawned the release of her first live album Regine Live: Songbird Sings the Classics in December 2000. Despite being criticized for the technical mixing, the album was certified 6× platinum. The following year, Velasquez worked with Filipino songwriters for material on her eleventh studio album Reigne . The album and its lead single "To Reach You" were released in December 2001. AllMusic's David Gonzales called the album "an adventurous set" and praised the quality of the songwriting. Two other singles, Tats Faustino's "Dadalhin" and Janno Gibbs' "Sa Aking Pag-iisa", were released from the album.
Velasquez won the inaugural MTV Asia Award for Favorite Artist Philippines in February 2002.She performed "Cry" with Mandy Moore to promote the theatrical release of Moore's film A Walk to Remember . In March, Velasquez hosted the first season of Star for a Night , which is based on the British talent show of the same name. In April, she headlined a benefit concert called "One Night with Regine" at the National Museum of the Philippines, which was a collaboration with ABS-CBN Foundation to benefit Bantay Bata Foundation's child abuse response fund. Later that year, the show won Best Musical Program at the 7th Asian Television Awards.
At the 2003 MTV Asia Awards, Velasquez won her second consecutive award for Favorite Artist Philippines.In May 2003, she embarked on the Martin-Regine World Concert Tour with Martin Nievera. The following month, Velasquez returned to host the second season of Search for a Star . That year in November, she had a concert residency named Songbird Sings Streisand, a tribute to American singer and actor Barbra Streisand, at Makati's Onstage Theatre.
In February 2004, Velasquez released a compilation album with Ogie Alcasid titled The Songbird & The Songwriter.Later that month, she and Alcasid performed a concert at the Araneta Coliseum to promote the album and embarked on the Songbird & the Songwriter Tour of North America that April. At the 17th Aliw Awards, she won Best Female Performance in a Concert and was nominated for Entertainer of the Year. Velasquez hosted the reality talent show Pinoy Pop Superstar , which began airing on GMA Network that July. In October 2004, she released "Forevermore", the lead single from her twelfth studio album Covers, Vol. 1 . Its songs were originally recorded by Filipino male artists and was her most expensive cover album to produce due in part to the cost of securing licensing rights for songs by local songwriters, including, Ariel Rivera's "Minsan Lang Kita Iibigan", Basil Valdez's "Say That You Love Me", and Nonoy Zuñiga's "Araw Gabi". The album has since been certified 6× platinum.
Later in November and December 2005, Velasquez had an eight-day concert residency named "Reflections" at the Aliw Theater. 's Jojo Panaligan was generally impressed with Velasquez's "versatility" and the album tracks' "jazzy and blues-y interpretation". In October 2006, she performed a concert, titled "Twenty" at the Araneta Coliseum, which won her Best Female Major Concert Act and Entertainer of the Year award at the 20th Aliw Awards. In 2007, she became co-host of the reality television show Celebrity Duets , an interactive music competition based on the original US show.The sequel album Covers Volume 2 was released in February 2006. Unlike its predecessor, this contains songs by foreign artists, including Alanis Morissette's "Head Over Feet", Blondie's "Call Me", and Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes". Manila Bulletin
Velasquez developed other television projects in 2008. She appeared in Songbird , a weekly late-night musical television show that featured performances by a musical guest.She also featured in the musical television special The Best of Me, which was filmed at her residence in Quezon City. Velasquez signed a deal with Universal Records and released an album titled Low Key in December 2008. The album consists of cover versions of international songs that she described as "more relaxed, laid-back and restrained". It includes tracks such as Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman", Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band", and Janis Ian's "At Seventeen". The Philippine Daily Inquirer praised the album's maturity and wrote; "[Velasquez] no longer shrieks and shouts as much as she used to". The album sold more than 25,000 copies within two months of its release and was certified platinum. In May 2009, she appeared on the television documentary Roots to Riches, which chronicles her personal and professional struggles, and includes musical performances filmed in her hometown Malolos. Later that month, she hosted the television talent show Are You the Next Big Star? .
