How Patti Austin mentored Fil-Am teen singer

by Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Jun 02 2014 10:55 AM | Updated as of Jun 02 2014 07:01 PM

HOLLYWOOD - A young Filipina singer shared how working with music legend Patti Austin has changed her life. 

Lianna Gutierrez, 19, has something most young talents can only dream of - having Austin as her mentor.

Five years ago, Austin took the aspiring Filipina talent under her wing.

"You know I met her, I was really nervous, of course she's Patti Austin. She's really funny so I think that was easy to talk to her, so I felt more comfortable," Gutierrez said.

They have since sang a duet called "Over My Shoulder", an inspiring song for a mentoring organization that helps young people all over the world.

They also performed together at a Martin Luther King special that aired on ABC.

"She teaches me a lot about technique, like vocal stuff. But you know most important, 'Stay grounded. Just remember where you're from'," Gutierrez said.

The Fil-Am talent also counts performing the US National Anthem at a Lakers game as one of the most memorable moments of her life.

Gutierrez is related to actress Ruffa Gutierrez, whose dad Eddie is Lianna's cousin.

Even though she says singing is her first love, she also makes time for her studies.

In the fall, she'll be taking off for Japan to study there for a year.