Tony-Award Winning Singer Returns to Hawaii

Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- One of the most recognizable voices in the world is here in the islands, to entertain the people of Hawaii.

Her voice has captivated millions of fans all over the world.  Lea Salonga's career has taken her to London and Broadway, all the while winning every major award including the coveted Tony.

"I always knew I enjoyed it from childhood," said the 37-year-old singer and actress. "I always knew this was something that was fun for me."

This Philippines native said performing in Hawaii is almost like being at home.

"There's just incredible warmth, incredible amount of warmth given by our hosts here," she said. "So, it's always nice to come back."

Her career took off when she won the leading part in the musical Miss Saigon.

"I just had this feeling that this was going to be something special and obviously everything panned out and everything turned out really wonderful," said Salonga.

Another defining moment: playing Eponine in the Les Misérables tenth anniversary special.

"It was something I was really excited about and terrified about because I'd keep getting stuff wrong in rehearsal," said Salonga.

But on the big night, she was flawless.

"The sound of an audience just appreciating what you've done," said Salonga.  "Then, it's like, this is kind of overwhelming for me."

And the unwavering support from the Filipino community has meant the world to her.

"I really look forward to a performance knowing that there is going to be a really large Filipino contingency at the shows," said Salonga.  "It makes me very happy. Very, very happy."

So as she gets ready for her performance at the Neal Blaisdell Center, Salonga has one goal.

"I'm here on the islands to entertain and to make people happy, and hopefully people will just come away having had a good time," she said.

A good time and an unforgettable experience from one of the greatest voices of her generation.

She performed Friday night on Maui, and has two more shows -- Saturday and Sunday -- at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall on Oahu.