An unforgettable summertime with Renee Olstead
Leah C. Salterio (The Philippine Star) - March 20, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - American singer Renee Olstead is a familiar face and name to local music fans. She has performed in Manila a number of times and her shows have always been successful and well-received.

Last year, Renee regaled Filipino music fans in a show, A Love That Will Last, at the Fairmont Hotel Makati Ballroom. On March 29, Renee will take center stage anew in Summertime, a dinner-concert at the Isla Grand Ballroom of EDSA Shangri-La Hotel.

Influenced by jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn in her singing style, Renee’s talent was discovered by multi-Grammy-winning composer and album producer David Foster (who also produced albums for other big-name artists such as Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban and our very own Charice).

However, Renee started out as a child actress at the age of eight, when she appeared in TV shows and commercials. From 2002 to 2006, she was seen in the TV sitcom, Still Standing, where she played middle sister Lauren Miller. For that role, she got the Best Performance in a TV series (comedy) from the Young Artist Award. 

Renee currently appears in the family series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which debuted in 2011. Aside from TV, she also appeared in memorable films like 13 Going On 30 (starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo), End of Days (with Arnold Schwarzenegger), Space Cowboys (headlined by Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones) and The Insider (starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe).

In 2004, Renee released her self-titled debut album of pop songs and jazz standards, produced by Foster. The following year, Renee recorded with trumpeter Chris Botti in the latter’s 2005 album, To Love Again: The Duets.

Today, Renee wins hearts and turns heads whenever she performs. She enthralls music fans with her jazz anthems and pop tunes, rendered by her melodic voice. Undoubtedly, she has captured the world with her amazing vocal pipes.

The only child of Christopher Eric Olstead and Rebecca Lynn Jeffries, 24-year-old Renee was born in Kingwood, Texas. She didn’t have any formal musical training and considers her diverse musical atmosphere as her background in starting a singing career.

“I love acting, but I’m most passionate about music,” asserts Renee, who shuttled between singing and studying when she recorded her debut album in 2011. “I was determined to give my album everything I had, even if it meant working on it every minute I wasn’t studying or on the set. And that’s what it took.”

The song Summertime, from Renee’s debut album, was nominated for a Grammy, while the romantic ballad, A Love That Will Last, was featured in the soundtrack of Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews).

For her forthcoming Manila concert on March 29, Renee will render songs recorded by some of the “greatest artists.” She revived the tunes and gave them her distinct interpretation. Moreover, she wants to introduce the songs to her generation.

Her playlist includes Taking a Chance On Love, Meet Me Midnight, Sunday Kind of Love, Neil Sedaka’s Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (duet with Peter Cincotti), Midnight at the Oasis, Through the Fire and A Slow Boat To China.

Renee will also interpret songs from her five studio albums like Hit the Road Jack, Hold Me Now, Summertime, A Love That Will Last, Someone To Watch Over Me, What a Difference a Day Makes, Sentimental Journey, When I Fall in Love, What a Wonderful World, Skylark and She’s Got Your Name.

A LOVE THAT WILL LAST AL PACINO AND RUSSELL CROWE ANNE HATHAWAY AND JULIE ANDREWS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER BEST PERFORMANCE BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO CELINE DION CHANCE ON LOVE LOVE RENEE
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