At 78, Pilita Corrales vows to go on ‘as long as people want to hear me sing’

November 17, 2017 - 11:44 AM
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Pilita Corrales.

Just days after singing an impromptu duet with President Rodrigo Duterte upon the request of U.S. president Donald Trump, Pilita Corrales is all set to headline “An Evening with Pilita,” her first solo concert in years, this Friday, November 17, at The Theatre at Solaire.

Now 78, the legendary singer dubbed as Asia’s Queen of Songs is showing no signs of slowing down. She recently told InterAksyon and other media that she would keep on singing “as long as people want to hear me sing.”

The concert is her second major concert at Solaire. Last year, Pilita co-healined “Your Evening with Pilita and Eric” alongside tenor Eric Cruz. That show also featured several guest performers that included Basil Valdez, The Company and Dyords Javier. In that concert, Pilita and the other singers were backed by Mel Villena’s AMP Big Band.

For her November 17 show, Villena will again serve as Pilita’s musical director but in addition to his AMP band, the string section of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra will further enhance the already impressive rhythm section. Expect a repertoire of big band classics from the 1950s and the ’60s as well as Pilita’s signature songs that include Alice Doria-Gamilla’s “A Million Thanks to You,” and George Canseco’s “Kapantay ay Langit.”

Her Solaire concert is the third in a series of shows headlined by OPM icons this year. Basil Valdez and Celeste Legaspi previously performed to full house audiences at The Theatre.

“What better way for us to establish this than to highlight the ‘icons of Filipino music.’ [And] who can be more iconic that Pilita Corrales? Her distinct voice, performance style and image have regaled generations. She is the only one to have had numerous hit albums in Spanish, English, Tagalog and Bisaya,” noted Solaire entertainment director Audie Gemora.

“I love performing at The Theatre at Solaire. The sound is world-class and it’s simply a beautiful place to perform in,” Pilita added.

Looking back at a storied career that has spanned six decades, Pilita recalls how she got her start as a recording artist in Australia and was a pop star there long before the likes of Helen Reddy and Olivia Newton-John made a name for themselves.

Over the years, Pilita became a household name in her native Philippines as she also became famous for bending her body backwards whenever she performed. Asked why that was so, she said it actually served an important purpose.

“Bending backwards opens up my lungs. Not too many people know it but I cannot reach those high notes when I sing unless I do that. It’s the only way,” she pointed out.

Being a singer of world-class caliber, it wasn’t surprising that she was also invited to open for and perform alongside renowned acts including The Beatles during their 1966 Manila concert at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium and her personal favorite, Sammy Davis, Jr., who personally invited her to perform in Ceasars Palace, becoming the first ever Filipino entertainer to perform in Las Vegas.

“He was a wonderful man. You know, those blessed with the best talents are also the nicest people,” she said in recalling her experience with Davis.

In addition to being comfortable performing with foreign entertainers, Pilita is also equally at ease singing for heads of state, politicians and other dignitaries over the course of her career.

At the recent gala welcome dinner for ASEAN delegates which also featured Lani Misalucha, Jed Madela, Elha Nympha, Darren Espanto and Baihana among others, Pilita performed two songs including “Ikaw” with President Duterte.

For her concert at The Theatre, she will be joined onstage by her daughter Jackie Lou Blanco and son Ramon Christopher Guttierez, as well as her reportedly “favorite” granddaughter, Janine Guttierez. The comedy-musical tandem of Nikki Ross and Angie dela Cruz, better known as the Wing Duo who also opened for The Beatles in Manila, will also perform.

For ticket information, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.