A powerful voice and perfect pitch are some of the things that have made Lea Salonga famous all over the world. She is both a very successful actress and a successful singer who has made many songs and films. Lea has received many awards and has been acting since she was seven years old when she played a role in The King and I.
Biography of Lea Salonga
The actress was born on February 22, 1971, in Manila, Philippines, as María Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga. She grew up at the side of Gerard Salonga, her brother, with her parents, Feliciano Genuino Salonga and María Ligaya Alcantara.
The Philippine singer and actress began her musical career in 1981 with her first album Small Voice, which won gold in the Philippines. Thanks to the great success she managed to get her own TV show “Love, Lea”.
In 1988 she released her second album “Lea” and in 1993 another one, “Lea Salonga”. I’d Like to Teach The World To Sing (1997) was her next before she released 7 more albums, all of which were successful.
Her first popular stage role came in 1980 when she played the role of Annie in the play of the same name, “Annie”. The following year she appeared in “The Bad Seed” and then in “The Paper Moon” before she appeared in a number of other roles including “Miss Saigon” on Broadway, which won her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical and the Theatre World Award.
Beyond the stage, Lea has also accomplished much as a film actress, starring in nearly 40 films. Among her popular works are “Tropang Bulilit”, which was her first film in 1981, “Captain Barbell” (1986), and “Aladdin” (1992), in which she acted as a dubbing artist for the songs of Princess Jasmine. In 1995 and 2010 she played Éponine and Fantine in “Les Misérables” on Broadway, making her the first Asian ever to play such a role.
Among the many awards, she has received for all her works is the BroadwayWorld.com Award for Best Actress in a Musical for “Fidelity”, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for “Miss Saigon” and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the same work, making her the first Asian woman to receive this award.
Her Husband – Robert Charles Chien
Lea Salonga is married to Robert Charles Chien since 2004. The singer met the man who later became her husband and immediately fell in love with each other thanks to the unique passion they share for music. They were introduced by a mutual friend, Christine, who also happened to be Robert’s cousin.
On their first official date, they sang together in the car and soon began a romance that led to a happy ending. In 2002, Chien Lea made a proposal of marriage, which she accepted. A year and a half after their engagement, the couple made the covenant of marriage in 2004 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in LA.
The Chinese-Japanese Robert Charles Chien works as the CEO of an entertainment software company in California. The couple now has a daughter, Nicole Beverly Chien, who was born two years after her parents married.
All You Must Know About Lea Salonga – Other Facts
- Her brother, Gerard Salonga, is also interested in music. He is an orchestra conductor who also appeared on Lea’s first album Small Voice.
- Salonga’s father was a rear admiral in the navy who owned a shipping company. For this reason, she grew up in various places, including Angeles City and Manila.
- Thanks to her ancestry and that of her husband, her daughter is Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino, and American descent.
- With a global market where she has sold more than 19 million copies of her albums, the singer is one of the best-selling Filipino artists of all time. More than that, she is the first Filipino singer ever to receive a contract for the release and distribution of her album in the U.S.
- A very hard-working and talented person who has worked as a singer and actress, Lea Salonga has net assets estimated at $18 million.
- She was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine in 1991. She is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 54 kg.