Velasquez's next album, a double CD set called Fantasy , was released in December 2010. 's "Papa Don't Preach", Toronto 's "What About Love", and the Eagles' "Love Will Keep Us Alive". The Philippine Daily Inquirer called the album "vocally sumptuous" and was generally impressed with Velasquez's vocals and range. Fantasy received a platinum certification and earned three nominations at the 3rd Star Awards for Music. After receiving the Magna Award at the Myx Music Awards 2011, Velasquez took a hiatus from public engagements following the confirmation of her pregnancy.The first disc is composed of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) recordings and the second includes covers of international singles such as Madonna
Velasquez returned to television on October 6, 2012 with Sarap Diva , a weekly lifestyle talk show.On November 16, 2012, she performed a concert titled "Silver" at the Mall of Asia Arena, which was cut short after Velasquez lost her voice due to a viral infection.
Following the cancellation of "Silver", Velasquez restaged the concert on January 5, 2013. 's Jojo Panaligan called it a "redemption of reputation", while Dolly Anne Carvajal of the Philippine Daily Inquirer said Velasquez did not fail to make up for the initial cancellation of the show. The following month, she co-headlined in "Foursome" alongside Alcasid, Fernandez, and Nievera. For both of these shows, Velasquez received four nominations at the 5th Star Awards for Music, winning Best Female Major Concert Act for "Silver" and Concert of the Year for "Foursome".The concert received generally favorable reviews; Manila Bulletin
In November 2013, Velasquez's album Hulog Ka Ng Langit was released;it received a platinum certification for two-week sales of 15,000 copies. Velasquez won Best Inspirational Record for "Nathaniel (Gift of God)" and Best Christmas Recording for "Hele ni Inay" at the 27th Awit Awards, while Hulog Ka Ng Langit won Album Cover of the Year at the 6th Star Awards for Music. In 2014, she worked with Nievera in a one-night show titled "Voices of Love", with Gloc-9 on "Takipsilim", and with Vice Ganda on "Push Mo Yan Teh".
In February 2015, Velasquez appeared alongside Nievera, Valenciano, and Lani Misalucha in a concert titled "Ultimate" at the Mall of Asia Arena.She received accolades at the 47th Box Office Entertainment Awards, 7th Star Awards for Music, and 5th Edukcircle Awards for the production. In the same year, Velasquez served as a judge on the sixth season of the reality talent television show StarStruck . In November 2015, Velasquez headlined a four-date concert residency called "Regine at the Theater", which featured songs from musicals, .
For the third consecutive year, Velasquez appeared in a co-headlining concert at the Mall of Asia Arena in February 2016.The two-night show called "Royals" reunited her with Nievera, Angeline Quinto, and Erik Santos. Due to the concert's positive critical reception, Velasquez won Best Female Concert Performer at the 48th Box Office Entertainment Awards and Most Influential Concert Performer of the Year at the 6th Edukcircle Awards. In May, she embarked on the "Timeless" U.S. tour, visiting Chicago, Englewood, Pasadena, and San Diego. In December 2016, People Asia magazine included Velasquez on its annual "People of the Year" list.
Velasquez hosted the late-night television comedy and variety show Full House Tonight ,which ran from February to May 2017. The following month, she announced her return to VIVA Records and that she had begun production of a new studio album called R3.0 . In August 2017, a cover of Up Dharma Down's 2010 song "Tadhana" was released as a promotional single. An original track called "Hugot" was released as the album's lead single the following month. In November, she headlined the "R3.0 Concert" at the Mall of Asia Arena and two months later, with Alcasid, she played a four-date U.S. concert series titled "Mr. and Mrs. A."
In 2018, Velasquez hosted the television talent show The Clash ,served as a judge on ABS-CBN's revival of the Idol franchise series Idol Philippines , and hosted the musical variety show ASAP Natin' To . In November, she staged a three-date concert residency titled "Regine at the Movies" at the Newport Performing Arts Theater.
