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For Charice, 'a spot among the greats...'

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For Charice, 'a spot among the greats...' SOUNDS FAMILIAR By Baby A. Gil 
June 26, 2009 12:00 AM 

Note to God is making a big star out of Charice Pempengco. The single, which is part of her forthcoming CD from Warner Music is now one of the most downloaded and most searched song in the US where it is available in iTunes, Amazon and other sites for $.99. And probably also soon in the Philippines where the song is now available from Smart. Simply text Charice, then send to 5677 and digital downloading will take care of the rest.

Note to God was composed by the famous Diane Warren, who also did Because You Loved Me and I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing. It is a heart-tugging wish for a better world. The single was picked out and produced by David Foster who is also doing Charice album debut for Warner. Foster is one guy who knows how to sell talents through records. Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and other big names are among his successes.

Having Foster behind her makes Charice’s chance of making a big hit on her first time out very strong. Given his stature, people in the music business invariably take what he has to say about newcomers seriously. And he has been very serious about Charice. Although then still unknown he included her in his hit concert series David Foster & Friends. As a result, she is now part of the video and live recorded CD that also feature Andrea Bocelli, Brian McKnight, Peter Cetera, Renee Oldstead, Celine, Bublé, Groban and other big names.

Besides, there is also the great and very influential Oprah Winfrey who has taken Charice under her wing and remains unwavering in her support of the young Filipina. In fact, Charice first performed Note to God live at The Oprah Winfrey Show episode which featured talented kids from around the world.

Feedback is very good and most heartening for us Pinoys. Reviewer Michael Menachem has this to say in the latest issue of Billboard Magazine: “At 17 Charice’s seasoned voice should secure her a spot among the greats. Note to God is the embodiment of a power ballad and Charice tackles the vocally acrobatic song delivered in a similar spirit to contemporary songs recorded by Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. The Filipino Internet sensation (full name Charice Pempengco) has been seen by millions and in May her first single debuted on The Oprah Winfrey Show as part of the Most Talented Kids program. The teen has shared a stage with Celine Dion, toured with David Foster, a longtime supporter of Charice and producer of the single. Legendary songwriter Diane Warren penned Note to God leaving Charice with a wide open palette of emotions to build upon with a gospel choir and her own spiritual essence. Charice’s full album is due in the fall.”

Let us wait for that one. But meanwhile back to Note to God. Did you know that it was originally recorded by Jojo, the pretty R&B star for her High Road album a few years ago? Like Charice she was young, I think only 14 at the time. Maybe it was intentional on the part of Warren to give Note to God to kids as it is one of those songs that affects people more when performed by an expressive innocent voice. Jojo’s is all sweet R&B but Charice’s is big in the Whitney manner. It goes like this:

“If I wrote a note to God/ I would speak what’s in my soul/ I’d ask for all the hate to be swept away/ and for love to overflow.

If I wrote a note to God/ I’d pour my heart out on each page/ I’d ask for wars to end/ and for peace to mend this world/ I’d say, I’d say, I’d say...

Give us the strength to make it through/ help us find love cause love is overdue/ and it looks like we haven’t got a clue/ need some help from you.

Grant us the faith to carry on/ give us hope when it seems all hope is gone/ cause it seems like so much is going on/ on this road we’re on.

If I wrote a note to God/ I would say what’s on my mind/ I’d ask for wisdom to let compassion rule/ this world in these times.

If I wrote a note to God/ I’d say please help us find out way/ and with all the bitterness/ put some tenderness in our heart... I’d say, I’d say, I’d say...”

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