Singer Claire Dela Fuente passed away this morning, March 30, due to cardiac arrest.
The singer’s son, Gregorio “Gigo” De Guzman, confirmed her death in a video interview with ABS-CBN entertainment reporter MJ Felipe who posted the video on his Twitter page.
Mr. De Guzman said that his mother (whose legal name was Clarita Crisostomo Dela Fuente-De Guzman) was diagnosed COVID-19 positive last week. Based on their doctor’s report, Mr. De Guzman said that “She died from cardiac arrest that was believed to be … cause[ed by] her stress and anxiety.” He added that his mother had suffered from anxiety, hypertension, and diabetes.
Born on Dec. 28, 1958, her talent was first publicly noticed when at age 15 she won the very first singing contest she joined, singing The Carpenters’ song “Love Me for What I Am.”
It was with her song “Sayang” though that Ms. Dela Fuente became popular in the late 1970s. Her other popular songs include “Minsan-Minsan” and “Nakaw Na Pag-ibig.” She was dubbed a “Jukebox Queen” alongside her contemporaries Imelda Papin, Eva Eugenio, and the late Didith Reyes.
She released numerous singles and albums, many of which received double platinum awards including the singles “Nakaw na Pag-ibig” and “Minsan-Minsan, and the albums Sayang and The Best of Claire.
With a voice that had since the beginning of her career often been described as being similar to that of the late Karen Carpenter of the duo The Carpenters, it was perhaps no surprise that she ended up teaming up with Richard Carpenter in 2008 for her international album, Something In Your Eyes.
Carpenter was not the only international singer she worked with. She recorded a duet with Michael Bolton, “The Christmas Song,” in 2010.
Apart from her singing career, she ventured into business and served as the vice-president, treasurer, and manager of the Philippine Corinthian Liner Corp. (PCLC) bus firm. For many years she served as president of the Integrated Metro Bus Operators Association.
She also ventured into cosmetics with The Skin Shop, and the restaurant business with the Claire dela Fuente Grill & Seafood Restaurant in Pasay City.
Ms. Dela Fuente was married to Moises “Boy” de Guzman, who passed away of cancer in 2006. They have two sons, Gregorio and Gracielo. — MAPS