MANILA, Philippines - The 15-time Grammy winning songwriter-producer David Foster, in town for a concert Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, said Filipino singer Charice is like a daughter to him.
His show featured Natalie Cole, Peter Cetera, ''American Idol'' alumnae Ruben Studdard, The Canadian Tenors and our own Charice Pempengco.
During the press conference at the Resorts World Hotel in Pasay City Oct. 21, Foster talked about Pempengco openly.
''She's like one of my children,'' said the father of five.
''Young women need some kind of a male role model. Charice has a great mother, Raquel, and a great brother, Carl. But in the male department, she's coming up a bit short,'' emphasized Foster, alluding to the singer's estrangement with her biological father.
The comment, though seemingly very much a source of pride for Pempengco, is nothing new.
The diminutive diva recalled that, as far back as two years ago, Foster would always introduce her as such.
Facing Foster, Pempengco reminded him of an instance when ''a group of people asked you about me and you told them, 'She's like my sixth daughter.' For me, that was the most special moment.''
The bond between Foster and Pempengco began after the two were introduced to each other by TV host Oprah Winfrey, who was hoping for more opportunities for the then 14-year-old YouTube sensation.
Foster, impressed by Pempengco's singing prowess, immediately took her under his wings; eventually producing her eponymous debut album.
''The voice gets better every day. She was great when I met her at age 14, so you can imagine how I feel about her voice now. I call her a laser beam,'' said he in an interview with ''TV Patrol.''
Foster compares Pempengco to a young Whitney Houston.
''She has always been confident of her singing, but now her personality is getting confident,'' he beamed.
Foster is not the only one who aims to guide and nurture Pempengco. The producer himself revealed that most of his friends in the industry, including the featured singers in the tour, Studdard, Cole and Cetera would always readily give the young singer advice.
''She's getting a first-class Harvard education right in front of your eyes. She's getting all the parental guidance she needs,'' he said.
Not that Foster is already happy and content with the success that Pempengco is currently enjoying.
''I will continue working until she becomes the first true Asian world superstar.''
He assured Pempengco that he is aiming for her to get a Grammy - a long time wish.
''If we don't get them this year, we're gonna get them next year.''
Reposted From Manila Bulletin