Darren Espanto facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Espanto on Instagram/"Sasagipin Kita" Promotion
|Birth name||Darren Lyndon Gonzales Espanto|
|Also known as||The Total Performer|
|Born||May 24, 2001
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Genres||Pop, OPM, Broadway|
|Labels||Corus Entertainment (2012
Sony Music (2012 –13)
Star Magic (2014 –present)
MCA Music (2014 –present)
|Associated acts||Sarah Geronimo (The Voice Kids coach), ASAP G!|
Darren Lyndon Gonzales Espanto (born May 24, 2001) is a Filipino-Canadian singer and actor well-known for his cover songs such as Chandelier, originally sung by Sia. He first joined a competition at the age of ten, where he won the Masters Finals of the Pinoy Singing Sensation competition in Edmonton. He made his first television appearance at the same age when he joined YTV's reality television The Next Star in 2012; he became the youngest finalist in the history of the show to be included in the Top 6. However, he rose to prominence after joining the first season of The Voice Kids Philippines. On June 1, 2014, Espanto became a part of ABS-CBN's Star Magic.
Espanto released his first full-length self-titled studio album, Darren in December 2014, under MCA Music Inc. (Philippines), a Universal Music Group company. It debuted at number 1 on the Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes store and Astro Chart; it is now a certified Double Platinum. In May 2015, Espanto staged a major solo concert at MOA Arena, he set a record for being the youngest artist to perform at the said venue at the age of 14. In May 2016, he released his sophomore album titled Be with Me, also under MCA Music Inc. (Philippines), featuring his carrier single "7 Minutes", that was then followed by "Starlight" and "Parachute", which also became number 1 on the Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes store after just being released. The said album is now a certified Platinum. In August 2018, he later ventured into acting where he played Yohan (younger brother of George, portrayed by Bernardo) in The Hows Of Us starring Kathryn Bernardo with Daniel Padilla directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina which happens to be one of the highest-grossing Philippine movies of all time to date. In April 2019, Espanto was the only Filipino artist invited as a guest performer in the grand finals of Singer 2019 in China. Espanto, along with Asia's Phoenix Morissette Amon, was also handpicked by Disney to perform the rendition of "A Whole New World" as part of the Philippine promotion of the movie Aladdin in May 2019. In November 2019, the theme song for the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit titled "Side by Side" was launched, where he participated as one of the 11 ASEAN singers representing each member country. The same month, he released his original composition, "Sasagipin Kita", also under MCA Music Inc. (Philippines). The song debuted at number 1 on the Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes store on the first day of its release. In April 2020, Espanto was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (under its Philippine office) as its first-ever celebrity Youth Advocate to promote its Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, focusing on climate action, biodiversity conservation and youth empowerment. In November 2020, Espanto released a new Christmas single, "Believe in Christmas", under MCA Music Inc. (Philippines) which debuted at number 1 of Apple's iTunes store Philippines two hours upon its release.
Espanto was born in Calgary on May 24, 2001. He is the first child of Filipino registered nurses Marinel Gonzales and Lyndon Espanto, who emigrated to Canada from Nueva Vizcaya. His parents taught him Filipino language, particularly Tagalog. Espanto started singing at the age of three . He was interested in singing from a young age, and his parents were supportive of his dreams.
As a toddler, Espanto serenaded to his parents with the tunes of Hakuna Matata from The Lion King, which led to his relatives discovering his singing potential and urging him to pursue and hone his raw talent.
At age 12, Espanto attended Grade 6 at St. Jude Elementary in Calgary, before traveling to the Philippines in 2014 for The Voice Kids. After passing the auditions, he returned to Canada to write his advanced test in St. Cyril School. Afterwards, he returned to the Philippines. Espanto, along with the other The Voice Kids finalists, received a ₱350,000 scholarship from Eton International School. Upon moving to the Philippines, he went to Eton International School and later on took up homeschooling under The Homeschool of Asia Pacific, an affiliate of the Sanston Academy (Texas) where he completed his senior high school with honors. In Grade 11, he was awarded with second honors. In Grade 12, he graduated with first honors and received two special awards, i.e., the Achiever Award and the Excellence in Music and Arts Award.
