updated 26 Jul 2010, 08:59
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Mon, Jul 26, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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Teen pop star wants to be lawyer to help fellow entertainers
by Pocholo Concepcion

MANILA, Philippines—When the Inquirer asked Charice on Thursday whether she has indeed set her mind on becoming a lawyer, the teenage pop star said yes—although that plan won’t really take her away from show biz. That’s because she wants to be an entertainment lawyer.

If the idea sounds either boring (imagine her poring over contracts) or stressful (dealing with lawsuits)—on the other hand it will give her the chance to help other artists and performers get good and fair deals. It’s likewise a nice opportunity for her to understand the side of concert promoters.

When that time comes she will see why, for instance, her recent three-night series of shows, mounted by Megaworld, was almost cancelled. According to a source, there was misunderstanding over money matters, which fortunately was settled in the nick of time.

However, the agreement for Charice to do full-length shows had to be revised; instead of performing 10 or more songs, she only sang five.

The gigs were part of a five-leg Asian tour to promote the 18-year-old Filipina international singer’s self-titled US debut album on Warner Music.

The first show, held Thursday night at the Newport Plaza of Resorts World Manila, attracted an SRO crowd, which spilled over the 800-capacity venue.

High spirits

Charice was in high spirits, matching the upbeat tempo of the opening number, “I Love You” (a track from her album), with energetic vocals amid snappy stage moves with four dancers.

A cover of Beyonce’s “Halo” followed—the song’s spiritual-inspirational bent serving as prelude to a song Charice personally dedicated to her audience: “In This Song.”

The tune, co-written for Charice by her album producer and musical mentor David Foster, captured the confidence-building scenario which the singer is currently engaged in, and had enough musical bombast to win over first-time listeners.

Although she had to perform the album’s first single “Pyramid” alone (the original studio version is a duet with Virgin Islands singer Iyaz), Charice was never at a loss; she even comfortably filled in for Iyaz’s rap parts.

For the finale she did a lighthearted cover of Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” as well as a short medley of hits by Miley Cyrus and other teenage pop stars.

A couple of videos were shown, one about Charice’s dizzying ascent to fame, the other highlighting Foster’s topnotch reputation as songwriter-producer—both apparently prepared by Warner’s promotional team to drum up more interest for the Charice CD.

Another source told the Inquirer that although it had topped Odyssey Music store’s nationwide-based charts for five weeks, the album needs to sell a few more thousands to earn gold status (by local standards, 10,000 copies sold).

In the US, the initial high it generated upon its debut at No. 8 on the Billboard Top 200 has dampened a bit since the album slid down.

No worries
But that’s not something to worry about, because artists worldwide have been dealing successfully with plummeting album sales by touring more often and selling their own merchandise.

In Charice’s case, her handlers have been doing the right thing so far with her recent US and Europe promo visits. The European leg, in fact, was very fruitful, said the singer’s mother Raquel, because offers have been made for a full-blown concert tour that includes London, Paris and Berlin, among other cities.

But it was in Toronto, added Raquel, where she felt the most enthusiastic crowd that welcomed Charice.

“I think Chicago also had a very warm crowd, and they were not only Filipinos,” said Charice in a press con held at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel a few hours before the show at Resorts World.

At the same press con, reporters kept fishing for more details on Charice’s coming appearance on the US musical-comedy-drama TV series “Glee.” But she herself couldn’t divulge anything other than her shooting schedule which starts July 28.

‘Glee’ song

Raquel had one other bit of info: First on the shooting sequence is Charice in a scene with one of the lead characters, Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele).

Charice will reportedly shoot 10 episodes for season 2 of the series, which airs this September.

In the meantime, she proceeds with the Asian leg of the album promo tour to Japan (July 19-21), Thailand (July 21-23) and Malaysia (July 24-26).

She returns to Manila in October for the “David Foster and Friends” concert, which she said will also include Natalie Cole and Peter Cetera, among others.

Hopefully, talent fees will no longer be an issue by then. -Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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