Sharon Cuneta and Velasquez co-headlined a concert titled "Iconic" in October 2019.For the show, Velasquez won the awards for Best Collaboration in a Concert and Entertainer of the Year at the 32nd Aliw Awards, having won the top honor in 2007 and 2009. The following month, she released a collaborative single with Moira Dela Torre called "Unbreakable", which was recorded for the soundtrack of the film of the same name. Velasquez appeared as the face of Australian beauty brand BYS and released the promotional single "I Am Beautiful" for the brand's "Be Your Own Expert" campaign. Velasquez recorded the soundtrack singles "Ikaw Ang Aking Mahal" for the action television series The General's Daughter (2019) and "Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako" for the drama series Love Thy Woman (2020).
Velasquez organized virtual benefit concerts in support of relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 25, 2020, she curated "One Night with Regine", a collaboration with ABS-CBN to benefit the Bantay Bata Foundation's COVID-19 response fund.Later in June, Velasquez appeared in "Joy From Home", which raised funds in support of the Jollibee Group Food Aid.
On February 28, 2021, Velasquez was featured in an online streaming concert titled "Freedom".In June, she released the single "Kailangan Kita", the main theme song for the television series La Vida Lena .
Velasquez made her cinema debut in January 1988 with a brief appearance in the action comedy film The Untouchable Family.Its soundtrack includes her single "Urong Sulong". She continued to appear in a series of supporting roles in comedies that include Pik Pak Boom (1988) and Elvis and James 2 (1990).
Velasquez began working with composer Ryan Cayabyab in 1995 on the musical theater production of José Rizal 's Noli Me Tángere , where she played the female lead, María Clara. Vic Del Rosario, head of VIVA Entertainment's film production arm, saw Velasquez in one of her performances and offered her a starring role in a film. Her first leading role was a music teacher in the romantic comedy Wanted: Perfect Mother (1996). Nievera and Ocampo co-wrote the song "You Are My Song" for the film's soundtrack. Later in 1996, she starred alongside Donna Cruz and Mikee Cojuangco in the musical comedy Do Re Mi . Velasquez continued to play leading roles in romantic comedies, appearing in Honey Nasa Langit Na Ba Ako (1998) with Janno Gibbs and Dahil May Isang Ikaw (1999) with Aga Muhlach. Her first television role came in 2000 in an episode of the IBC-13 's weekly drama series Habang May Buhay as Piolo Pascual 's cancer-stricken love interest.
A key point in Velasquez's film career came when Joyce Bernal cast her as the lead in Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw (2000) opposite Robin Padilla.Film critic Noel Vera said the film's formula is "nothing really new" and called it the "nth variation of Roman Holiday" but wrote that Velasquez "brings her own public persona and charisma and sense of humor to the role". Her next film role was in Pangako Ikaw Lang (2001), which reunited her with Bernal and Muhlach. Vera was impressed with the film's direction and writing, and described Velasquez's performance as "sunny good nature" played with a "light comic touch". Pangako Ikaw Lang became the highest-grossing Filipino film of 2001. Due to the film's commercial performance, Velasquez was awarded the Box Office Queen title at the 32nd Box Office Entertainment Awards.
Her next television appearance was in an episode of ABS-CBN's weekly drama series Maalaala Mo Kaya (2001),playing a woman with autism. The role won her the Best Actress award at the 16th Star Awards for Television. In 2002, she starred with Richard Gomez in Ikaw Lamang Hanggang Ngayon, which was filmed in Manila City, Velasquez's performance as a disenchanted postal clerk earned her a Young Critics Circle nomination for Best Actress. Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigin Ka (2003) reunited her with Christopher de Leon of Wanted: Perfect Mother. The film premiered at the Manila Film Festival in July 2003. In December, Velasquez next starred alongside Bong Revilla in Mars Ravelo's Captain Barbell.
Although Velasquez did not make any film appearances in 2004, she made her primetime television debut in the drama series Forever In My Heart ,in which she was reunited with Gomez, and worked alongside Ariel Rivera and Dawn Zulueta. She next starred in romantic dramas, reuniting with Padilla in Till I Met You (2006) and with Pascual in Paano Kita Iibigin (2007). For the latter film, Velasquez received FAMAS and Luna nominations for Best Actress. In 2008, she returned to television, playing the titular character in the comedy series Ako si Kim Samsoon , an adaption of a South Korean television show. Velasquez voiced the eponymous character in the animated film Urduja (2008).
