Jaya Kelly, better known by her stage name Jaya, is a Filipina-American R&B singer and songwriter. Born on March 17, 1981, in Tarzana, California, Jaya grew up in a musical family and started singing at a young age. She later pursued a career in music and has become one of the most recognized R&B artists in the Philippines.
Early Life and Background:
Jaya was born to a Filipino mother and African-American father. Her mother, Elizabeth Ramsey, was a well-known singer and actress in the Philippines, while her father was a jazz musician. Jaya’s musical talent was evident from a young age, and she began performing with her mother on stage when she was just three years old.
Career in Music:
Jaya’s career in music began in the 1990s when she moved to the Philippines with her family. She was signed to a record label and released her debut album, “Jaya,” in 1995. The album was a huge success and earned Jaya several awards, including Best New Female Artist at the Awit Awards.
Over the next few years, Jaya released several more albums, including “In the Raw” (1997) and “Cool Change” (2000). Her music blended R&B, soul, and pop influences and showcased her powerful voice and range.
Jaya also became a sought-after performer, appearing on numerous television shows and concerts. She toured extensively throughout the Philippines and performed for international audiences in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
In 2002, Jaya returned to the United States to pursue a career in music there. She signed with Warner Music Group and released her first American album, “Under the Spell,” in 2005. The album featured collaborations with renowned producers and songwriters and showcased Jaya’s versatility as an artist.
In addition to her music career, Jaya has also appeared in several movies and television shows. She has acted in Filipino films such as “Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum” (1991) and “Aswang” (1992) and has also appeared in the American television series “Las Vegas” and “Girlfriends.”
Jaya has been married twice. Her first marriage was to Filipino actor and musician Gary Gotidoc, with whom she has a son named Dylan. The couple divorced in 2001. Jaya later married American musician Charles Engen in 2011.
Jaya Kelly is a talented and accomplished R&B artist who has made a significant impact on the music industry. Her powerful voice and unique sound have earned her a loyal following in both the Philippines and the United States. Jaya’s contributions to the world of music will continue to inspire and entertain audiences for years to come.