Childhood & Early Life
Juan Karlos Labajo was born on February 5, 2001 in Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines, where he was raised by his single mother Maylinda Labajo. His German father left the family after he was born.
His mother married for a second time, and he has two younger half-brothers from her second marriage. On the show 'Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7' in 2016, he confessed that he was not close with his younger brothers as he was jealous of his mother spending more time with her new family.
On November 17, 2013, he lost his mother at the age of twelve, following which he began living with his Uncle, Jovanni, and Grandmother, Linda, in Metro Manila. His family struggled financially for a long time, and he even had to scavenge junk for a living.
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At the age of 13, Juan Karlos Labajo charmed the coaches at the season 1 blind auditions for ABS-CBN's 'The Voice Kids' with his own rendition of the Adam Sandler song, 'Grow Old With You'. Coaches Sarah Geronimo and Bamboo Mañalac both wanted him in their teams, which allowed him the option to choose one, following which he picked Mañalac despite invitation from Geronimo to guest star at her concert.
His performance of 'Sway' during the live semi-finals at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila placed him third after public voting, which advanced him to the four-person finals. In the finals, the coaches praised his performance of 'Yesterday' by The Beatles, 'Runaway Baby' by Bruno Mars and the duet 'Eto Na Naman' with Gary Valenciano, but he again finished third in voting.
After the competition ended, he and the other finalists came to be managed by Star Magic, ABS-CBN's training and management center. He was subsequently cast in the channel's family drama series 'Hawak-Kamay' in 2014, and the same year, appeared in lead role in the Philippine drama anthology series 'Maalaala Mo Kaya'.
In May 2015, he played the lead role of Nico in ABS-CBN's TV Series 'Ipaglaban Mo: Sa Dulo ng Daan'. He also played the supporting role of Amboy Mobido in the romantic melodrama series 'Pangako Sa 'Yo' in 2015-16.
In August 2015, he released his debut album 'JK', which comprised of eight tracks, including the special song, 'Di Ka Man Lang Nagpaalam', dedicated to his late mother. In October that year, he was selected as the MYX Celebrity VJ for the month for the first time.
He joined the music competition show 'We Love OPM' in May 2016 as part of the 'Voice Next Door’ group alongside 'The Voice Kids 2' finalist, Kyle Echarri, and 'PBB 737 Teens' finalist, Bailey May. He was often absent from the show due to illness, and then for his involvement in 'Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7', but the team managed to reach the semi-finals without him, before being eliminated.
He announced his decision to join the reality competition show 'Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7' in July 2016, and was introduced as one the first five celebrity housemates on the first day of the show.
At the age of 15, he was one of the youngest celebrity housemates on the show, and often felt ignored by his teammates, which resulted in several crying sessions inside the Confession Room with Big Brother. He was finally evicted from the house along with four other celebrity contestants on Day 23, but returned on Day 32 as a guest star during the SwerTeen Ball.
He was again chosen the MYX Celebrity VJ for the month of January in 2017. The same month, his ABS-CBN romantic family drama series 'A Love to Last', in which he played the role of Lucas Noble, premiered nationwide on television.
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In early 2016, he was scheduled to do his first ever major solo concert, as well as his birthday concert, titled 'JKL Live', which was "postponed indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances" by MCA Music.
On February 6, 2017, he released his second album, 'JKL', which consisted of eight tracks including three of his own compositions.
He made his first ever movie appearance in a supporting role in Joven Tan's indie film 'Tatlong Bibe', which released nationwide on March 1, 2017. He was cast opposite Sharlene San Pedro and acted alongside his co-contestants in 'The Voice Kids Philippines', Lyca Gairanod, Marco Masa and Raikko Mateo.
In 2017, he was also a main cast on the series 'Ipaglaban Mo: Pikon' and appeared as a contestant on 'Family Feud'. In September, he performed at the 'Love Goals: A Love to Last Concert' alongside his co-stars from the show.