SONY MUSIC WEEKLY WRAP-UP | 19OCT – 26OCT 2011

Need a quick catch-up or review of the week’s hottest news?

Here’s a re-cap from October 19-26, 2011.

Click the links:

  • Britney Spears B In the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2 coming in stores this weekend fb.me/1njplHo9d
  • Watch Kelly Clarkson on eTalk bre.ad/01qxzf as she talks about ‘Stronger’ album coming out on Nov3. fb.me/1dLXORQiB
  • Watch AJKA’s 2nd video “In Denial” from their ‘Undefined’ album fb.me/1lZXLXaD8
  • Singing along with the legend Tony Bennett | SOUNDS FAMILIAR By Baby A. Gil read here at philstar.com/Article.aspx?a…
  • Michael Bolton calls Pacquiao ‘the greatest fighter’ abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/…
  • Michael Bolton wants Pacman to win against Marquez bit.ly/s0MQMT
  • Michael Bolton arrive in Manila w/ David Foster shar.es/bYjfS
  • Int’l music sensation Pitbull is ready to bring his rapid-fire rhymes, billion-dollar beats to Manila on Nov30 at… fb.me/GYypDCAm
  • Check out Kelly Clarkson’s fashion evolution dating back to her “Idol” days. bit.ly/v7woOq
  • Glee’s Darren Criss & Lea Salonga surprise serenades Oscar-Winning Composer Alan Menken at Conference. fb.me/1peaCQ9i4
  • Check out the preview of Daughtry’s “Crawling Back To You” video for upcoming Break The Spell album! fb.me/GEDjPrGR
  • U-KISS BRAN NEW KISS takes #2 SPOT AT ASTRO INTL & OVERALL CHARTS FOR OCT17-23 fb.me/15ipS9tJf
  • Stephanie Dan performs LIVE at Monster Radio RX93.1 Concert Series fb.me/14rGG62h6
  • Britney Spears “Criminal” video is now on youtube.com/britneyspearsV… & airing on MYX Philippines…. fb.me/B7pjvFzG
  • See photos of PUPIL, ITCHYWORMS & SHENG B. AT SONY LOVE CHRISTMAS event last 22Oct2011 fb.me/1mzjC1yKt
  • Britney Spears Director Leads Us Through ‘Criminal’ Video bit.ly/pvqnTP
  • Westlife new video “Lighthouse” is now out. Catch it on MYX Philippines this week! fb.me/150iZbBpo
  • Missed Pupil’s “20/20” LIVE performance on Party Pilipinas? Click below (starts at 7:00). Grab a copy of… fb.me/1gSqz1dnc
  • Watch Kelly Clarkson rocks UK X Factor w/ Mr Know It All live performance fb.me/1e7JZXvck
  • Watch One Direction ‘s album photoshoot behind the scenes fb.me/AU0swgju
  • David Archuleta’s Glad Christmas Tidings CD & DVD coming to stores soon fb.me/Sol2MlqC
  • Photos from U-KISS BRAN NEW KISS PHILIPPINES CD LAUNCH 22 OCT 2011 fb.me/WX9WRfAc
  • Take a look at Day1 of Sony Philippines Inc. Love.Christmas Sale w/ eevee & LETTER DAY STORY as guest performers!… fb.me/1cJliJr3e
  • Congrats to Britney for reaching 1 billion views on youtube.com/britneyspearsV…! Check out her new video… fb.me/1cAuqEfGL
  • The Opera Belles at “Broadway Showstoppers” to air on ABS-CBN Sunday Special fb.me/O99fde2t
  • T-PAIN TO RELEASE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUM rEVOLVEr ON DECEMBER 2011 FEATURES SMASH HIT “BEST LOVE SONG”… fb.me/18Lw6Gaan
  • More EXCLUSIVE U-Kiss items for Odyssey Megamall & Festival Mall buyers fb.me/1nqnVBDWQ
  • FREE U-Kiss Lightstick from Astroplus & KissMePinay during U-Kiss Bran New Kiss launch fb.me/AKWB5TyH
  • Kelly Clarkson is “Stronger” on MYXPH.com bit.ly/qcmUpe
  • 2011 SONY MUSIC ALBUM COVERS FOR NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES fb.me/17NZpCO3z
  • Westlife announce break-up after Greatest Hits Tour fb.me/AC0GzE6e
  • Beyoncé on MYX Philippines Presents “The Best of 4” documentary fb.me/14xgPT4fP
  • Watch The Opera Belles NOW on Showtime (ABS CBN). Click bit.ly/en3PFh for the livestream. fb.me/18UxyxzR6
  • Joanna Ampil cast as Maria in The Sound of Music play being staged at Resorts World Manila. Call 836-6333,… fb.me/1gOPiakIo
  • PURE…SERIES PRESETS “PURE LOVE” OUT OCT25 4CDS FOR ONLY P250!: wp.me/ppOnn-1tq
  • PURE…SERIES PRESETS “PURE CHRISTMAS” OUT NOW 4CDS FOR ONLY P250!: wp.me/ppOnn-1tn
  • Loved “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People? Grab a copy of their album “Torches” available in major record… fb.me/PZmW2eFt

