Martin Nievera

Martin Ramon Razon Nievera (/njɛˈvɛərə/; born February 5, 1962) is a Filipino-American singer and television host. In his career spanning more than three decades, Nievera has garnered eighteen platinum, five double platinum, three triple platinum, and one quadruple platinum albums.[5] He is often referred to in the Philippines as the "Concert King".

Martin Nievera
A photograph of Martin Nievera singing
Nievera performing in 2015
Born (1962-02-05) February 5, 1962 (age 59)
Manila, Philippines
  • Philippines
  • United States[1]
  • Singer
  • television host
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active1982–present
(m. 1986; ann. 2000)
Partner(s)Katrina Ojeda (1996[2] – before 2015[3][4])
Children3, including Robin
Musical career
  • Vocals
Associated acts
Martin Nievera

Early lifeEdit

Martin Ramon Razon Nievera was born on February 5, 1962 in Manila to singer Bert Nievera and Conchita Razon.[6][7] He has a twin sister, Victoria[7] (nicknamed "Vicki"[8]); a younger sister, Rachel;[8][9] and many siblings from his parents' other unions.[9][10] His father was a member of the Hawaii-based singing troupe Society of Seven.[6][7] His mother separated with her first husband and fled with the twins to Hawaii when they were three years old to live there with Bert.[11] Attending elementary and high school in Hawaii,[12] he said that he was regularly bullied by his classmates because of his appearance and "I wore a belt and shoes, so they thought belt and shoes meant mayaman ka [you are rich]. I would get beaten up for my lunch money, so my twin sister Vicki would defend me in school. The following day mas nabugbog ako [I was beaten more] because na-defend ako ng babae [I was defended by a girl]."[13]

Nievera developed an interest in music, particularly in singing, at an early age. In their first year in Hawaii, the family resided on the fifteenth floor of the Outrigger Hotel, and the young Nievera "would watch him [his father] perform downstairs with the Society of Seven, and every night I would dream and imagine myself as one of the members of that group, singing for audiences both big and small."[8] While working as a burger flipper at a restaurant that his family owned in Hawaii[14][15][16] or at another family-owned restaurant, called Roadrunner Burgers, in Concord, California[8] (where they would eventually move to), Nievera received singing lessons from his father, learning "how and when to belt and how to end the song in a big way."[8] By the age of fourteen, he was performing with him in Society of Seven shows.[17] Nievera said in 2018, "It all happened in the main showroom in that Outrigger Hotel [...] That room is now known as the Blue Note Hawaii, and I still perform there to this day. It has become a very sacred room for me probably because that's where dad gave me my first set of wings."[8]

"I was actually discovered while singing at the shower in our locker room. I was part of the basketball team, but not a very good one at that, and I intentionally take a shower after everybody else has so it would seem like I had a tough game when I was actually a bench warmer… As I was singing, the wrestling coach passed by and heard me, called out loud and said he should see me at the choir auditions the next day. So I joined the choir and next thing I know I am singing back up (in a choir) for Barry Manilow for his three-day concert, and that’s where I realized that this is what I want to do."

 Martin Nievera[6]

In the 1970s, the family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in California.[6][7] Nievera enrolled at Clayton Valley High School in Concord,[6] where he was a member of the basketball team.[11] He was encouraged by the school's wrestling coach to enter the choir,[6][11] impressed by a rendition of Morris Albert's "Feelings" that Nievera sang while showering in the locker room.[11] Bert posited that his son began to realize "he could sing professionally" when he was sixteen, the same age when he did.[9] Aside from his father, who always supported his singing,[18] Nievera also credits for his talent his Cebuana maternal grandmother, Lourdes Corrales, a famous mezzo-soprano[19] opera singer[11] and radio personality in 1940s Philippines.[20] Unlike his father Bert, his mother Conchita was against his dream, instead wanting him to become a doctor or a lawyer.[18] "She knew what she [his grandmother] and my father went through [...] the [show] business takes a lot out of you," Nievera related and said his mother told him.[18]

