Filipino singer and actress Lea Salonga is among the recipients of the TIME100 Impact Awards, given by TIME Magazine to personalities who have “gone above and beyond” to move their respective industries forward.
In a feature posted on Sunday, TIME dubbed Salonga, 51, as the “Voice of Disney Princesses” and a “role model for children of color.”
Having been the voice of Disney princesses Jasmine in “Aladdin” and “Mulan,” Lea told TIME she is happy to “be that for someone else,” especially the kids.
“Salonga prides herself on promoting representation in Hollywood and on Broadway and showing underrepresented groups that their stories matter,” the magazine said.
The magazine also noted how Salonga proved that a child from Southeast Asia can reach great heights when she won the prestigious Tony Award for her performance as Kim in “Miss Saigon” in 1989 – the first Filipino and Asian to do so in a lead role.
Salonga’s other notable performances are Eponine and Fantine in “Les Miserables” on Broadway – as the first Asian woman to play the role – and currently in the HBO Max show “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin,” where she plays the overbearing mom Elodie.
Apart from her work as a singer, Salonga appeared in various stage productions. Her first professional theatrical performance was for a Filipino production of “The King and I,” when she was 7 years old.
Other TIME100 Impact awardees include British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding for using her voice to protect the environment, and rapper Will.i.am, who is “looking beyond music and into the future.”