You’ve heard the term “Jukebox Queen” before, but what does it mean? A jukebox queen is a local singer who has one or more extremely well-known songs that pretty much the entire country can probably sing along to, even in 2019. While the term is usually used to refer to three ladies on this list — de la Fuente, Eugenio, and Papin —we present other legendary divas from the 1960s to the 1980s whose songs still rule videoke machines and our hearts.
A Jukebox Queen of the early 1970s, Maria Amapola Cabase rose to fame as Amapola, covering songs in various genres from pop to jazz. She was known for her remakes of “Never” and “Secret Love”. Amapola was also the original singer of “Kapantay ang Langit”, which eventually became the signature song of Pilita Corrales.
At the start of her singing career, Cuneta was referred to as a Jukebox Princess but I think we can all agree that she’s a Queen — aside from being the one and only Megastar. And with so many well-known hits, it’s hard to point out a signature videoke song. If we had to name one though, it would have to be “Bituing Walang Ningning”.
Claire de la Fuente
Dubbed “the Karen Carpenter of the Philippines”, de la Fuente became famous at 15 and retired from showbiz in her mid-20s to become a businesswoman. She continued to sing on and off, even recording an album with Richard Carpenter (brother of Karen) and a Christmas duet with Michael Bolton. She’s known for songs like “Minsan-Minsan” and “Sayang”.
One of the most famous Jukebox Queens whose glory days were in the late 1970s until the early 1980s. This tireless diva continues to do shows in various parts of the country. Her signature song is “Tukso”.
Navarro won the Grand Prize in the annual Metro Manila Popular Music Festival in 1976, produced a few hits and represented the Philippines in various music festivals abroad. Navarro has always been political and is now active with her views and advocacies on Twitter. One of her most famous songs is “Ang Pag-Ibig Kong Ito” which was remade by Moonstar88.
The Queen among Jukebox Queens, the “Sentimental Songstress”, and the incoming Vice Governor of Camarines Sur. Papin transitioned from a singing career to a political one, finding success in both. She’s known for “Bakit? (Kung Liligaya Ka Sa Piling Ng Iba)” and of course, “Isang Linggong Pag-Ibig”.
Quesada’s unique and dreamy voice made her a hit in the 1980s but did you know that she was also a prolific songwriter? She wrote a number of OPM hits for Raymond Lauchengco, Kuh Ledesma, Sharon Cuneta, and Gary Valenciano. Listen to her soothing vocals on “Friend of Mine”.
This sultry siren is possibly the most controversial diva on the list, due to her 1977 FAMAS Awards Night “wardrobe malfunction”, personal problems, and rocky relationships. Still, her legacy as an exciting performer and award-winning singer remains. Her songs “Araw-Araw, Gabi-Gabi” and “Bakit Ako Mahihiya?” are videoke staples.
Who else should be on this list? Tell us below!