The Filipina singer, whose credits include Miss Saigon and two Disney princesses, performs in concert in Australia.

Lea Salonga was already a star in The Philippines when Cameron Mackintosh famously discovered her, at age 18, during a worldwide search for a young performer to play Kim in Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s musical Miss Saigon.

Lea Salonga. Photo: supplied

She had been performing professionally in her homeland since the age of seven but the role of Kim, which she originated in the West End in 1989, rocketed her to international stardom. Salonga later played Kim on Broadway, winning a 1991 Tony Award. In fact, so beloved was her portrayal that she was asked to return in 1999 to close the musical in London, and then to close the Broadway production in 2001.

Salonga has also played both Eponine and Fantine in Les Misérableson Broadway, and found a whole new fan base as the singing voice of both Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated film Aladdinand Fa Mulan in Disney’s Mulanand Mulan II– for which Disney named her a “Disney Legend” in 2011.

More recently, she returned...