Artist Birtday : 21/03/1970 (Age 53)
Born In : Manila, Philippines
Occupation(s) : Singer, Musician, Rapper, Record Producer, Actress, Dancer, Television Host
Genres : Soul, Pop, R&B, OPM, Jazz, Gospel, Scat, Freestyle

María Luisa Ramsey Kagahastian-Gotidoc (born March 21, 1970), known professionally as Jaya, is a Filipino soul singer, rapper, record producer, actress, dancer and presenter of mixed Jamaican and Visayan descent. She was a talent of GMA Network but later transferred to ABS-CBN, where she serves as one of the head jury of the Tawag ng Tanghalan segment of the Philippine noontime variety show It’s Showtime. Jaya is the first Filipino recording artist to chart in the United States, as her debut single “If You Leave Me Now” peaked at 44 at the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

María Luisa Ramsey was born on March 21, 1970 in Manila, Philippines. Her mother was Elizabeth Ramsey, a Filipina comedian and singer of Jamaican and Spanish-Filipino descent. Ramsey’s father is Reynaldo Kagahastian, a Filipino. Her parents separated when she was young, and her father migrated to the United States. He now resides in Alberta, Canada.

She started show business at the age of ten as a backup dancer of her mother and at the age of 12 she started to be a backup singer and frontacts in some minor and major shows. She began performing solo in 1982, using the name Louise Ramsey.

The young Louise did not finish high school in the Philippines because of her busy lifestyle as a child performer. She nonetheless managed to receive high marks and was once elected class president.
In the United States

Her mother Elizabeth decided to leave for the United States in June 1985, and brought Louise with her. There she continued her solo singing stints, performing with other Overseas Filipino artists like Tillie Moreno, Eddie Mercado, Lerma dela Cruz, and the duo Reycards.

Life in America was likewise difficult for both Jaya and her mother. They stayed in different cities in California. She attended John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, which at the time already had a large Filipino-American student population. She ran away from home in 1988 after finishing high school, moving to New York with a friend and landing a job as a backup vocalist for Stevie B’s group of musicians.

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