SHENG BELMONTE STEPS UP

Sheng Belmonte’s story is one for the books—to be filed under the section “Almost Never But Couldn’t Have Otherwise” if ever there was one.
While many singers knew at a young age that they’d pick up the mic and perform later on, and hopefully make a living by doing so, Sheng was sure she’d never take that route.

“I didn’t even think I’d be able to sing by myself in public,” she confessed. “I was a painfully shy girl.”

So, while she comes from a karaoke-crazy family, Sheng’s most daring move next to singing in front of a kitchen sink was joining a choir. Beneath a sea of harmonies and an ocean of vocal blending, Sheng felt safe; content in the knowledge that it was as far as her musical dreams would go.

Until fate stepped in and shoved her to front and center.

One day, in Boy’s Town no less, Sheng was compelled to sing impromptu onstage with two other girls. She recalls what happened upon finishing her part.

“Everyone started yelling at me—and I got scared! I thought they didn’t want me. It turned out they were shouting, ‘More! More!’…”

Did that clue her in on her calling? No. Sheng blossomed into her tweens with dreams of becoming an actress. She enrolled in a theater company, going as far as performing at their recital.

Still, inside her, and despite the strides she has made, Sheng knew that she, to borrow a phrase from U2, hasn’t found what she’s looking for.

It was only when she turned 15 did she embrace music. By 18, she was lead singer of a show band so good, they made it all the way to China, Korea and Indonesia.

Sheng has found her voice—except that she was in danger of losing it and fast.

“I had no vocal training and I abused my voice to the point that I would come on stage some nights completely hoarse! Some of my songs were not suited for me at all. The only reason I stuck to doing the whole OFW thing as long as I did was because I wanted to help the family out financially,” she said.

Back in Manila for good, Sheng hatched a plan: To put singing on the backburner and try out other things.

Such as pole dancing. And belly dancing. And doing stand up in a comedy bar. Anything and everything. “Try lang,” she mused aloud, laughing.
Those didn’t last long. A few months later, Sheng auditioned for “Pinoy Dream Academy” Season 2 and made it. Then came the whammo: Her elimination from the show just three weeks after it started.

A few weeks later, Sheng met arranger Jonathan Ong who knew Gloc-9 who would later feature her in one of 2011’s biggest hits – but that’s getting ahead of the story.

Initially, what Jonathan had in mind for Sheng was to cast her in a group ala Black Eyed Peas. Soon, the singer and two rappers were recording demos intended for an album. But just as Sony Music was about to sign them up, a member of the group backed out and the pyramid crumbled.

And as before, Sheng was left to sort out the rubble.

“I was seriously thinking, ‘Is this a sign? Is this Heaven’s way of telling me, ‘It’s not for you, Sheng,’” she said.

But, it turned out that the heavens had bigger plans for her. Sony Music did not pursue signing up the group but they did offer Sheng a recording contract. Indeed, they couldn’t pass up on the girl with the unique voice and inimitable singing style that’s a cross-section of many musical ministrations.

More, the label chose her as featured artist in Gloc-9’s single, “Walang Natira,” over more established artists. Later, that song was picked as carrier single of the rapper’s latest album. These days, and even this early,

“Walang Natira” is turning out to be contender for song of the year.

Finally, things have fallen into place for Sheng.

Funny, but she who sings “Walang Natira” will soon have it all.
(“Sheng Belmonte” under Sony Music contains the tracks “Modern Pilipina,” “Sino Bang Love Ko,” “Big Time,” “Galing Galing” and the promotional song, “Gigil”), Like Sheng Belmonte on Facebook, visit [http://www.facebook.com/shengbelmontepage] now.