Biography

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Kuh Ledesma’s music career spans 35 years of performances which include more than 1000 concerts, numerous awards in the Philippine music scene, and 20 albums in the local recording industry. She was the first Filipino singer to be the recipient of the Salem Music Awards in March 1989. In 1997 she released an international debut album entitled PRECIOUS, a collaboration of the best American and Filipino songwriters, arrangers and musicians.

Her singing career began when she joined Lastiko, then the Ensalada band in Bacolod while she was still in college taking up Nursing. Kuh and bandmates Toto Gentica and Jet Montelibano later went to Manila and formed the MUSIC & MAGIC band. It was her very successful stint performing with Music & Magic which proved to be pivotal to her career. The strong presence of the group in the live circuit paved the way for Kuh to snag the lead role in Alice Reyes’ pop ballet, RAMA HARI. She eventually went solo with her first hit song DITO BA.

Kuh is known for her lavish concept shows, putting up solo concerts in venues like the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Araneta Coliseum, PICC and Folk Arts Theater in the 80’s during a time when singers shunned large venues because they were difficult to fill.

She launched an all-Filipino concert AKO AY PILIPINO (1982) at the CCP which featured a repertoire of ethnic sounds, classic kundimans and beautiful pop songs in a refreshing production that displayed Kuh’s passion for tapping into the rich node of indegenous art as well as contemporary pop music to produce alternative approaches to songs. The show eventually spinned off into a TV special and a double album.

This was immediately followed by another production at the CCP, INSPIRED MADNESS (1983), created in collaboration with film director Peque Gallaga and musical director Ryan Cayabyab featuring noveau musical arrangements and unconventional production design. In light of the state of the times back then it was also here where we see a glimpse of Kuh’s political color as she quietly paid tribute to Ninoy Aquino at the end of the show by singing a beautiful a cappella of “Impossible Dream” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (translation: “Hindi Ka Nag-iisa”). And she did this in CCP yet! 1984 through 1986 Kuh joined the APO Hiking Society in ANG PINOY NGA NAMAN! 1, 2, and 3 at the Folk Arts Theater.

In the 90’s Kuh had a series of back-to-back concerts with foreign artists like Noel Pointer, Jack Jones, and Kenny Rankin (and later with The Platters and Michel Legrand). This later led to the popular POWER OF TWO concert series that had Kuh performing with local artists like Regine Velasquez, Pops Fernandez, and Jaya in a bid to show that artists can work together and go against formula in creating a good show.

Kuh has also appeared in films (ORO PLATA MATA, TINIMBANG ANG LANGIT, THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY) and theater (RAMA HARI and KAPINANGAN), and made numerous TV specials including the award-winning program KUH BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT.

Not content with being just a performer, Kuh has also formed her own production company (HEADLINE CONCEPTS), built alternative concert venues like the MUSIC MUSEUM and the REPUBLIC OF MALATE, owns a recording studio (BRAVO RECORDS) — thus, giving her much artistic freedom and enabling her to produce and market her own work. She is known for looking out for new talents and helping jumpstart their careers through appearances in her concerts.

Kuh has also brough most of her shows abroad like her POWER OF TWO series and her DIVA2DIVA concert with Zsa Zsa Padilla which toured again in the US last November and December. Currently, Kuh marks her importance in the local music scene via rare, talked-about shows and a co-hosting spot in the Sunday variety show, “A.S.A.P. Mania.”

Juggling concerts, television appearances, television tapings and album recordings, Kuh opens another venue off Tagaytay called “Hacienda Isabella.” Named after her only daughter, the Hacienda is a sprawling property with an expansive garden & lawn and adjacent cottages. It has a huge garden for children to frolic in, game pavillions, outside cinema , a library and a restaurant that serves comfort food, salads and pastas. The venue is ideal for weddings, retreats, seminars, team buildings, parties and outdoor concerts.

