The life story of Chadleen is like an inspiring song that that can make your heart sing. We see her now as a complete package of beauty and talent but would you believe that she was born with a cleft palate?
The now 18-year-old Chadleen had quite a struggle when she was young. Her condition made it difficult for her to speak and it became worse after an unsuccessful operation after another.
But when she was four, the international organization “Operation Smile” had a medical mission in Cebu and she was among the lucky few beneficiaries who received a free operation. The procedure was successful as she was able to speak normally afterwards and could even sing!
Soon, Chadleen started chasing her dream to become a singer. She joined ABS-CBN’s singing contest for kids, “Little Big Star,” and reached the finals. Her success story was even featured on “Rated K,” “Probe” and “Storyline.”
When she turned 16, she became a regular cast member of the Kapamilya musical drama series “Idol” and was able to sing and act alongside the show’s stars like Sam Milby, Coco Martin, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Sarah Geronimo.
Two years after, her dad convinced her to audition for TV5’s “Kanta Pilipinas” and she became part of the Top 24. During the show’s third batch of ‘sudden death’ eliminations last February 23, Chadleen made a good impression with the judges Ryan Cayabyab, Lani Misalucha, Vehnee Saturno and host/judge Rico Blanco. She performed a soulful rendition of Christina Aguilera‘s “Beautiful” which earned her a slot in the Top 12 and eventually in the Top 8.
During the final sing-off round, the Miracle Singer of Cebu vied against heavy favorite Nicole and Carlo, the Brother-Sister duo known as the children of legendary jazz singer Mon David. She emerged victorious and ended up winning the title, the P1 million grand prize and a recording contract.
Being the face of “Operation Smile” in the Philippines and now first champion of “Kanta Pilipinas,” Chadleen can definitely make the nation sing not just because of her wonderful voice but also because of her inspiring story.
Photo Credit: Kanta Pilipinas’ Official Facebook Page