Charice to bashers: Thank you for making me stronger

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at May 30 2014 03:15 PM | Updated as of May 30 2014 11:15 PM

BROOKS, Calif. – She took America by storm as an unassuming 16-year-old girl with the big voice from the Philippines.

Charice, with the backing of Hollywood heavyweights like Ellen de Generes, Oprah Winfrey and David Foster, was packaged as a little girl who could belt out songs by Whitney Houston and Celine Dion.

But six years later, the image of that sweet girl is gone.

And Charice, now 22, has found her true self.

The now openly lesbian performer not only changed her look, but even some of her song choices.

During her recent US concerts, Charice chose to perform more R&B and dance songs.

“I cannot belt out all songs in my set list. It’s not a bad thing because it’s what they (the fans) want. But at the same time, it’s not me," she said.

Charice admitted that since she came out as a lesbian last year, she lost some fans.

“I’m not going to lie about it. I expected that. But I’m not sorry that they left because I’m not sorry of being true to myself. If they left, it just means that they did not support me because of my music," she said.

The Pinay singer added that those who stayed with her and supported her and her choices in life are her “true fans”.

Charice said she does not want to alienate fans who still want to hear her belt out big songs, so she indulges them from time to time.

But she said her fans also need to realize that she’s growing up as an artist.

"I want to conquer the world and I’ll be honest to say that I would not able to reach if I will stay and only impress Filipinos. I am changing as an artist," she said.

To those who have bashed her for changing her image and some of her music choices, Charice said, “Thank you. Thank you for hurting me, for giving me pain… Because it makes me stronger.”

And to the fans who have never left her side, she sent them this message: “That’s what I need. I have hope that despite some people bashing me, there are more of them who love me.”

You may contact Henni Espinosa at [email protected] for more information.