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Lea Salonga

Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga KLD (born February 22, 1971), better known as Lea Salonga (/ˈlə səˈlɒŋɡə/), is a Filipina singer and actress who starred in the lead role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, for which she won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theatre World awards. Salonga is the first Filipino artist to sign to an international record label (having been signed to Atlantic Records in 1993). She is also the first Philippine-based artist to have received a major album release and distribution deal in the United States (the second being Charice Pempengco with her 2010 album Charice), and one of the best-selling Filipino artists of all time, having sold over five million copies of her albums worldwide.

She was the first Asian actress to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. She portrayed Éponine in the musical’s 10th anniversary production and Fantine in 25th anniversary show in London. She also provided the singing voice of two official Disney Princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin (1992), and Fa Mulan in Mulan (1998). Salonga was named a Disney Legend in 2011 for her work with The Walt Disney Company. And year 2014 she was one of the Judges in The Voice of the Philippines, and The Voice Kids.

Personal life

On January 10, 2004, Salonga married Robert Charles Chien, a Chinese-Japanese managing director of an entertainment software company in Los Angeles, California, whom she met while doing Flower Drum Song. They have a daughter, Nicole Beverly, who was born in 2006, named after Salonga’s late mother-in-law, Beverly. She is also an avid video game enthusiast, and has mentioned her love for the hobby in several of her print articles. She resides in the Philippines and the United States.

On October 15, 2010, Salonga was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

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