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Meet J. Rey Soul—the Fil-Am rapper who sang the Philippine national anthem at the Pacquiao vs Ugas fight

By Brooke Villanueva Published Aug 23, 2021 2:14 pm

Ahead of the recently concluded fight between eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas for the WBA welterweight title in Las Vegas, all eyes—for a few moments—were on J. Rey Soul as she sang the Philippine national anthem in the boxing ring. 

The Fil-Am singer-rapper wowed the audience with her performance on Saturday, Aug. 21 (Sunday, Aug. 22 PH time) at the T-Mobile Arena wearing a modern Francis Libiran creation amped up with intricate embroidery, pleated tulle, and Swarovski crystals, as well as the designer’s signature art deco patterns.  

“My dad has always dreamt of me singing the national anthem at a Pacquiao fight since I was a kid.. and last night… I did,” she shared in an Instagram post. 

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A post shared by J REY SOUL (@jreysoul)

The talented musician, whose real name is Jessica Reynoso, was born and raised in San Pedro, Laguna. At 16 years old, she joined the first season of The Voice of the Philippines in 2013, where she became a finalist but later lost to Mitoy Yonting of Pangasinan. 

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A post shared by J REY SOUL (@jreysoul)

She continued to carve her own path after her stint in The Voice. With the support of The Voice coach, she joined her fellow Fil-Am rapper’s own music label BMBX a year after The Voice. Under the recording contract, she showcased her singing talent through various songs like Just Like You. 

Such only opened more doors of opportunity for the half Pinay, who took part in Black Eyed Peas’ various projects such as Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 (2018) and Translation (2020). She also joined the American band in its 2019 world tour, which included a stop in the Philippines. 

J. Rey Soul officially replaced Fergie in the musical group later on, winning the hearts of many during BEP’s live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2020. At the prestigious event, the group had two nominations: Best Collaboration for RITMO (Bad Boys For Life) featuring J. Balvin and MAMACITA featuring Ozuna and J. Rey Soul herself. 

Indeed, the future looks promising for J. Rey Soul and we can’t wait to see her shine even brighter in the coming years.

Article thumbnails from J. Rey Soul's Instagram page