During 2009, Velasquez made cameo appearances in the comedies Kimmy Dora , OMG (Oh, My Girl!) , and Yaya and Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie .In March 2010, Velasquez appeared in the musical television series Diva as a facially disfigured ghost singer. The following year, she teamed with Dingdong Dantes in the television series I Heart You, Pare! (2011). She left the show for health reasons and was replaced by Iza Calzado.
The 2012 film Of All The Things saw Velasquez work with Bernal and Muhlach for the third time.Philbert Dy of ClickTheCity called the film a "tedious, unfocused mess that forces chemistry where none really exists". Despite the film's critical failure, Velasquez's performance won the 10th Golden Screen award for Best Actress. She next starred in the independent film Mrs. Recto (2015), a comedy-drama set principally on Recto Avenue. She then portrayed a socialite who is stripped of her wealth in the television comedy series Poor Señorita (2016). Her only acting appearance in 2017 was a supporting role in Mulawin vs. Ravena , the sequel to the 2004 television series Mulawin .
Velasquez played a widow obsessed with a pop star in Nigel Santos' independent film Yours Truly, Shirley.The film premiered at the 2019 Cinema One Originals Film Festival. In January 2020, she briefly appeared in the iWant comedy series My Single Lady.
As a child, Velasquez enjoyed listening to her father singing classic songs to lull her to sleep;she was drawn to traditional songs rather than nursery rhymes because of this routine. Since her childhood, Velasquez has considered Sharon Cuneta a role model and credits Cuneta as a key inspiration who led her to pursue a musical career.
Velasquez's music is influenced by artists such as Sheena Easton, Angela Bofill, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey in her early years.She admires Houston for her "style and R&B influence", and was impressed with Carey's songwriting. On several occasions, Velasquez has cited Barbra Streisand as her main influence and musical inspiration, saying; "I look up to [Streisand] not just because of her enormous talent, but because of her fearlessness and dedication to excellence, her willingness to take risks and to be different". Streisand's music has frequently featured in Velasquez's repertoire throughout her career, including a series of concerts paying homage to Streisand, which Velasquez described as "a pleasure" to perform. Velasquez has also been influenced by many Filipino artists; early in her career, she cited Kuh Ledesma, Joey Albert, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, and Pops Fernandez as her role models. She has also paid tribute to Filipino songwriters, including George Canseco, Rey Valera, Basil Valdez, Ryan Cayabyab, and Willy Cruz.
Velasquez's early-career music includes elements of traditional OPM love songs.She described how she developed her musical style, saying; "I was only 16 and people didn't know what to do with me. When they want me to sing love songs, they had to explain to me what it meant because I didn't know the feeling yet." Her debut album Regine includes ballads and bubblegum pop love songs; its themes revolve around feelings of "excitement and uncertainty", as well as "missed chances and regrets". Elvin Luciano of CNN Philippines wrote; "During her [initial] phase, she proved that Filipino love songs don't have to come pre-packaged in the kundiman-rooted love ballad". Her later releases, including Nineteen 90 and Tagala Talaga, capitalized on her popularity; they are dominated by Filipino love songs. Velasquez began working with foreign songwriters while planning her first regional album Listen Without Prejudice, which according to AllMusic is "oriented towards easy-listening love songs with adventurous, contemporary touches". The album features tracks with syncopated backbeats and hip-hop influences.
During the mid-1990s to early 2000s, Velasquez's albums consisted primarily of cover versions of international material because of its commercial viability, and Filipinos' preference for American music.According to CNN Philippines, "Regine has a knack for choosing songs which at first, may not fit her, but eventually become her own." Many of her songs, particularly in Retro, Drawn, and R2K contained R&B, soul, and hip-hop elements. Velasquez's eleventh studio album Reigne is an OPM album that she described as "songs influenced by the music, artists, and genres that I enjoy listening to," and included tracks that are melancholic, sensual, and poetic. Her crossover to film saw significant use of contemporary love ballads in her catalog of soundtrack themes, describing the music as "straightforward, earnest, and lyrically simple".
