Metro Manila · Lea Salonga (*February 22, 1971)
Award-wining Philippine singer and actress Lea Salonga owes her fame to Kim, a bar girl in the musical Miss Saigon. It became the starting point of a global singing career.
Lea Salonga was born in Angeles City and moved to Manila at the age of six. In 1978, she started playing in professional musical productions such as The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, and Annie, followed by concerts, her own TV show, and roles in movies.
She had just started studying at the Ateneo de Manila in 1989 when she successfully auditioned for the lead female role in the new musical Miss Saigon. The musical brought her international fame and dozens of musical awards.
For the next twelve years, Lea Salonga would play the Saigon bar girl Kim who falls in love with an American soldier - a play set during the end of the Vietnam War. The musical staged mainly in London and New York's Broadway, but also in other locations worldwide which include Salonga's home country's capital Manila.
She starred in other big musical productions in different countries and released several albums, each selling millions of copies. She is the bestselling Filipino artist of all time and the first to release a major album in the USA. On top of that, she became the singing voice for Disney princesses Jasmine (in the movie 'Aladdin') and Mulan.
The end of Miss Saigon in 2001 just meant more musicals, more sold-out concerts and shows, and more hit albums for Salonga. She frequently performs in Manila and, in June 2013 became a judge in the TV show 'The Voice of the Philippines'.
Lea Salonga recently performed at the Sydney Opera House. Months before, the singer won Entertainer of the Year at the Aliw Awards 2016.
Lea Salonga is married since 2004 and has one daughter.