2012–2013: The Next Star
In 2012, ten-year-old Espanto auditioned for the fifth season of YTV's reality television The Next Star, singing Bruno Mars' "Grenade". One of the judges, Keshia Chanté, got emotional and told him that his voice was 'unbelievable' and 'controlled'. Judge Mark Spicoluk, on the other hand, stated that he 'lacked stage presence'. Nevertheless, after Chante asked him if he was ready, she and Tara Oram said yes, earning him the 'golden ticket'.
He continued to be selected onto its Top 6, singing pop songs such as Rihanna's "Only Girl (in the World)" and Maroon 5's "Payphone" among others. He also had his own single and music video entitled "Gotta Give A Little Extra", as well as two other singles, "Now" and "Oh Oh Santa" with the other five finalists. Ultimately, he lost to 14-year-old Brooklyn Roebuck, after singing his own single during the finals. He was the youngest finalist in the history of the show to be included in the Top 6.
In 2013, Espanto had his first series as a guest in YTV's Life with Boys.
2014: The Voice Kids
During the auditions of the inaugural season of ABS-CBN's The Voice Kids that aired on June 1, 2014, Espanto performed Jessie J's "Domino", which he formerly sang during The Next Star at age 11. Coaches Sarah Geronimo and Bamboo Mañalac both pressed their buttons for him, vocalizing that he 'can be groomed to be a recording artist, a total package'. Although Espanto revealed that he was Mañalac's front act during one of his concerts in Canada, he still picked Geronimo stating that she could help him a lot in the music industry.
Espanto eventually advanced to the finals after singing Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time" during the live semi-finals held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila, Pasay. He was the second one to receive the highest votes, after Lyca Gairanod. Salonga, one of the coaches commented that Espanto is a phenomenal while his mentor Geronimo stated that he was 'a winner and a complete package'. He also sang "Somebody To Love" by Justin Bieber with some back up dancers, and Star Magic artists.
In the finale, during the first round which was a power ballad theme, Espanto performed Basil Valdez's song "Ngayon" where he received a standing ovation including from the three coaches. Lea Salonga left a warning to older performers, saying: "To every person Darren idolized, this is a warning to all of you: this kid will outshine you someday". Once again, Geronimo praised him and said that despite his talent, Espanto never showed superiority and instead listened to his coach. On the final round of the competition, Espanto accompanied himself with a piano during his performance of "You Are My Song" while having a duet with the original singer Martin Nievera, where received another standing ovation. At the end of the competition, he once again came in second after Lyca Gairanod.
|The Voice Kids Philippines season 1 performances and results|
|Blind Audition||N/A||"Domino"||Jessie J||June 1, 2014||Sarah and Bamboo turned
Joined Team Sarah
|Battle Rounds||N/A||"What Makes You Beautiful"
(vs. JM and JC Urquico vs. Sam Shoaf)
|One Direction||July 12, 2014||Saved by Coach|
|Sing-offs||N/A||"Listen"||Beyoncé||July 13, 2014||Saved by Coach|
|Semi-finals||N/A||"One Moment in Time"||Whitney Houston||July 19, 2014||Saved by Public Votes (2nd Highest Votes)|
|Finals||Round One: Power Ballad||"Ngayon"||Basil Valdez||July 26, 2014||1st Runner-up|
|Round Two: Upbeat||"Somebody To Love"||Justin Bieber||July 26, 2014|
|Round Three: Duet with a celebrity||"You Are My Song" (with Martin Nievera)||Martin Nievera||July 27, 2014|
2014–present: Post The Voice Kids
In 2014, Espanto said that he will not go back to Calgary, Alberta, and that he was staying in the Philippines to try acting and do a project with his coach and mentor, Sarah Geronimo. In August, Espanto became a part of ABS-CBN's training and management center Star Magic. On September 11, Espanto's rendition of Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time" topped the Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes store, while his rendition of Justin Bieber's "Somebody to Love" placed second. He then staged his first solo concert at the Music Museum; a repeat of the concert was staged on December 19, 2014. On October 25, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as the headliner at the Fourth The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York Awards, which celebrated Filipino American History Month in New York City. On November 18, his rendition of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" topped the iTunes chart, while his rendition of Jessie J's "Domino" placed second, in which the two were the only local songs to be included on the top 15. And on November 29, Espanto signed a record and management deal with MCA Music Inc. (Philippines). A week after, he and the other three finalists of The Voice Kids (Lyca Gairanod, Juan Karlos Labajo, and Darlene Vibares) held a concert at the Philippine International Convention Center. He also released his first solo album, "Darren", with MCA Music Inc. (Philippines). It debuted at number 1 at the Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes Store upon its release on December 8.