Velasquez is known for her use of vocal belting.She was ranked first in a 2011 Female Network countdown of the 25 Best Filipina Singers and is listed as one of the Ten Most Admired Female Singers in Asia by the Malaysian magazine Top 10 of Asia alongside Lea Salonga, Siti Nurhaliza, and Tata Young. Velasquez credits the vocal training she received from her father as a child:
That was in Leyte. A long time ago. I must’ve been 7 years old. It didn’t feel like training; [my father] didn’t force me to do it. He just took us to the beach for a picnic. We lived near the ocean. While I was swimming, he would ask me to sing ... I think he got the idea from Rocky Marciano, the boxer. He read that Rocky practiced, shadow-boxed in the water. [In the ring] there’s no pressure so it’s easier … but in the water, you have no choice but to punch harder. My Papa merely applied the same principle to singing.
Velasquez is a soprano and is often praised for her range and technical ability.Elvin Luciano of CNN Philippines complimented her "trademark and sometimes melismatic vocals" while AllMusic's David Gonzales adds her singing is "strong, emotive, and confident". She has often been criticized, however, for excessive use of belting and oversinging. Gonzales described Velasquez's timbre as "thin, unimpressive and unappealing at times", and said her singing is "aiming for a higher [note], [which] she did all too often". Velasquez said; "I don't mean to make any songs hard. It's just that when I'm on stage, with the adrenaline rush and all, you get excited. I do try to hold back [because] otherwise I'd be screaming the whole show, that's not good."
Velasquez's vocal style and singing ability have significantly impacted Philippine popular and contemporary music. Critics have called her "Asia's songbird"and she is often cited as one of Filipino music's most influential artists. According to Allan Policarpio of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Regine needed only to open her mouth and that celebrated voice would come out. She could sing seated, lying down or hoisted up in the air with a harness—no problem. And even when she was so sick she couldn't speak, she could still sing." Velasquez has also been recognized for playing a pivotal role in creating the "blue print" for becoming a "singing icon". Many critics complimented her work, often singling out Velasquez's influence; Elvin Luciano, writing for CNN Philippines, described her "legitimacy" as "enough to secure a space in pop culture" and said her musical career "continues to influence generations of OPM patrons and songbird wannabes up to this day", while according to The Philippine Star, "If one were to go by records and distinctions made, Regine Velasquez would win, hands down". She has often been regarded as a powerhouse for her performances and musical content.
Velasquez's use of vocal belting has been subject to scrutiny because young singers, including contestants on television talent shows, have imitated her singing technique. According to Nestor Torre of Philippine Daily Inquirer, "The popularity of 'birit' [belting] started here with the amateur singing contests. Then came Regine Velasquez, who also launched her own singing career the 'birit' way. ... Trouble is, Regine's belting became so popular that her successors ... imitated her." Manila Bulletin said; "Most of our top selling new female singers are still and mere parrots of [Velasquez] in terms of vocal acrobatics and predilection to show off her high range". According to Boy Abunda, "Most of the young female singers currently making waves in the industry are cut from the same biritera [belter] cloth as Regine Velasquez".
Filipino pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists Aicelle Santos, Toni Gonzaga , and Yeng Constantino—among others—have cited Velasquez as an influence.Charice, Erik Santos, Jona Viray, Julie Anne San Jose, KZ Tandingan, Kyla, Maricris Garcia, Mark Bautista, Morissette Amon,
Velasquez's music has broadly influenced a younger generation of performers; Sarah Geronimo has stated Velasquez made her realize the value of hard workwhile Rachelle Ann Go and Angeline Quinto have both said Velasquez inspired them during their early years as aspiring singers. American Idol finalists Ramiele Malubay, Thia Megia, and Jessica Sanchez have expressed a desire to emulate Velasquez.
