was born in Canada. Thus, he does not possess his mother's maiden name which is Gonzales.(Born May 24, 2001) He is a Filipino-Canadian singer. Born in Calgary to Filipino parents.At ten years old, he won the Masters Finals of the Pinoy Singing Sensation competition in Edmonton. He made his first television appearance at the age of ten when he joined YTV's reality television The Next Star in 2012, he became the youngest finalist in the history of the show to be included in the Top 6. However, he rose to prominence after joining the first season of the The Voice Kids Philippines. In August 2014, Espanto became part of ABS-CBN's Star Magic.[1]

At age 12, he became the youngest artist who had 5 single records at the age of 12, and the youngest artist to have an all original solo album.[2]Template:Failed verification He was also the youngest artist who staged a major solo concert at age 13.[3]Template:Failed verification He was also the youngest artist in the world whose two songs placed number 1 and 2 in the iTunes Chart Single category[4]Template:Failed verification less than 10 hours after it has been uploaded, and the youngest performer to perform at the Mall of Asia Arena for his birthday concert on May 29. Most of Espanto's shows and concerts were sold out.Template:Citation needed

Espanto released his first full-length self-titled studio album, Darren, in December 2014. It debuted number 1 on Philippine charts of Apple's iTunes store and Astro Chart, and is now a certified Platinum. In May 2016, he released his sophomore album entitled Be With Me featuring the carrier single "7 Minutes".

Personal lifeEdit

Early lifeEdit

Espanto was born on May 24, 2001 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the first child of Filipino nurses Marinel Gonzales and Lyndon Espanto, who emigrated from Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija, Philippines, respectively[5][6] He also has a younger sister named Lynelle, a six years old girl.[7] Despite living in Canada, his parents taught him Filipino language, particularly Tagalog, and he has been fluent in it his whole life, saying: "When I went home from school, when I'm still speaking English they will tell me 'you are not in the school anymore,[Note 1]

Espanto started singing at the age of two. Espanto stated that: "When I was little, I would listen to some songs and I'd try to copy the tune to it."[8] As a toddler, Espanto serenaded his parents with the tunes from The Lion King and Sleeping Beauty in their home, which led to his relatives to discover his singing potential and urged him to pursue and hone his raw talent.[9][10][11] His parents were supportive of his dreams and talents, his father taught him the basics of singing, and his mother who was a choreographer during high school days, helped him infuse dance into his singing performances.[8][11]


At age 12, Darren attended Grade 6 at St. Jude Elementary in Calgary,[12] before traveling to the Philippines in 2014 for The Voice Kids. After passing the auditions, he returned to Canada to write his advanced test in St. Cyril School, before returning to the Philippines. During this time, his cousin was with him, while his parents stayed in Canada with his younger sister.[7]

He, along with the other The Voice Kids finalists received a ₱350,000 scholarship from Eton International School.[13]


Espanto cites music inspirations as varied as Bruno Mars, Sia, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.[8] Espanto stated in an interview with that he is truly being inspired by a lot of Filipino singers, "I idolized Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Jed Madela, Lani Misalucha, coach Sarah Geronimo.[Note 2][14]


At age 10, Espanto won during the Main Edition Finals of the Pinoy Singing Sensation competition in Edmonton on August 20, 2011, singing "Alone" by Celine Dion.[5][15]

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