James Reid is a Filipino–Australian singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as the winner of the reality show ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010.’ Born to an Australian father and a Filipino mother, in Sydney, Australia, James entered the famous reality show ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ at the age of 17 and emerged as the winner. This paved his way to his successful film and TV career. It also helped him achieve his dream of becoming an actor and a singer. Following his successful stint with ‘Pinoy Big Brother,’ James released his debut EP, ‘We Are Whatever,’ in 2011. The EP was created in collaboration with Bret Jackson. In 2011, he made his film debut with the short film ‘On Thin Ice.’ He launched his self-titled debut album in 2013, and he then made his feature film debut with the 2014 film ‘Diary ng Panget.’ James then released his sophomore album, ‘Reid Alert,’ in 2015, followed by his last album to date, ‘Palm Dreams,’ in 2017. Some of the most talked-about films starring James Reid are ‘Beauty and the Bestie,’ ‘This Time,’ and ‘Never Not Love You.’
Childhood & Early Life
James Reid was born Robert James Reid, on May 11, 1993, in Sydney, Australia, to Robert Malcolm Reid and Marcela Calicdan. His father is an Australian, while his mother is a Filipino. James grew up with seven siblings: four brothers and three sisters. As a kid, James developed an interest in singing because of his mother’s past as a small-time singer. He started practicing music very early in life, which led him to become a pretty good singer before he became famous.
However, all was not well in the household. His parents separated when he was just 2 years of age, and for the first few years of his life, he stayed back in Australia and lived in Mosman, on the North Shore of Sydney. When he was 15 years old, his father felt the need to move to the Philippines, and he took James with him. It was in this Asian country that James first felt that he had to become an entertainment professional.
His early years in the Philippines were difficult, to say the least. He did not know the local language, and most people did not speak English there. He also faced quite a lot of trouble adjusting with the drastic change in social skills and academic routine. In Australia, James was highly involved in gymnastics and swimming. However, both these passions began fading as soon as he landed in the Philippines.
He started attending the ‘Makati Science High School,’ but after a few months of attending the school, he found it impossible to continue. His father then enrolled him at the ‘Karabar High School Distance Education Centre,’ which was a distance-learning Australian education system, located in Karabar, New South Wales, Australia.
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In April 2010, he was declared as one of the “teenternational” housemates on the show ‘Pinoy Big Brother.’ He was about to turn 17 at that time, and his birthday was celebrated inside the house by his housemates. However, he remained a controversial entrant in the house, owing to the fact that he was the only housemate with Filipino blood running in his veins. This gave rise to a lot of conspiracies to oust him from the house.
In May 2010, he complained of chest pain and shortness of breath and was immediately sent to the doctors. This happened again, in June. Both the times, it seemed that his days in the house had come to an end. The first time, he had a minor pain in his chest, without any serious complications. However, the second time, it was much more serious, as a hole was found in his lungs. He was asked to wear an oxygen tube for a while and was advised to leave the house, but he insisted on staying back.
Both these incidents helped him become a favorite with his fans and the contestants. In the end, he walked away as the winner of the show, with close to 20% of the total votes going in his favor. He won several prizes that included a massive cash prize and a donation to a charity in his name.
Soon, he became a local celebrity, with a major fan following in Australia. He realized it was the right time to start his career in music, a domain that had fascinated him since childhood. He collaborated with Bret Jackson and released his debut EP, ‘We Are Whatever.’ The album featured four original songs and a number of covers of classic songs.
The popularity he gained from the reality show helped him appear on shows such as ‘Maynila,’ ‘Good Vibes,’ and ‘Pintada.’ He made his film debut in 2011, with the short film ‘On Thin Ice.’ He made his feature film debut with the 2014 teen romantic comedy ‘Diary ng Panget.’ Despite being panned by critics, it was a box-office success.
In June 2014, James confirmed that he would be starring in another film, ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead.’ The romantic drama was based on a novel of the same name, and it turned out to be another box-office success. Just like his previous film, James ended up lending his voice to the official soundtrack of the film.
In 2015, he appeared in the films ‘Para sa Hopeless Romantic’ and ‘Beauty and the Bestie.’ The former was a critical success but a box-office failure, while the latter was both critically and commercially successful. The same year, James announced that he would soon release his second studio album. The album, ‘Reid Alert,’ was released to immense commercial and critical success. It featured six singles and was eventually certified “platinum” by the ‘Philippine Association of the Record Industry’ (PARI).
The album was released on Valentine’s Day and debuted at the second spot on the ‘Philippine iTunes’ chart. Many of singles from the album went viral on ‘YouTube,’ and the album ended up becoming one of the most successful albums of the year.
In 2016, he appeared in a leading role in the film ‘This Time,’ along with his girlfriend, Nadine Lustre. The film’s official collections were never released, but it was estimated that the film had made more than 100 million PHP.
In June 2016, James and Nadine announced that they would be making their TV comeback together, with the series ‘Till I Met You.’ In March 2017, James made an announcement regarding the release of his third studio album, ‘Palm Dreams.’ The album featured nine tracks and was a local success. James is set to appear in a superhero film in late 2018, which will be based on the Filipino comic book character ‘Pedro Penduko.’
James Reid was rumored to be dating Nadine Lustre, his co-star of various films and series, for a long time. The couple confirmed the relationship in early 2016.