Actress Jackie Lou Blanco joined the first-ever Billboard Philippines Women in Music event on behalf of her mother, Pilita Corrales, who is the inaugural honoree of the Billboard Philippines Women in Music Icon Award.

“I feel very honored, very grateful, very happy, and very proud that they’re giving this recognition to my mom. We’re very proud because my mom has paved the way for so many of our performers. She opened the doors for many Filipinos to make it here and abroad. It’s just nice that she is being honored for what she is given, who she stands for, a strong woman and a woman proud to be Filipina, and a woman who has represented the Philippines in other parts of the country and has made the Philippines proud.”

“But more than anything, kami (we’re) yung very proud of her. She’s not just Pilita Corrales — she’s my mom, mamita to her apos (grandchildren),” she shared to Billboard Philippines.

Corrales’ career kicked off in Australia in 1958 when her song “Come Closer To Me” topped the Australian pop music charts. She released a slew of hit albums while in the country, like Pilita with Arthur Young: Pilita Tells the Story of LoveI’ll Take Romance and This Is Pilita. Upon her return to the Philippines in the ’60s, she performed on the silver screen, theaters, radio and recorded a number of albums and compilations. She worked with the likes of the National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, Danny Holmsen, George Canseco, Willy Cruz, and more.

Corrales has become synonymous with songs that have become the soundtrack of Filipino culture. Think of just a few: “A Million Thanks To You,” “Dahil Sa’yo,” (Because Of You) “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” (Wherever You Are) or “Kapantay Ang Langit” (roughly translated as “The Sky’s The Limit For My Love For You”).

The Icon award is bestowed to a Filipina artist who has made exceptional achievements and momentous contributions in the music industry, leaving an indelible mark on Filipino culture as a whole.

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