International pop star Charice sings "The Star Spangled Banner"… (Getty Images )
As often is the case, it all comes back to Oprah.
Charice, the performer once dubbed the most talented girl in the world by Winfrey stood on the field on Saturday after singing the national anthem at U.S. Cellular Field, wishing the woman who helped launch her to stateside fame could've seen her sing that day.
"She's one of the big reasons why I'm here right now," said Charice, a Filipina pop star who caught Oprah's eye and made several appearances on her show before it ended. "Hopefully I'll be seeing her again because it's been a long time since the last time we saw each other."
In town for the festivities surrounding this weekend's Civil Rights Game at the Cell, Charice was making her first stateside performance since announcing she is gay to a Filipino TV host back in June.
"I'm just glad to be here because this is the first time that I've performed here in America with all the changes and everything, so I'm very happy," she said. "I feel so proud to be here today. Not only for myself but for other people who want equality for everyone. I'm very happy to be a part of this."
Since that interview aired, Charice said she's felt nothing but love from fans.
"I want to thank all my fans for still supporting me and everything," she said.
Her summer has been so busy that she actually had to cut her stay in Chicago short so she could get back to work.
"After this, I'm gonna go back to the Philippines," she said. "I just finished recording an album there.Probably promoting that album."
Her unforgettable voice has left fans clamoring for more. Charice vaulted to worldwide fame in May 2008 when she went on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and blew the audience away with a rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing."
When fans found out she was going to be in Chicago this weekend, several tweeted her asking when she's going to release new music.
"It's hard to tell right now," she said. "Probably maybe next year I'm gonna start working on some international songs and everything because I know that they've been waiting for it."
They've also been waiting for "Glee" to bring back her Sunshine Corazon character, one of the few to challenge the notoriously strong Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele. Charice said she hasn't been approached by producers but isn't ruling anything out.
"It would be interesting to see a new Sunshine," she said. "I would do it if they let me."
Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.
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