She is currently working on her second album, follow up from Charice.
Crossing over to television acting, she has appeared on the second season of the hit TV series Glee as Sunshine Corazon.
Pempengco was born in Laguna, Philippines. Raised by a single mother, she helped support the family by joining amateur singing contests at age seven, from town fiestas in various provinces to singing competitions on TV. She is said to have joined almost a hundred singing contests.
In 2005, Charice joined Little Big Star, a talent show in the Philippines loosely patterned after American Idol. Eliminated after her first performance, she was later called back as a wildcard contender and eventually became one of the finalists. Although she was a consistent top scorer in the final rounds, she wasn't able to win the title in the finale and only placed third.
Charice made minor appearances on local television shows and commercials, but essentially had fallen off the radar after her stint at Little Big Star. It was not until 2007 that she gained worldwide recognition after an avid supporter under the username FalseVoice, started posting a series of her performance videos on YouTube. These videos received over 13 million hits.
In June 2007, Ten Songs/Productions, a music publishing company in Sweden, invited Pempengco to a demo-recording after producers saw her videos. She recorded seven songs – six covers and an original song entitled "Amazing".
She was then invited to the South Korean talent show Star King on its October 13, 2007 edition, she sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and a duet of "A Whole New World" with Kyuhyun, from Super Junior.
After watching her Star King performance on YouTube, Ellen DeGeneres extended an on-air invitation to Pempengco to guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She flew to the United States for the first time and performed two songs on the December 19, 2007 episode of the show – "I Will Always Love You" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going".
Following her American debut on Ellen, she made a second appearance on Star King as the "Most Requested Foreign Act" of the show. On its December 28 edition, she performed Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and sang a duet with singer Lena Park.
In January 2008, she was invited to the Malacañang Palace where she performed for Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She returned to the international scene when she guested on the April 8 episode of The Paul O'Grady Show in London, England.
Her self-titled Philippine debut album Charice was released in May 2008. The mini album, consisting of six songs and six backing tracks, was awarded gold certification in the Philippines in October 2008. The album eventually achieved platinum status in 2009.
Pempengco appeared on the May 12 edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show in an episode entitled the "World's Smartest Kids", where she performed Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing. After the show, Oprah Winfrey contacted David Foster to see what the legendary music producer could do for Pempengco. She performed with Foster for the first time as one of the entertainers on the May 17 opening of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.
She made her debut on the international concert stage in Foster's May 23 tribute concert, Hitman: David Foster and Friends, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. She performed a medley of songs from The Bodyguard as well as her standard, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". A CD/DVD of the concert, including Pempengco's The Bodyguard medley, was released on November 11, 2008. The show was aired several times on PBS and other public television networks starting in December 2008 under the Great Performances banner.
One of the singers at the concert was Pempengco's idol, Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli subsequently expressed interest in performing a duet with her and personally invited her to be a guest on his birthday concert "The Cinema Tribute" held on July 20 at the Teatro del Silenzio in his hometown of Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy. Aside from her solo performance, she sang a duet of "The Prayer" with the famous tenor in front of more than 8,000 people.
She was invited to perform for the Feyenoord's Centennial Anniversary in the Netherlands held on September 26. Before a crowd of about 50,000 football (soccer) fans, she sang the team's anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone."
When she guested on the "Dreams Come True" episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show on September 9, Oprah referred to her as "The Most Talented Girl in the World." She sang Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" with David Foster on piano, after which Oprah surprised her with an appearance by Celine Dion via satellite, who invited her to sing a special duet at New York City's Madison Square Garden as part of Dion's Taking Chances Tour.
She performed her promised duet with Celine Dion on September 15. They sang "Because You Loved Me," dedicated to Pempengco's mother. The performance received rave reviews in The New York Post and The New York Times. The duet was eventually featured on the September 19 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. She would then perform at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children Benefit Concert at the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort.
In November, she and David Foster guested on Good Morning America to promote Foster's tribute album, Hitman: David Foster and Friends. She performed The Bodyguard medley and "I Will Survive."
Move to the United States (2009–2010)
In January 2009, Pempengco performed at two US presidential pre-inaugural events in Washington, D.C., namely the Martin Luther King Jr "Realizing The Dream" gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and at the "Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala" at the Mandarin Hotel.
In February, she performed at two post-Oscar award events: Oscar Night at Mr. Chow's and Oprah's Oscar After Party held in Kodak Theatre. She debuted a new original song entitled "Fingerprint" composed by Robbie Nevil and produced by David Foster.
In April, she appeared in the season premiere of Ti lascio una canzone, an Italian musical variety show televised from Teatro Ariston in the city of Sanremo. She performed "I Will Always Love You", "I Have Nothing", "The Prayer", and "Listen". Later that same month, she would go on to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of 57,000 baseball fans during the Los Angeles Dodgers 52nd season home opener at Dodger Stadium.
In May, she released her Philippine second album entitled My Inspiration. The album consisted of 12 tracks, including "Always You" and a cover of Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World" performed as a duet with her mother. The album was certified gold in the Philippines within two months after release, and then platinum in December 2009. Also in May, she would again perform at a David Foster and Friends concert held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the May 18 episode "Finale: Oprah's Search for the World's Most Talented Kids" of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she debuted her first internationally released single "Note to God", written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster. The single was made available for digital download on the same day and debuted at #24 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart, #44 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, #9 on the Hot Canadian Digital Singles chart and #35 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. Later that same month, she was again invited to sing at the Ti lascio una canzone show as a special guest.
She staged her first major concert called: Charice: The Journey Begins on June 27 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Philippines to a sold-out crowd. Her guests included Christian Bautista, Kuh Ledesma and Little Big Star finalists.
Pempengco contributed to two Christmas albums in 2009. The first as David Archuleta's duet partner for the song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in his Christmas album entitled Christmas from the Heart. The second is a compilation Christmas album entitled A Very Special Christmas Volume 7 in which she contributed her own rendition of "The Christmas Song". She was one of the headlining acts in the David Foster and Friends 10-City North American Tour that ran during the fall of 2009.
She made a cameo appearance in her first feature film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, released in North America on December 23. She is also part of the official movie soundtrack with her rendition of "No One" by Alicia Keys accompanied by The Chipettes. Later in the month, she appeared on Singapore Idol's grand finale episode as a guest performer, where she performed two of her signature songs, The Bodyguard medley and "Note to God".