Velasquez has also been credited for her work and performances with international artists, including 98 Degrees, Alicia Keys, Coco Lee, Peabo Bryson, and Stephen Bishop. ... sensitive voice and talented expression." American singer Brian McKnight who co-headlined a concert with Velasquez, has complimented her singing, stating; "I got to sing onstage with Regine and it was one of the best experiences ever because she's one of the best singers I've ever heard".French composer Michel Legrand described working with Velasquez, saying "It's tough to sing a 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 voice
Velasquez has been involved with several charitable organizations. She became associated with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 2001 and worked on a documentary titled Speak Your Mind, which was produced by MTV Asia.The organization sought to encourage broadcasters to play a more active role in promoting and protecting children's rights. The documentary is about the plight of homeless children in Payatas, Quezon City, one of the Philippines' largest open dumpsites, and was nominated for the UNICEF Child Rights Award.
One of Velasquez's highest-profile benefit concert appearances was an AB S-CBN's 2002 television special called One Night with Regine,during which she performed at the National Museum of the Philippines in support of the Bantay Bata Foundation, a child welfare organization. In 2005, Velasquez appeared in an episode of the lifestyle talk show Mel and Joey , and donated proceeds from an auction of her gowns to the GMA Kapuso Foundation's Christmas Give-a-Gift project. In 2009, Velasquez headlined a benefit television special called After The Rain: A Hopeful Christmas in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy). In October 2010, she became an ambassador for Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that provides cleft lip and palate repair surgery to children worldwide. She recorded the theme "S.M.I.L.E.", which was written for the project and appears on her fifteenth studio album. In November 2013, proceeds from the sales of her album Hulog Ka Ng Langit were donated to the Philippine Red Cross in support of the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) relief.
Velasquez has been involved in brand marketing initiatives for American fast food restaurant chains Wendy's and KFC.She has signed advertising deals with several other brands, including, Digitel, Lux, Nestlé Philippines, Nokia, and Smart Communications. Throughout 2005, she appeared as the face of the Department of Tourism's travel promotion campaign. In August 2009, Velasquez released a line of women's perfume called "Reigne" and "Songbird" for the clothing brand Bench. In February 2020, she collaborated with beauty brand BYS and launched a line of makeup called "Reign".
In June 2007, Velasquez announced her relationship with singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid in an article published by Yes! magazine.On August 8, 2010, the couple announced their engagement, and in December they married in Nasugbu, Batangas. On November 8, 2011, she gave birth to their son, called Nathaniel James, via caesarean section.
Velasquez is a born again Christian.In March 2016, she said she had suffered a miscarriage prior to her marriage to Alcasid and cited it as her reason for converting. She also said she had been attending Victory Christian Fellowship.
Throughout Velasquez's career, she has collected many honors and awards, including MTV Asia's Favorite Artist Philippines in 2002 ' Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino, the Star Awards for Music's Pilita Corrales Lifetime Achievement, and Natatanging Alagad Ng Musika, FAMAS Awards' Golden Artist, and Myx Music's Magna Award.and 2003, and the Aliw Awards' Entertainer of the Year in 2007, 2009, and 2019. She has been the recipient of lifetime achievement award, including the Awit Awards
Velasquez has sold more than seven million records in the Philippines and a further million and a half in Asia, making her the biggest-selling Filipino artist of all time. 's 2011 countdown of the "Top 25 Best Filipina Singers" and was included in Top 10 Asia magazine's list of "Ten Most Admired Female Singers in Asia". Velasquez has also received recognition for her work in television and film; she was given the Box Office Queen award in 2002, the Star Awards for Television's Best Actress in 2002, and the Golden Screen Awards' Best Actress in 2013. She has received a total of 21 Awit Awards, 22 Box Office Entertainment Awards, 15 Aliw Awards, and 10 Star Awards for Music. In December 2007, Velasquez was honored with a star on the Philippines' Walk of Fame.Eight of her albums have each sold in excess of 200,000 copies. She was ranked first in Female Network
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