Alden Richards Biography, Music, Family and Awards
Richard Reyes Faulkerson, Jr. (born January 2, 1992), popularly known by his stage name Alden Richards, is a Filipino actor, host, model and recording artist. He is best known as the other half of the AlDub love team opposite Maine Mendoza. The couple regularly appear in the Kalyeserye segment of Eat Bulaga! and now starring in their first Teleserye Destined to Be Yours.
His other notable works include Alakdana, Tween Hearts, One True Love, Carmela, The Road, My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore and Imagine You and Me. He is also known for his role as Lakan in the reboot series of Encantadia. During the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television in 2015, Richards won his first Best Actor award for his portrayal of José Rizal in Ilustrado.
As a recording artist, Richards released two albums, a self-titled album in 2013 under Universal Records and Wish I May in 2015 under GMA Records. His eponymous album reached Platinum status while Wish I May reached Diamond status. He has released his third album, Say It Again and is doing well in record and iTunes sales. Richards who started as a model joined various male beauty pageants, appeared in various magazines and endorsed a number of products.
He is also known for his philanthropy and took part in charitable works. His life story is featured in an episode of Magpakailanman and Richards released an autobiographical book entitled In My Own Words in July 2015 under Summit Media. The BBC described AlDub as a “phenomenal television and social media success in the Philippines”.
Alden Richards Life and career
Alden Richards was born Richard Reyes Faulkerson, Jr. on January 2, 1992 in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, Philippines. He is the second child of Richard Peralta Faulkerson, Sr. of Ermita, Manila and Rosario Reyes, a native of Pampanga. He has two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister. Richards is of American descent through his paternal grandfather, whom he has never met personally.
Growing up, Richards wanted to be a pilot but his mother urged him to pursue acting instead.
After his mother died, to support his family financially and to fulfill his mother’s wish for him to be an actor, Richards decided to join various male beauty pageants in Laguna and worked as a part-time commercial model. He holds the titles Ginoong Sta Rosa 2009 and Ginoong Laguna 2010.
He also tried to be in the reality television shows StarStruck and Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash of 2010 but both auditions failed. He also appeared on a television commercial for a multivitamins product. He studied high school at Paco Catholic School in Paco, Manila and Colegio de Santa Rosa de Lima High School where he graduated. He studied but failed to finish a business administration degree at De La Salle Canlubang in Biñan City, Laguna.
2010-2011: Breakthrough, The Road and recognition
After doing modelling stints, Richards auditioned for an acting role on the GMA Network’s afternoon soap, Alakdana. He passed the audition and played the role of Joma. In Alakdana, he was paired with the lead actress Louise delos Reyes. When he became an actor, he used the stage name Alden Richards.
In 2011, he was included in the teenage series, Tween Hearts and also starred in its film adaptation Tween Hearts: Class of 2012. He also performed on GMA Network’s Sunday variety shows Party Pilipinas and Sunday All Stars. He also appeared in the comedy-horror show Spooky Nights.
Richards was praised with his performance as a psychopath in the film The Road. By the end of 2011, he replaced Aljur Abrenica’s role as Gobi in Ang Panday 2, which is an entry at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival. Abrenica was pulled out of the film due to conflict of schedules and Richards re-shoots scenes made by Abrenica. Richards was also praised by some entertainment writers for his performances, predicting that he would be the next big star of GMA Network.
Richards was awarded as the 1st Filipino Amazing Male Newcomer in the first Yahoo! OMG! Philippines Awards in 2011. He also won as Best New Actor in the Golden Screen Awards in the same year. He invited FHM Sexiest of 2011 Sam Pinto for a date on national TV. The latter did accept the invite and went on a cruise date with Richards in the Manila Bay, but the actress revealed that it was just a friendly date.
On Valentine’s Day of 2012, A Date with Alden Richards, a GMA Network promo, was held on national television and the micro-blogging site Twitter where it trended.
2012-2014: One True Love, Ilustrado and music career
In 2012, Richards played the supporting role of a thief named Rico on the prime time series, My Beloved headlined by Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes. He also acted on the episode “UNOS” (Calamity) of the fourth season of a Holy Week special, Tanikala, presented by Christian Broadcasting Network. Richards starred in his first lead role on a prime time TV series with One True Love, which premiered on June 11, 2012, and was paired again with Louise delos Reyes.
