Lea Salonga

Biography

This Tony Award-winning Filipino singer and actor, is best known for her portrayal of Kim in the musical ‘Miss Saigon’. Lea Salonga has achieved both domestic and international recognition in the fields of acting, theatre and singing. However, her fame in the highly competitive international arena remains unparalleled, and she is the only Filipino actor to have achieved such popularity and won various awards for one single role in the field of musical theatre.

Lea Salonga-Chien was born Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga on 22 February 1971, in Angeles City in Pampanga, Philippines. Her parents were never legally married, and she moved to Manila at the age of six.

Lea was all of seven, when she made her maiden professional debit by performing in the Repertory Philippines’ musical ‘The King and I’. Since then, she has appeared in numerous other productions, such as – Annie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler on the Roof, The Rose Tattoo, The Sound Of Music, The Goodbye Girl, Paper Moon, The Fantasticks, and Flower Drum Song.

At ten when Lea began her professional singing career, she received a Gold record in her country for ‘Small Voice’. At 13, she has pockets 3 more Aliw Awards for Best Child Performer from 1981-83. She also released her first coming of age album simply titled ‘Lea’ in ’83.

But it was 1989 which became the year of reckoning for her, and she was chosen for the leading role of Kim in the musical ‘Miss Saigon’. Lea Salonga was given the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for the 1989/1990 season for her outstanding performance. From London, Miss Saigon moved to Broadway in 1991. Lea went on to win the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Kim’s portrayal.

1993 put Lea shared stage with the brightest stars of Hollywood, when her song ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin, won an Oscar. In ’93 only, she released her self-titled international debut album with Atlantic Records, which went platinum in the Philippines and sold 3 million copies worldwide. Lea has several platinum albums, awards, fame, glory, and records to her name including the Philippines’ Best Selling Female Artist of All Time with sales of 19 million.

Lea is married to Robert Charles Chien (10 January 2004 – present) and has one child.

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