In January 2015, Espanto performed Trina Belamide's "Tell The World of His Love" (the theme for World Youth Day 1995) during Pope Francis's visit to the Philippines. On May 29, Espanto performed at the Mall of Asia Arena for his birthday concert making him the youngest performer to stage a solo concert in the said venue. On November 18, Espanto was one of the singers performing at a state dinner for a delegation from Mexico. Also in November 2015, Espanto was chosen to perform the official theme song for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting titled, "This is Only the Beginning", composed by Mr. Ryan Cayabyab.
In 2016, Espanto released his sophomore album "Be With Me". The album contains 11 songs from the singer, two of which are his original compositions. On July 31, 2016, Espanto opened for the Philippine leg of Selena Gomez's Revival tour.
On May 4, 2017 during his Twitter party, Espanto surprised his fans with a deluxe edition of his sophomore solo album entitled Be With Me, to be released the following day. Be With Me (Deluxe Edition) contains 5 bonus tracks: "I’ll Be There" with Jed Madela, Acoustic versions of "7 Minutes" and "Alam", the viral hit, his cover of Sia's "Chandelier", and a stripped version of Young Hearts with Malaysian pop singer Nik Qistina.
In 2018, Espanto made his acting debut in The Hows of Us. Espanto also became a member of the teen pop group ASAP G! Other members of the group are Isabela Vinzon, Jayda Avanzado, Ylona Garcia, Jeremy Glinoga and Kyle Echarri. The group formed on June 3, 2018 and disbanded in November 2018, when the show was reformatted into ASAP Natin 'To.
In 2019, Espanto was part of The Aces concert with fellow singers Lani Misalucha and Jonalyn Viray. The trio performed in Cebu, Davao, and Manila (at the Araneta Coliseum). Espanto and Viray, so called the Pair of Aces, also conducted a tour in Canada (Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto) in the latter part of the year. On April 12, he also appeared as the only Filipino guest performer in the grand finals of Singer 2019 in China. This was followed by the release of "A Whole New World" on May 24, wherein he and Morissette Amon collaborated to perform the rendition of the song as part of the Philippine promotion of the movie Aladdin as handpicked by Disney. On November 25, the theme song for the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit titled "Side by Side" was launched, where he participated as one of the 11 ASEAN singers representing each member country. And on November 29, he released his single "Sasagipin Kita" which he wrote himself, also under MCA Music Inc. (Philippines) where it debuted at number 1 on the Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes store on the first day of its release.
In the early part of 2020, Espanto was set to participate in the Singer 2020 competition in China, but the plan was later on cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and related travel bans. On April 15, 2020, the United Nations Development Programme (under its Philippine office) launched Espanto as its first-ever celebrity Youth Advocate to promote its SDGs, focusing on climate action, biodiversity conservation and youth empowerment. On May 24, 2020, Espanto celebrated his 19th birthday through an online benefit concert entitled "D Birthday Concert from Home". The concert was streamed live via Espanto's Facebook page and garnered around 12,000 viewers and 251,000 views. Through this event, he was able to raise P838,206.69 which was donated to his home network, ABS-CBN Pantawid ng Pag-ibig program. On June 12, 2020, Espanto, in his capacity as UNDP Philippines Youth Advocate, became part of United Nations Development Programme's On February 13, 2021, Espanto released his cover of LANY's song entitled, "If This Is The Last Time", as part of a project with various artists under MCA Music Inc. (Philippines), in coordination with Universal Music Group. On February 20, 2021, Espanto and AC Bonifacio joined the Your Face Sounds Familiar (Philippine season 3) family as online hosts via the KaFamiliar Online and other digital platforms, weekly episode of which airs every Saturday and Sunday.