In the series, Richards who played “Tisoy” is a poor guy who is in love with a rich girl. According to him, the series was his biggest break in the show business industry. Richard’s earned his first Best Actor nomination for One True Love in the 2013 Golden Screen TV Awards. It took a while before he had a new television or film project until he was cast as young Simeon (the character played by Bong Revilla) in the historical drama Indio in 2013. According to Richards, he is proud to play the role as young Simeon.
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The story of Richards’ life was featured on drama anthology, Magpakailanman aired in March 2013 (re-aired on September 12, 2015) wherein he portrayed himself. In the same year, Richards and delos Reyes was paired again in the GMA Network melodrama series entitled Mundo Mo’y Akin with actresses Sunshine Dizon and Angelika dela Cruz. Richards’ portrayal on the show earned him another nomination at the 5th Golden Screen TV Awards. On October 25, 2013, Richards signed an exclusive contract with GMA Network.
Richards debuted as a singer through the #SummerCrush episode of the Sunday noontime show, Party Pilipinas in April 2013. He launched his first single, “Haplos”, a revival of Shamrock’s hit song, which surfaced in My Music Store and iTunes on April 5, 2013. The self-titled debut album, Alden Richards, under Universal Records, was released on May 26, 2013. The track “Haplos” was used as soundtrack on his prime time show Mundo Mo’y Akin.
Meanwhile, “Di Na Mababawi” and “Sa Aking Tabi” were used as theme songs for the Filipino-dubbed version koreanovela My Daughter, Seoyoung and morning drama With a Smile respectively. He was featured as Myx Celebrity VJ for the month of June 2013. For his song “Haplos,” Richards was nominated in the “Best Performance by a New Recording Artist” category in the 27th Awit Awards.
On the 6th Star Awards for Music, Richards was nominated for “New Male Recording Artist for the Year” while his self-titled album was nominated for “Album Cover Design and Concept of the Year”.
In 2014, Richards was paired with Marian Rivera in the television series Carmela. The song “Naaalala Ka” from his self-titled album, served as the ending theme for Carmela. He also starred in a short film entitled Kinabukasan with veteran Filipina actress Nora Aunor. He hosted Bet ng Bayan, a talent search television program of GMA Network, together with Regine Velasquez. Close to the end of 2014, he had another television series produced by GMA News and Public Affairs entitled Ilustrado. He played the role of Filipino patriot José Rizal that gave Richards his first Best Actor award from the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television. He was the only nominee from his home network against a field of respected actors from the rival television network.
2015-present: Eat Bulaga!, AlDub and second album
In 2015, Richards became part of the Philippines’ longest running noontime variety show, Eat Bulaga!. He appeared as a host in the segment “That’s My Bae.” On July 16, 2015, Richards was accidentally paired to his Eat Bulaga! co-host Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza during an episode of the “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment. They instantly became a love team, dubbed as AlDub.
Because of their popularity, Eat Bulaga! created a mini-series for AlDub labeled by Joey de Leon as Kalyeserye within the segment “Juan for All, All for Juan.” In Kalyeserye, Richards plays different roles including fictionalized version of himself and as Anselmo.
On August 6, 2015, Richards signed a four-year film contract with APT Entertainment, the film outfit of Eat Bulaga! producer TAPE Inc. In the same month, Richards signed a recording contract with GMA Records. Richards’ second album, Wish I May, was launched on October 17, 2015 in SM City North EDSA Cinema 11.
The album contains two original songs and the rest are renditions. The first single, “Wish I May,” is an original composition by Agat Obar-Morallo and was released earlier for online downloading and streaming in September 2015. The music video of “Wish I May” premiered on October 18, 2015 on GMA Network’s Sunday noontime show Sunday PinaSaya, where Richards is also a co-host.
The single landed on the top spot of iTunes Philippines song charts. The song “Wish I May” is used as the theme song for the series with the same name. The sophomore album earned a gold record award from Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI) prior to being officially launched.
In September 2015, Richards’ self-titled debut album earned a gold record award recognition from PARI and ranked number 10 on Billboard’s World Albums Charts (Billboard). In October 2015, Universal Records released a special edition of the debut album which included AlDub theme song “God Gave Me You” by Bryan White.
