Jaya celebrates 25 years in show business
MANILA, Philippines – Let’s face it: most people in the local showbiz industry will not get to celebrate their 25th year in the business. It takes a lot of star power and staying power to get to the point where you’ve outlived your home network’s multiple rebranding, as well as several fashion and music genre changes of over two decades. For Jaya, her 25 years in show business is a testament to her enduring success as a multimedia artist in a cutthroat industry that’s always been known to be harsh to people who serve it in the first place. So it was befitting for Jaya to commemorate this fascinating journey to where she is now by showing her fans the artistry she herself has shaped during her entire career.
Jaya—regarded as the country’s Queen of Soul—celebrated her silver anniversary by staging a concert at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Casino on November 11, 2104. What started out as a show of Jaya’s musical prowess eventually turned out to be a very intimate recognition of the many triumphs and tribulations she has experienced throughout her career, which she shared gladly with the audience throughout the event.
Starting her set with an original piece as well as amazing covers of Gonna Make You Sweat and R.E.S.P.E.C.T., Jaya showed everyone that she not only sings, but also dances as well. She recounted her small beginnings singing in small clubs in the US as a way to earn a living, after which she sang a medley of Anita Baker classics as a hat tip to the singer who inspired much of her singing style. She also performed a string of 80s hits, such as songs by Angela Bofill, Patti Austin and Cynthia Rhodes, which showcased her vocal techniques.
Jaya also paid tribute to some of Philippines’ very talented songwriters and composers, like George Canseco, Willie Cruz and Ryan Cayabyab by performing their timeless hits along with singers Jonalyn Viray and Faith Cuneta. Jaya later on sang a stripped down, mellow version of Sana Maulit Muli, a song originally written and recorded by Gary Valenciano.
Jaya continued to perform a song that’s a staple in most of her repertoire and what would arguably become the highlight of her concert, which is a riveting rendition of Chaka Khan’s belt-out song, “Through The Fire.” The song, played out to a different arrangement, really brought out her vocal resonation. You really have to watch how Jaya rocked this song out in order to believe it:
Throughout the concert, Jaya performed with several other special guests like Kyla, who took over her set in the middle of the concert by performing a medley of slow songs, and her close friends Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, in which they recreated their Back To Back To Back segment on GMA-7’s former Sunday variety show “SOP.” Jaya also paid homage to some of the artists who have greatly inspired her musical styling throughout the years, such as David Benoit and Whitney Houston—the latter being a great influence during her formative years as a singer because she always used her music while performing in small bars.
Once in a while, Jaya would turn to her celebrity-filled audience and actually engage them in conversation. Because the ballroom had good acoustics, it enabled the singer to directly interact with some of her good friends who were watching, making for a lively banter between them and the singer. Jaya’s excitement turned a notch higher when she found out that 2ne1 member Sandara Park was also in the audience. She sang “Happy Birthday” to Sandara Park as she was in the Philippines to celebrate her 30th birthday.
Unbeknownst to many, Jaya went through several personal problems this year that tested both her faith and resolve in life. But through it all, the singer has triumphantly managed to overcome her hardships, hence her gratefulness to everyone who helped her along the way. She dedicated a special song for this reason, telling everyone “it’s hard to retire when there’s still so much to do.”
Jaya ended her set by singing her own songs that made her who she is now, such as Laging Naroon Ka, Sometimes Love Just Grows, and Wala Na Bang Pag-Ibig. The crowd gave the singer a much-deserved standing ovation, with which the Queen of Soul responded by giving one more medley of fast songs, ending the concert on a very high note.
Celebrities spotted in the crowd: Senator Chiz Escudero, Heart Evangelista, Bayani Agbayani, Arnel Ignacio, Erik Santos, Migs Ayesa, Janice de Belen, Ruffy Biazon.
Jaya’s 25th Anniversary Concert was co-presented by PLDT HOME DSL, a high-speed broadband Internet service that runs on PLDT’s extensive phone network. HOME DSL lets you enjoy limitless sharing with the strong, reliable family-sized connection. That’s one connection for the whole family, One connection for simultaneous use, and One connection for multiple gadgets. HOME DSL can deliver speeds of up to 10 Mbps and with plans for as low as P990/month bundled with a landline.
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