|2012||The Next Star||YTV||July 16 – December 18||Himself|
|2013||Life with Boys||YTV||July 23||Himself (Cameo)|
|2014||The Voice Kids||ABS-CBN||June 1 – July 27||Himself|
|2015 – present||ASAP||ABS-CBN||Himself (Performer)|
|2020 – present||iWantASAP||iWant and iWant TFC digital platforms||June 14||Himself (Host / Performer)|
|2021 – present||Your Face Sounds Familiar PH / KaFamiliar Online||YourFacePH/KaFamiliar Online, Kapamilya/iWantTFC digital platforms||February 20||Himself (Host)|
|2018||The Hows of Us||Yohan Silva||First film appearance|
|Year||Album title||Recording label||Certification||Check it out here|
|2014||The Voice Kids: The Album||MCA Music Inc. (Philippines)||Gold||The Voice Kids: The Album|
|Darren||Double Platinum||Darren Deluxe|
|2016||Be With Me||Platinum||Be With Me|
|2017||Be With Me (Deluxe Edition)||Platinum||Be With Me (Deluxe Edition)|
|Year||Album title||Recording label||Certification|
|2015||The Next Star Chronicles: The Early Years||Ivory Music||N/A|
|"In Love Ako Sayo"||2014||Darren|
|"7 Minutes"||2016||Be With Me|
|"Sana Tayo Na"
(with Jayda Avanzado)
|"Believe in Christmas"|
|"Now"||2011||YTV's The Next Star – Season 5|
|"Oh Oh Santa"
(with Brooklyn Roebuck, Ryan Hawken, Amer Dhaliwal, Grace Johnston, and Issy Dahl)
|"Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo"||2014||ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID 2014|
|"Lord Merry Christmas"||My Christmas Album: All-Stars|
|"Chandelier"||2016||The Hottest Pinoy Hits ... Ever!|
|"I'll Be There"
(with Jed Madela)
|Life Songs (MMK Commemorative Album)|
|"A Whole New World"
(with Morissette Amon)
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Somebody to Love"||2014||3||1||The Voice Kids: The Album|
|"In Love Ako Sa'Yo"||2015||1||1||Darren|
|"Build a Girl"||3||3||Darren Espanto: The Early Years|
|"7 Minutes"||2016||1||1||Be With Me|
|"I'll Be There"
(with Jed Madela)
|2017||1||1||Life Songs: MMK 25 (Commemorative Album)|
|"Pasko Na"||2||1||D's Christmas|
|"Dying Inside to Hold You"||2||1||All of You (Official Soundtrack)|
|"Sana Tayo Na"
(with Jayda Avanzado)
|"Believe in Christmas"||5||3|
|2014||The Total Performance Concert||
||First major solo concert|
|The Total Performance Concert 2||
||The Repeat Concert|
|2015||The Canada Concert Tour||
|The Total Performance Concert 3||
||The 2nd Repeat Concert (Finale)|
|Darren Espanto: D' Birthday Concert||
||The Major Birthday Concert|
|Canada Concert Tour||
|D' Road Tour||
|2016||D Total Experience||
||2nd major solo concert|
|One Music Digital Concert Series Presents: The Other Side of DARREN||
|D Total Experience with Live Band||
|2017||Now Playing: DARREN||
||3rd major solo concert|
|2020||D' Birthday Concert From Home||
||with special guests Mr. Gary Valenciano and Moira Dela Torre|
|2014||Boses ng Bulilit... Kami Ulit!||
||The Voice Kids|
|Lani Misalucha's Concert, the Philippine Tour||
||Guest with Lyca Gairanod|
|Jed Madela All Requests 2||
|The Voice of Mitoy, Klarrise, Darren||
||with Mitoy Yonting and Klarisse De Guzman|
|The Voice Kids ALL IN: THE CONCERT||
||The Voice Kids|
|Bamboo World Tour||
|Little Voices: Live in Australia||
||with Lyca Gairanod|
|Thor: Soulful Major Concert||
|Kyla Flying High||
|Jessie J Live in manila||
||with Piolo Pascual, Sam Milby and Pokwang|
|Selena Gomez The Revival Tour Live in Manila||
|2017||Star Magic 25 - A Grand Celebration||
||with Star Magic Artists|
|2018||Alex Aiono: Manila Tour||
|Millennial Voices: Australia Tour||
||with Morissette Amon|
||w/ Ms. Lani Misalucha and Jonalyn Viray|
|One Music X Festival (1MX)||
|The Pair of Aces||
||w/ Jonalyn Viray|
Awards & nominations
Darren Espanto Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.