In the same month, the album Wish I May received a platinum record award from PARI for selling more than 15,000 copies. In November 2015, his debut album Alden Richards has been certified platinum. As for the album Wish I May, it went on to earn a number of recognition from PARI as it received double platinum in December 2015, triple platinum award on January 21, 2016, quadruple platinum award on February 28, 2016, five times platinum record in March 2016, seven times platinum in July 2016 and eight times platinum in September 2016.
The theme song for GMA Network’s Christmas station ID entitled “MaGMAhalan Tayo Ngayong Pasko” was performed by Richards in 2015. Aside from singing the theme song, Richards also appeared on the station ID music video with Maine Mendoza and the Kalyeserye’s lolas (Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros).
In December 2015, Richards and Mendoza starred in the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival entry My Bebe Love#KiligPaMore. The film headlined by Vic Sotto and Ai-Ai delas Alas and was directed by Jose Javier Reyes. Also in December 2015, Richards together with Mendoza were also given a German Moreno Power Tandem Award.
Richards received a star at the Philippine Walk of Fame on December 1, 2015 at Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City along with his “Kalyeserye” co-stars.
In March 2016, Richards and Mendoza starred in God Gave Me You, a Lenten season drama special of Eat Bulaga!. In July 2016, Imagine You and Me was shown in cinemas as AlDub’s first anniversary offering to fans. In the said film, Richards and Mendoza played as star-crossed lovers and were lead actors for the first time.
In the same month, Richards released a book entitled Alden Richards: In My Own Words under Summit Media. Aside from being a regular host in Eat Bulaga! and Sunday PinaSaya, Richards’ television appearances in 2016 include his participation as a contestant in Lip Sync Battle Philippines and as a guest in the television series That’s My Amboy, which he portrayed himself.
In September 2016, Richards was included in the reboot series of Encantadia as Lakan (a Mulawin character). His first appearance in said fantasy series generated public interest and became a trending topic in a social media website. In the same month, Richards renewed his contract with GMA Network.
Alden Richards Other ventures
Modeling and endorsements
Aside from being an actor, Alden Richards also do modeling stints. In 2010, he was 4th on the list of Candy Magazine’s “Celebrity Cuties” and had his earliest modeling gig at the Candy Fair held in Pasig City. Richards is a brand ambassador for a clothing brand along with co-actors JM De Guzman and Enrique Gil.
In July 2012, Richards, along with Bela Padilla, Kris Bernal and Sarah Lahbati, graced the cover of MEGA Magazine dubbed as “GMA’s new breed of rising talents.” Since then he has continued to appear in a number of magazines, while featuring in several endorsements.
In 2014, Richards became an ambassador for Habitat for Humanity Philippines. In January 2015, Richards celebrated his birthday by building homes alongside other volunteers and families involved with the non-profit organization in Payatas, Quezon City.
While in February 2016, as part of his post-birthday celebration, Richards visits Aeta community in Tarlac for an outreach program. After the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, Richards had been part of relief efforts initiated by GMA Network.
Richards was also part GMA Network’s 2014 Christmas campaign, #ShareTheLove, where he chose children with cancer as his beneficiaries.
Richards became Boardwalk’s ambassador for Young Emerging Sociopreneurs (YES) in September 2015. The campaign is focused on encouraging students to earn money while still in school. Richards also participated in Boardwalk’s Share Campaign where part of the proceeds goes to charity.
Richards was part of Eat Bulaga! Sa Tamang Panahon concert on October 24, 2015 held at the Philippine Arena where 14 million pesos was raised for the program’s AlDub Library Project.
The GMA Network Christmas station ID theme song “MaGMAhalan Tayo Ngayong Pasko” performed by Richards, was released for online downloads. All proceeds went to the beneficiaries of GMA Kapuso Foundation’s relief efforts for Typhoon Lando victims.
Richards also appeared on a charity event for chilldren with serious diseases and a benefit concert entitled For The Love Of Mama on November 23, 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena where proceeds were used for building Kristong Hari Parish Church in Quezon City.
On April 3, 2016, Richards joined other artists in a worship concert entitled Reborn: 1 Walker Worship Concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. Organized by 1Walker Band headed by Regine Velasquez, the worship concert’s proceeds were given to the Anawim Lay Missions Foundation, Inc.
In August 2016, Richards announced that he plans to setup his own foundation to reach out more people who are in need.