Lea Salonga took to Twitter to pay tribute to her fellow Filipino singer and actor Enrico de Jesus Puno, who was professionally known as Rico J. Puno. The latter died of heart failure at 1:56 a.m. on October 30, 2018 at the age of 65 in St. Luke’s Medical Center- Global City at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Salonga and Puno are among the legends of Filipino music. They were both born in Manila, Metro Manila.
In 1975, Puno performed with The Temptations at the Palazzi. Originally formed in Detroit, Michigan, United States in 1960, The Temptations was a group five male vocalists who released singles and albums with Motown Records.
In 1979, Puno represented the Philippines at the Tokyo Music Festival but lost to Rita Coolidge of the U.S. The Filipino winners of the festival were Pilita Corrales in 1972 and Smokey Mountain in 1991, the first and last winners, respectively.
In 2012, Puno almost suffered a heart attack after his concert with Marco Sison and Hajji Alejandro. In 2015, Puno had an angiogram in the intensive care unit of the Makati Medical Center in Makati City, Metro Manila due to his clogged aorta.
From 1998 to 2007 and from 2016 to 2018, Puno was a member of the council of the first district of Makati City. He was scheduled to have a concert at The Theatre in Solaire Resort and Casino in Tambo, Parañaque, Metro Manila on November 23, 2018.
Puno was signed with ABS-CBN Network. He was one of the cast members of the sitcom “Home Sweetie Home” and was one of the judges of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” (Call of the Stage), an amateur singing contest segment of the variety show “It’s Showtime.”
Currently, Salonga is also signed with ABS-CBN Network. She was one of the judges of “The Voice of the Philippines” from 2013 to 2015, “The Voice Kids” from 2014 to 2016 and “The Voice Teens” in 2017.
In 2001, Salonga played Amparo in an episode of “ER” on NBC. In 2016, she place Aunt Myrna in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” on The CW.
Salonga was the first actress to play Kim in “Miss Saigon,” a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. The Filipino actress and singer also played Eponine in “Les Miserables,” a musical basd on French poet and novelist Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name.
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Puno and Salonga in an episode of “The Voice of the Philippines” in 2014: