30 years in entertainment is a very long time. The road to fame is strewn with thousands of wannabes who never made it as well as one-hit wonders long forgotten. Born to a Puerto Rican mother and Filipino father, singer/songwriter/ musician/ actor Gary V has consistently kept himself in the public’s eye since 1983 when he first burst on the Philippine music scene as a lean and lanky 18-year old who had all of Michael Jackson’s moves and Al Jarreau’s vocal pyrotechnics down pat. Now his career is the yardstick by which other local artists measure theirs. The magnitude of his achievements and accolades defies belief considering that Gary has been battling juvenile diabetes for 34 years now, living each day’s moments according to the rise and fall of his blood sugar level.
CRITICAL AND COMMERCIAL SUCCESS
To date, Gary has released 28 albums including those released in the USA and Asian Region. Gary has the most illustrious track record in the Philippine recording scene winning a total of 11 Awit Awards in the Best Male Recording category alone. The Awit Awards is the local counterpart of the U.S. Grammy Awards. Aside from the critical acclaim given to his album releases he has also been consistently collecting Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum awards for the sales of his products; his songs enjoy millions of hits online.
VERSATILE ACTOR AND FAVORED VOICE FOR HIT TV SERIES
The wide acceptance of his recordings has led many film producers to use his songs in the soundtrack of their movies. An album collection entitled “Gary V at the Movies” boasts of four songs in its line-up that have won “Best Theme Song” honors at the FAMAS, the Philippines’ version of the Oscar awards and it has turned into one of his biggest selling releases. Consequently, Gary has also appeared in 13 fulllength movies over the span of his career. Most recently, he recorded and released "With Love, Gary Valenciano", a compilation of local television's best loved theme songs for some of the biggest drama series in the Philippines, continuing to remind us of his stature and reputation as an influential, relevant artist.
INTERNATIONAL PERFORMER, GLOBAL AUDIENCE
As a concert performer, Gary V stands head and shoulders with the world’s best. In his recordings and live appearances, he has performed with some of the most respected musicians and singers including Brian McKnight, George Duke, Paul Jackson, Jr., George Black, Justo Almario, Julia Fordham, Kool & the Gang, the Emotions, Menudo (with Ricky Martin), Cliff Richard, Michael Shapiro, Steven Curtis Chapman and Terumasa Hino. He has had the opportunity to perform in front of celebrities such as George Duke, Smokey Robinson, Kevin Lettau and Billy Preston, among others. To answer appeals from his legion of (mostly) Filipino fans scattered all over, Gary tours extensively the globe, performing in over 20 countries all over Asia, Europe and the Americas. He has also held shows in some of the most prestigious venues all over including Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, BurtonCummings Theater in Winnipeg, Olympia in Montreal, Sony Center in Toronto, the World Trade Center in Halifax, the Hammersmith Apollo in London, the Universal Amphitheater, the Shrine Auditorium in California, the Navy Pier Auditorium in Chicago, the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, the Budokan Hall in Tokyo, the Sydney Entertainment Center in Australia, Carling Brixton in London, Belfast Waterfront, Längenfeldgasse in Vienna, Austria, Comcast Everette Arena in Seattle, Stockton Arena in California, and the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris. He is also the only performer alongside The Rolling Stones to have performed twice on stage at the Hong Kong Harbour Fest.
UNICEF AMBASSADOR OF GOODWILL
The public is well-aware of his dedication to his craft, the discipline that has allowed him to stay one-step ahead of his diabetes, his devotion to his wife and children, and his concern for children in general. And because of these sterling qualities, he was chosen in 1998 to be the first UNICEF National Ambassador of Goodwill for the Philippines, a position he still holds today, landing in an elite group of world-renowned personalities that include Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Roger Moore, Michael Douglas, Diana Ross, Phil Collins, Bob Hope, Nicole Kidman, Liam Neeson, Luciano Pavarotti, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Williams, and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few.
This in turn led to his being the first artist in the world to have a model of the prestigious Sennheisser microphone be named after him, a move initiated by the Singapore-based Asian region marketing group that pre-empted other similar projects for Sennheiser endorser-users Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, Elton John, the Backstreet Boys, Julio Iglesias and Sting. In December of 2001, the Sennheiser “Gary V” model was launched. The following year, Sting became the next artist to have this distinction. That same year Gary flew to Frankfurt, Germany and was the first Filipino artist to perform at the Musik Messe, the world’s largest and most prestigious exhibit and convention of musical instruments and equipment dealers.
Not one to keep his talent to himself, Gary goes to great lengths to share his blessings with those who are less fortunate. He was the recipient of the 2001 T.O.Y.M. Award (The Outstanding Young Men in the Philippines) which was conferred by no one less than President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo, significant proof of his contributions to his community and country in more ways than through his music.
The crowds that attend his concerts, both in the Philippines and abroad, now span three generations. His fans of the early 80s are still around. And this time, they’ve brought their parents and their kids with them. Though weaned on the music that inspired their parents, today’s new fans are warming up to Gary on their own, thanks in great part to the Sunday variety-entertainment television show ASAP 2012, that airs nationwide on ABS-CBN’s channel 2 and globally through the TFC (The Filipino Channel) cable network. Now, millions of overseas Filipinos savor the sounds of home through the performances on this television program, led by no less than the country’s premier music artist. The Philippine Pop Icon is now Global. It’s been 28 years and he’s come a long way indeed.