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Claire dela Fuente, the ‘Karen Carpenter of the Philippines,’ dies at 63

By CHUCK SMITH Published Mar 30, 2021 3:16 pm

Singer and entrepreneur Claire dela Fuente, once dubbed as the “Karen Carpenter of the Philippines” and considered to be one of the country’s “Jukebox Queens,” died due to cardiac arrest on Tuesday, March 30. She was 63.

Claire’s death was confirmed by her son Gigo, who told ABS-CBN News that the singer was earlier hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.

“She died from cardiac arrest, believed to be a result of her stress and anxiety. My mom has anxiety, hypertension and diabetes and her tendency to worry, to stress a lot, led her to weaken and in her sleep her heart gave up,” Gigo told ABS-CBN.

Claire shot to fame during the ’70s, gaining the attention of renowned composer George Canseco at a singing competetion she joine as a college student.

She recorded several albums and singles, including now-iconic songs such as Nakaw na Pag-ibig, Minsan, Minsan, and Sayang.

Along with singers Imelda Papin and Eva Eugenio, Claire was later dubbed as the Philippines’ “Jukebox Queen” due to the popularity of her songs. The three performed together in concerts and television appearances even later in their careers.

Claire was also an entrepreneur. She owned a seafood restaurant named after her in Pasay City and served as vice president and manager of a bus company. She even served as president of the Integrated Metro Bus Operators Association. In the early 2010s, Claire was also a talent manager, handling the careers of actresses such as Sam Pinto and Bela Padilla.

Claire was married to Moises de Guzman, who passed away in 2006.