Aside from doing concerts and special shows, Kuh is busy travelling, doing values formation, inspirational and motivational talks here and abroad.

In 2012, Kuh took a new step forward in her creative journey with her debut painting exhibition entitled “Unexpected,” which opened on September 13, 2012 at Whitespace Gallery featuring 40 artworks.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

1979

MOST PROMISING GROUP: Music & Magic (Lead Vocalist)

Aliw Awards Foundation Inc.

1982

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Aliw Awards Foundation Inc.

SINGER OF THE YEAR

Philippine Movie Press Club

MISS POPULAR SINGER-ENTERTAINER OF THE PHILIPPINES

Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Foundation Inc.

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE

2nd Cecil Awards

BEST ALBUM: “JUST YOU, JUST ME “

2nd Cecil Awards

1984

DOUBLE PLATINUM AWARD for “AKO AY PILIPINO”

1987

MOST POPULAR SINGER-ENTERTAINER OF THE PHILIPPINES

Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Foundation Inc.

BEST MUSICAL TELEVISION PROGRAM:
“KUH BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT”

Catholic Mass Media Awards

BEST MUSICAL TELEVISION PROGRAM:
“KUH BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT”

CCP Gawad Pang-Telebisyon

1990

DOUBLE PLATINUM AWARD for the album “LIHIM”

EARTH ’90 Philippine Representative, Japan

10 MOST OUTSTANDING SINGERS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Tinig Awards
National Press Club

1993

VIRGO AWARDS ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Los Angeles, California, USA

TAGUMPAY AWARDS “EXCELLENCE IN ARTS”

California, USA

1997

EXCELLENCE IN ARTS

California, USA

2014

THE BEAUTY OF PURPOSE

Second Solo Exhibition
Whitespace Gallery, 08 April 2014

Music & Magic, 1980
Music & Magic, 1980

2000

GOLD RECORD AWARD for “AKUHSTIC”

2004

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A COLLABORATION

for “Night of aCAUSEtic”
Aliw Awards
National Press Club

2004

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A COLLABORATION

for “Night of aCAUSEtic”
Aliw Awards
National Press Club

2009

ALIW AWARDS – Best in Collaboration, Major concert
“DIVAS4DIVAS”

1980

BEST FEMALE CONCERT & ROADSHOW PERFORMER

Aliw Awards Foundation Inc.

GOLD RECORD AWARD for “Dito Ba?”

PLATINUM RECORD AWARD for “Dito Ba?”

1983

10 MOST OUTSTANDING SINGERS OF THE PHILIPPINES

Tinig Awards
National Press Club

Performed Odette Quesada’s “Till I Met You”

GRAND PRIZE WINNER PROFESSIONAL DIVISION

6th Metro Pop Music Festival

1985

DOUBLE PLATINUM AWARD for “I THINK I’M IN LOVE”

MOST OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY SINGER

Jingle Most Popular Stars ’85

1985

QUADRUPLE AWARD for “UNFORGETTABLE”

AWIT AWARDS BEST FEMALE PERFORMER,
MOVIE THEME SONG

“Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa”

1985

QUADRUPLE AWARD for “UNFORGETTABLE”
AWIT AWARDS BEST FEMALE PERFORMER,
MOVIE THEME SONG

“Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa”

1991

MISS UNIVERSE BEAUTY PAGEANT JUDGE

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

1995

WOMEN AGAINST AIDS

Philippine representative, Japan

1998

THE DIVA WORKSHOP

A voice and performance workshop conducted by Kuh for aspiring singers at the Music Museum.

