Tony Award winner Lea Salonga recently participated in an online fundraiser for entertainment artists affected by the pandemic.
In “Stars in the House” hosted by drag queen Nina West, the 49-year-old awarded thespian was virtually reunited with Disney’s many other legends including composer Alan Menken, fellow performers Jodi Benson (“The Little Mermaid”), and Paige O’Hara (“Beauty and the Beast”).
In there, Lea recalled how she became the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin,” as well as Mulan.
When Nina asked Lea what she considers the “greatest jewel in this really epic crown,” she answered, “I don’t know it’s difficult to name one thing. However, it’s thanks to ‘Miss Saigon’ that a lot of everything else kind of, you know, tumbled one over one after another. But then I can also go back to ‘Les Mis (Les Miserables)’ because without that musical and of me choosing ‘On My Own’ to be my audition piece for ‘Miss Saigon.'”
“So everything is kind of so closely connected to one another that it’s really hard to pick any one thing that stands out in my career. So I’d rather just not and look at, as you say, just look at the crown as a whole. As one big thing where everything, every part is important, every jewel is important. So in my career, I think every little step that I take, you know, comprises this thing for which I am just eternally we will forever be grateful,” she continued.
Lea noted to be counted among Disney luminaries is an “incredible gift” on its own.
“I think everybody has a different start to their Disney Princess journey. Mine began with the Disney storybook tapes. I had a few, but some of them got destroyed and chewed up by the cassette player, except for Cinderella,” she shared.
“So I remember being a kid listening to Ilene Woods singing ‘A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes’ and ‘So This is Love,’ and just hearing her voice and playing that over and over and over again. Then cut to 15 or so years later, and getting to actually sing for a Disney Princess — so it’s the gift that just keeps on giving.”
“And to be part of this group, to be part of this club, to be part of this incredible legacy, that just it’s just an incredible gift that I’ll be grateful for, for the rest of my life.”
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