Your ears are about to thank you.
A video posted on YouTube Sunday could be the best one you see all week. It shows what is described as a “South-East Asian girl” standing in front of a karaoke machine inside a department store and belting Whitney Houston’s iconic “I Will Always Love You.” And when we say “belting,” what we really mean is hitting every note and blowing the store — and the the world — away.
In fact, the video has even made its way to RyanSeacrest.com, where it received high praise. See why below (and be sure to turn the volume up to really give your ears an experience):
It’s unclear who the girl is and where the video was taken. The channel belongs to a user called “therealsingapore.” I’ve emailed family that lives in Singapore to try and confirm if such a store — with rampant English on the items for sale — is common.
For what it’s worth, the video description contains this disclaimer: “Her friend has recorded this video and has given us full permission to reproduce it. The singer of course was absolutely delighted that we put her video on our website and youtube.”
We’ll update with any information. For now, just watch the video again.
My wife’s aunt, who lives in Singapore, got back to me and offers some context. Mainly, I was wondering if such an Americanized store could exist in Singapore, where the video seems to be from (the question could help confirm the video’s location).
“Yes, there are stores similar to Walmart in Singapore,” Aunt Andrea told me after I asked about the store in the video appearing comparable to the retail giant in the U.S. “There is one called Giant that is a Malaysian based chain. We call it the Malaysian Walmart. There is also a French chain called Carrefour. This video actually looks like a Giant. And someone randomly stepping up to do karaoke in Asia is not surprising at all.”
So does that explain the English plastered all over in the background? Kind of.
“As for the English, Singapore was originally a British colony and English is the language of business and parliament,” she explains. “There are older Singaporeans who do not speak much English but there is no need to speak Mandarin there at all. Everyone speaks some English and all signs are in English. There are actually four main languages in Singapore, English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Depending on what part of town you’re in, you’ll see/hear the different languages but there will always be English.”
As for the girl, Aunt Andrea does have a theory. “This girl does appear to be Filipino,” she says. “Typically they are in Singapore as domestic helpers (maids). There is a good chance she is a maid and it’s a Sunday (her day off) and she’s using her talent publicly to try to get noticed. It seems to have worked. I pray she catches a break. That voice doesn’t need to be stuck inside cleaning a house forever.”
Still, she admits “there are Singaporeans who are Filipino,” so the theory isn’t ironclad.
Either way, the perspective from someone who might live in the same area is interesting.
It appears we might have an identity for the anonymous singer in the video: Zendee Rose Tenerefe from the Philippines. GMANetwork.com explains:
Zendee Rose Tenerefe, the ‘random girl’ who was spotted doing a mind-blowing performance of the song “And I‘m Telling You” outside an appliance store in a mall said she was in talks with the “Ellen DeGeneres” television show in the United States for a possible guest appearance.
Recently, she appeared in Party Pilipinas where she performed with Kapuso Stars Rachelle Ann Go, Maricris Garcia and Jonalyn Viray.
She first gained attention when a stranger who was capturing her mall performance of “And I’m Telling You” on video uploaded it on YouTube.
The video which showed Tenerefe wearing simple attire and a red bag while singing became viral.
A girl by that name does have a YouTube channel and certainly looks like the girl in the first video. You can compare the voice with another posted video from that channel, below:
Thanks to Blaze reader David for sending along the information.
Most Watched Today seems to think it’s Zendee Rose Tenerefe, too. In fact, if you were confused as to why the second update mentioned the song being “And I’m Telling You,” that makes two of us. But then Most Watched Today posted a second video of Tenerefe singing the iconic R&B hit — and you’ll be as floored as you were with the first video:
Most Watched Today says Tenerefe is 21-years-old and “was spotted singing on a store’s karaoke machine at the SM Mall of Asia located in Pasay City, Metro Manila in the Phillipines.”
According to the site, the “I Will Always Love You” is the most recent video and is the result of the young woman returning to the location “that made her famous” for another performance.