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Lea Salonga honored as Disney 'legend' in California

August 23, 2011 11:30am
For lending her voice to two Disney princesses, Philippine singing icon Lea Salonga has joined the ranks of Disney Legends.

Salonga was feted for providing the singing voices of Jasmine in “Aladdin" (1992) and Fa Mulan in “Mulan" (1998) and “Mulan II" (2004).

“Right now I’m rendered speechless by this... This is a really big deal and it’s wonderful for all these princesses to be honored in such a wonderful way by the Walt Disney Company," she said at the Disney Legends Award at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena last Aug. 19.



The awards kicked off the first day of the D23 Expo, a gathering of the fast-growing Disney official fan club.

At the Disney Legends 2011 Awards, Salonga was cited for her role in Repertory Philippines’ “The King and I" at age 7, and having her first solo album at age 10.

She was particularly cited for her starring role in the international Broadway musical “Miss Saigon" and for her many entertainment awards in the Philippines.

This year’s awardees included:

  • Jodi Benson (Princess Ariel, “The Little Mermaid")

  • Barton Boyd (Disney Consumer Products)

  • Jim Henson (creator of the “Muppets")

  • Linda Larkin (speaking voice of Jasmine, “Aladdin")

  • Paige O'Hara (Belle, “Beauty and the Beast")

  • Regis Philbin

  • Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana, “The Princess and the Frog")

  • Ray Watson (served the company for 30 years and established a worldwide reputation as a real estate development visionary)

  • Guy Williams (“The Sign of Zorro" and “Zorro the Avenger")

  • Jack and Bonita Wrather

Salonga particularly thanked “Aladdin" composers including Alan Menken “for their faith in me."

Jokingly, she thanked Linda Larken, the non-singing voice of Jasmine, “for not knowing how to sing."

“I also have to thank Linda Larken for not knowing how to sing because if she did I wouldn’t have this job and I wouldn’t be standing here today," she said.

She particularly thanked the cast and director of “Aladdin" for the “hundreds of hours" they spent actively hunting her down in New York.

“We have been looking for you. Please give me a call... We are looking for Princess Jasmine," she recalled a message left for her in New York.

Established in 1987, the Disney Legends program recognizes men and women who made an extraordinary contribution to The Walt Disney Company. — JE, GMA News
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