Charice overcame a tumultuous childhood in the Philippines to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer. When she was 3 years old, Charice says she remembers seeing her father fly into a fit of rage. She says she watched as he choked and attacked her mother. Charice and her mother escaped with their lives, but they struggled to keep themselves afloat financially. In an effort to help support her family, Charice entered singing contests—which is how she caught her big break. A stranger posted one of her jaw-dropping performances on YouTube, and Oprah's producers were among the 13 million people who logged on to watch the 16-year-old sing songs made famous by artists like Celine Dion and Beyoncé.
In May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," and she has been blowing away her fans ever since.