Salonga made her professional debut in 1978 at the age of seven in the musical The King and I by Repertory Philippines. She became the lead star of Annie and joined other productions such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler on the Roof, The Rose Tattoo, The Sound of Music, The Goodbye Girl, Paper Moon and The Fantasticks.
She began her recording career at the age of ten with her first album, Small Voice, which received a gold certification. A song on the album, the duet "Happiness", marked her first recording collaboration with her younger brother Gerard Salonga, who would, years later, work with her as musical director or creative director in her concerts and recordings. Her second album, "Lea", was released in 1988.
In addition to performing in musical theater and recordings, Salonga hosted her own musical television show, Love, Lea, and was a member of the cast of German Moreno's teen variety show That's Entertainment. She acted in films, which included the family-oriented Tropang Bulilit, Like Father, Like Son, Ninja Kids, Captain Barbell, and Pik Pak Boom. She also opened for international acts such as Menudo and Stevie Wonder in their concerts in Manila in 1985 and in 1988, respectively.
As a young performer, Lea Salonga received a Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) award nomination (the Philippine equivalent of an Oscar nomination) for Best Child Actress. and three wins from the Aliw (literally, "entertainment") Awards as Best Child Performer.
She was the first Asian to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. She also provided the singing voice of the two Asian Disney "princesses": Jasmine in Aladdin (1992), and Fa Mulan in Mulan (1998) and Mulan II (2004).
Charice Pempengco, or simply Charice, started singing at the age of four. She took part in ~80 competitions since age seven before making her breakthrough in 2005 (she was 13) when she