Maria Aragon, a Filipino-Canadian from Winnpeg became international star


When Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the July 1 Canada Day celebration, Maria Aragon, a Filipino-Canadian sang Canada’s national anthem “O Canada”, in both English and French.

Meeting celebrities and royalties is not something new to Maria Aragon.  She had already sang with Lady Gaga at a concert.  Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, made a special trip to Maria Aragon’s house to tape a singing duet.  Maria Aragon also appeared on American television show in an interview with Ellen Degeneres.

How it all Began.
On February 16, 2011, a video of Aragon performing a cover of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga was posted to her sister’s YouTube channel to showcase her talent to friends and family. The video caught Lady Gaga’s attention and she was so impressed by Maria’s performance that she retweeted a link to the video. In a week, her video reached over 11 million views. As of July 12, 2011, the video has over 33,5 million hits.

During an interview on HOT 103 in Winnipeg, Lady Gaga called into the show to tell Maria how moved she had been by her performance. Lady Gaga then invited an already surprised Aragon to perform “Born This Way” with her at The Monster Ball Tour concert in Toronto. On March 3, 2011, Aragon joined Lady Gaga on stage at the Air Canada Centre, where they performed an acoustic duet of “Born this Way” with Maria sitting on Gaga’s lap, playing piano and Lady Gaga working the pedals. Aragon later rejoined Lady Gaga and her team of back up dancers for an uptempo finale version of “Born this Way”.

American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres took notice of her from emails and petitions requesting for Aragon’s appearance on the show and eventually invited Aragon to appear on her show on February 21, 2011, where Aragon again performed “Born This Way” on the piano earning a standing ovation from the audience. On March 29, 2011, Aragon performed “Born This Way” at her home for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She and Harper also performed a duet of John Lennon’s song “Imagine”.

In 2011, she appeared in a commercial for HTC singing the K’naan song, Wavin’ Flag. She performed at the 2011 Canada Day concert on Parliament Hill, which included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in attendance, as part of their 2011 royal tour of Canada.

On July 20 of the same year, Aragon arrived in the Philippines where she signed a contract with Star Records, the same recording company who signed Charice. She will also have guesting on several ABS-CBN shows including the musical variety show, ASAP Rocks. Aragon was chosen by Star Cinema to sing the official soundtrack of the upcoming Philippine film, Way Back Home, entitled You’re My Home, which was originally sang by Lea Salonga.

Maria Aragon joins the ranks of other famous Filipino singers including Charice Pempengco who also gained stardom through Youtube. Click here to see a youtube clip of Charice performing a duet with Canadian singer Celine Dion.

Other famous Filipino Canadians include Mikey Bustos (born June 23, 1981),  a Filipino-Canadian singer who appeared on the reality television show Canadian Idol. Bustos is from the Weston neighbourhood of Toronto. Before Canadian Idol, he worked as a temp at the Bank of Montreal.