2001

NATATANGING PILIPINO AWARD

Philippine Jaycees

DIVAS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA

Philippine representative
Jakarta, Indonesia

PINATUBO PARTY LIST FIRST NOMINEE

House of Representatives National Election

2006

BEST CULTURAL AND ARTS PROGRAM

“PAANO KITA MAPASASALAMATAN: A Tribute to George Canseco”

15th Annual KBP Golden Dove Awards
KBP

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Reflections 18 Awards
North Hollywood California

2011

19th ASIA PACIFIC EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Best Asian Performer

MOVIE CREDITS:

TINIMBANG ANG LANGIT

Starring role as a struggling singer that becomes a star with the help of a composer played by Christopher de Leon.
1982

THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY

International movie directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver. Kuh took on the role of Tiger Lily.
1982

ORO, PLATA, MATA

A tale set in World War II Philippines about how a rich family copes with the war and how the people change amidst violence and death. Its stellar cast included Joel Torre, Cherie Gil, Mitch Valdes, Liza Lorena, Sandy Andolong, Kuh Ledesma and Fides Cuyugan Ascencio, among many others.
Best Movie, 1983 Metro Manila Film Festival, directed by Peque Gallaga.
1983

1981

DOUBLE PLATINUM RECORD AWARD for “Dito Ba?”

GOLD RECORD AWARD for the album “KUH”

GOLD RECORD AWARD for the album “KUH’S MAGIC”

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN HOTELS, NIGHT CLUBS & RESTAURANTS

Aliw Awards Foundation Inc.

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE (“Sana”)

1st Cecil Awards

SINGER OF THE YEAR

Philippine Movie Press Club

10 MOST OUTSTANDING SINGERS OF THE PHILIPPINES

Tinig Awards
National Press Club

MISS POPULAR SINGER-ENTERTAINER OF THE PHILIPPINES

Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Foundation Inc.

1986

MOST POPULAR SINGER-ENTERTAINER OF THE PHILIPPINES,

Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Foundation Inc.

MOST POPULAR CONTEMPORARY SINGER,

Jingle Most Popular Stars ‘86

BEST MUSICAL TELEVISION PROGRAM:
“KUH BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT”

Catholic Mass Media Awards

BEST MUSICAL TELEVISION PROGRAM:
“KUH BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT”

CCP Gawad Pang-Telebisyon

1989

JINGLE MOST POPULAR CONCERT PERFORMER

Jingle Clan Publication

SALEM MUSIC AWARDS

Prince Albert Hall, London.
Representative to the 1st ASEAN Music Festival in London

1992

AWARDEE FOR THE EARTH SAVERS’ DREAMS.

Heroes Hall, Malacanang

1996

BB. PILIPINAS BEAUTY PAGEANT JUDGE

1999

NATATANGING GAWAD SENTENARYO

Most Outstanding Filipino
National Centennial Commission

GINTONG TINIG AWARD

1999 Metro Pop

2003

10 MOST OUTSTANDING SINGERS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Tinig Awards
National Press Club

2007

Inductee – WALK OF FAME
Manila

2012

DANGAL NG MUSIKANG PILIPINO AWARD

The 25th Awit Awards
Philippine Association of the Recording Industry (PARI)

UNEXPECTED: Paintings by Kuh Ledesma

First Solo Exhibition
Whitespace Gallery, 13 September 2012

THEATER CREDITS:

RAMA HARI

Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1980.
The song popularized by Kuh Ledesma “Magbalik Ka Na Mahal” comes from this pop-ballet where she played the singing part of Sita opposite Basil Valdez and Leo Valdez who also starred in this production depicting the life of King Rama (of the South Asian epic, the “Ramayana.”) Music by Ryan Cayabyab with Filipino libretto by Bienvenido Lumbera and directed by Alice Reyes.

KAPINANGAN

Manila Metropolitan Theater, 1981.
A drama-musical based on Ricaredo Demetillo’s “The Heart of Emptiness Is Black,” with Filipino libretto by Orlando Nadres, directed by Behn Cervantes, music by Ryan Cayabyab. It starred Kuh Ledesma as the ill-fated Kapinangan, wife of Datu Sumakwel (Robert Arevalo), who falls in love with Gurunggurung(Hajji Alejandro), Sumakwel’s vassal.