Edgardo Jose "Gary" Santiago Valenciano (born 6 August 1964), also known as Gary V. and Mr. Pure Energy, is a multi-awarded Filipino-Puerto Rican, singer-songwriter, musician, actor, music producer and TV host. Valenciano has released 39 albums, and won the Awit Awards (Song Awards) for "Best Male Performer" twelve times. In 1998, he became UNICEF Philippines' first National Ambassador, a title he continues to hold.
He is currently part of ABS-CBN contract artists, having been a mainstay of the Sunday noontime musical variety show ASAP and the noontime, weekday singing contest segment of It's Showtime. He is frequently tapped to sing theme songs for the network's soap operas and in-house film arm, Star Cinema.
Valenciano was given the ASAP Elite Platinum Circle Award several times for his achievements in the local music industry. In his 34 years in the music industry, he has been awarded multi-platinum recording awards for most of his full-length studio albums.
Gary Valenciano was born in Santa Mesa district of City of Manila on 6 August 1964. He is the sixth of seven children of Vicente Calacas Valenciano, a Bicolano from Camalig, Albay and Grimilda Santiago y Olmo, a Puerto Rican from Arecibo. His parents met in New York, married, and settled in Manila. His father is from Bicol, while his mother is a Puerto Rican of Italian descent who sang opera in Manila during the 1960s. Valenciano attended primary and secondary school in La Salle Green Hills. In 1978, at 14 years old, Valenciano made his first television appearance in an advertisement for Fress Gusto, a now-discontinued soft drink sold by San Miguel Corporation. He started as a choir singer, then launched his career in singing and show business on 13 May 1983. He first appeared as a solo artist in 1982 in the television programme The Pilita and Jackie Show, and later in Germspesyal and Penthouse Live. He had his first solo concert in April 1984 at the Araneta Coliseum, followed by a number of albums. Three of his albums were released internationally, including the Christian-inspired album Out of the Dark. He won the Awit Award twelve times in the "Best Male Recording" category alone. He has been called "Mr. Pure Energy" due to his high energy dance performances in concerts.
As an actor, he won the "Best Single Performance By An Actor" trophy when he performed in a drama television movie for GMA7 in the 90s. He has appeared in 14 full-length films as the lead actor for some of the top movie companies like Viva Films, Regal Films, Seiko Films, and Star Cinema, with leading ladies like Vilma Santos, Maricel Soriano, Lorna Tolentino, Kris Aquino, Sharon Cuneta, Gretchen Barretto, Princess Punzalana, and Ms. Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres.
As an inspirational artist, he recorded a number of Christian albums and was chosen to do a music video for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) for a song he co-wrote, "Could You Be Messiah," in 1994. He was then tapped for Global Mission in Puerto Rico in 1994 where he performed with Michael W. Smith and Steve Green. BGEA tapped him as well as in Amsterdam 2000 where he performed for over 10,500 evangelists. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Christian Broadcasting Network, producers of The 700 Club. He performed at the 50th anniversary of CBN in Virginia Beach and has guested on The 700 Club USA many times.
As a performing artist, he was called the "Michael Jackson of the Philippines" in the 80s and 90s, and continues to hold concerts all over the world. He has sold out venues and theatres in the Philippines and all over the world, performing in venues like the Shrine Auditorium and Microsoft Theater in California, the Roy Thompson Hall in Canada, the Budokhan Hall in Japan, the Navy Pier in Chicago, and the Sydney Entertainment Center and Hillsong Auditorium in Australia. He has performed all over the world, including in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Oman, Qatar, Paris, London, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Amsterdam.
In 1998, he became UNICEF Philippines' first National Ambassador. In 2008, he marked his tenth year as a UNICEF Ambassador with a visit to Sitio Avocado, a former war zone in Negros Oriental.
Valenciano returned to acting in 2008 by appearing in the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya, where he portrayed a prisoner who finds religion and becomes a born again Christian. That same year, he was nominated for "Best Single Performance By An Actor" in the 22nd PMPC Star Awards for TV.
In 2009, Valenciano released a collaborative album with Martin Nievera called As 1, with the carrier single of the same title.
In 2010, Valenciano was in a Holy Week drama special, Gulong ("Wheel"), a CBN Asia production shown on GMA.
For his 25th anniversary in 2008, STAR RECORDS, the music arm of ABSCBN, released GV 25, a compilation of songs he composed and recorded sung by music stars of the Philippines like Sharon Cuneta, Rachel Ann Go, Martin Nievera, Piolo Pascual, Jed Madela, Erik Santos, and Christian Bautista.
For his 30th anniversary in 2013, his concert ARISE, which was originally staged at the Araneta Coliseum for two nights and restaged at the MOA ARENA to a jam-packed audience, won as PMPC's Best Concert of the Year. His album With You won the Best Inspirational Album for the same year at the Catholic Mass Media Awards. Valenciano formed the Shining Light Foundation in 1989, focusing on supporting diabetics and a scholarship program that has produced many multi-awarded scholars and students. Valenciano is married to María Anna Elizabeth "Angeli" Pangilinan, with whom he has three children: Paolo Valenciano is vocalist of the band Salamin; Gabriel Valenciano is a singer, keyboardist, dancer, and director; and Kiana Valenciano is a model-turned-singer/songwriter. He is currently living with type 1 diabetes, and has been an endorser for several wellness products related to the condition. Valenciano started feeling ill after a performance with his son Gabriel for the celebration of his 35th anniversary in showbiz in ABS-CBN's top-rating Sunday afternoon show, ASAP and had to undergo open heart surgery due to blockage of his left anterior descending artery caused by his diabetes. The procedure was successfully performed on May 6, 2018, and he was released from the hospital by May 12.