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Who is Tyson Venegas, the 17-year-old Fil-Canadian who wowed 'American Idol' judges

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Feb 21, 2023 3:20 pm

Filipinos are known for having an impressive singing voice that have earned the applause from international audiences. Take Jessica Sanchez for example, the Filipino-American who shook the stage of American Idol back in 2012 because of her powerful and heavenly voice, or Charice (now Jake Zyrus), a Filipino singer who made several international television appearances and song collaborations.

Now, another Pinoy is set to conquer the stage of the American singing competition.

Meet Tyson Venegas, the Filipino-Canadian who had made rounds online after he had earned the first-ever platinum ticket in the current season of American Idol. This was after he performed Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind while playing the piano, which sent the show's judges—Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan—speechless.

Aged 17-years-old, one might assume that this would be the first time that Tyson tried his hand at joining a singing competition. However, he has already ripened his skills at performing in front of a large crowd as he became the youngest winner of the Canadian talent competition PNE Star Showdown at just the age of seven.

He was also previously a part of The Voice Teens Philippines in 2020. During his blind audition, judges Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo, and immediately saw his gift in singing as they pressed their buttons even before Tyson could finish belting out the first line of his chosen song, A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke.

In the same audition, he also gave a bonus performance by singing New York State of Mind with a piano while blindfolded, having been inspired from blind singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder.

Growing up in the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, Tyson's heart already had a wide space reserved for music at just the age of three, according to his interview with GMA artist Michael Sager.

"I started singing when I was about three years old. My mom would always tell me different lullabies, so I would start repeating them back but in like a jazzy way," he said. "I started practicing all of my instruments, my piano and my guitar, and I started singing for my lolos and lolas and my titas and titos, and at parties and weddings."

A fan of classic pop singers such as Michael Jackson, Tyson's mother shared that the very first concert he attended was of Lionel, much to the pleasant surprise of the veteran artist.

"He was inspired by you and that's where he learned how to sing from his heart and tell stories," Tyson's mom said to Lionel after his American Idol audition, to which he replied, "We flip the switch now. I inspired him back then? He just inspired us today. That performance was spot-on perfection."

Tyson has two original songs that he composed, titled What If and Never Give Up, which are available on Spotify. He told Michael that he plans to continue making original music and dreams of making a song that will land him a Grammy award.