After graduating from Clayton Valley in 1980,[6] Nievera joined the 1981 California State Talent Competition in Santa Clara, in which he won. As contestant number 1049, he competed against over four thousand other contestants for "[f]our days long [...] you had to win the first day to compete the second day to compete the third day. The third day was the championship, the fourth day is a championship of all the champions of the different categories. So I won the third day, then I won the overall grand champion." Nievera said of his victory, "It was a big moment in my life. That was when I knew I was gonna be a singer."[21] His winning piece was "The Greatest Love of All", which his father taught him at the restaurant.[22][23]

In c. 1980[24] – c. 1982,[21] Nievera was chosen to perform with American singer Barry Manilow[11][21] at his three-day concert[6] in Concord Pavilion, singing back-up in a choir to the latter's "One Voice".[24] After this experience, he said, "Okay, I'm gonna be a singer."[21] Around this time, when he was nineteen, Nievera's parents were having problems with their relationship. Nievera resented this and attempted to commit suicide. In a 2011 television interview with Boy Abunda, he recalled going to church and venting his anger on God, screaming "What the hell is happening? What else can I do?"[25]


Inspired by his father, Nievera returned to the Philippines in 1982 to begin his own singing career.[6] By June 1983, he released his first LP, Martin...Take One. Nievera began co-hosting the TV variety show The Penthouse Live! with Pops Fernandez, who would later become his wife.[6] Nievera's second LP was 1984's The Best Gift. In 1987, The Penthouse Live! was changed to Martin and Pops Twogether, in celebration of their marriage. His recording Forever led to two sequels, Forever Forever and Return to Forever.

As an actor, Nievera has appeared in eleven films, and seven television series and specials. Nievera's film credits include dramas, romance, science fiction, comedy and action.[6]

He appeared with Hawaii's Society of Seven and Lani Misalucha at the Flamingo Las Vegas from February 13 to April 13, 2008. He performed a pre-Valentine/post-birthday concert with Pops Fernandez titled "Missing You" on February 6, 2009, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. He co-hosts the weekly music show ASAP on ABS-CBN.

In July 2010, Nievera's album, As Always was released. In May 2011, his album, Himig ng Damdamin was launched and contains all of his covers. In March 2012, he was announced as one of the four celebrity judges of The X Factor Philippines, which aired on ABS-CBN by the second quarter of 2012.[26]

In 2018, Nievera won the Myx Magna Award at the Myx Music Awards for his contributions to music as a singer and also for being a talk show host and comedian.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Giving Body Category Nominated Work Results
2008 Awit Awards Best Performance by a Male Recording Artist (People's Choice Award) "Hard Habit to Break" Won
Best Performance by a Male Recording Artist (Performance Award) "Hard Habit to Break" Nominated
GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards Male Concert Performer of the Year N/A Won
2009 GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards Male Recording Artist of the Year Milestone Won[27]
2010 GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards Male Concert Performer of the Year N/A Won
2018 MYX Music Awards MYX Magna Award N/A Won


  • Martin... Take One (1983)
  • The Best Gift (1984)
  • Martin (1985)
  • Miracle (1987)
  • A Martin Nievera Christmas (1988)
  • Dream (1989)
  • A New Start (1991)
  • Roads (1994)
  • Journeys (1997)
  • Forever (1998)
  • Forever, Forever (1999)
  • Return to Forever (1999)
  • Chasing Time (2002)
  • Chasing Time II (2003)
  • Unforgettable (2004)
  • When Love is Gone (2005)
  • Awit ng Puso (2006)
  • Milestones (2007)
  • Ikaw Ang Pangarap (2008)
  • My Christmas List (2008)
  • For Always (2009)
  • As 1 (with Gary Valenciano) (2009)
  • As Always (2010)
  • Himig ng Damdamin (2010)
  • Mga Awit at Damdamin (2012)
  • 3D: Tatlong Dekada (2012)
  • Big Mouth, Big Band (2014)
  • Kahapon... Ngayon (2016)




  • Always and Forever (1986)
  • Si Mister at Si Misis (1986)
  • Payaso (1986)
  • Shoot That Ball (1987)
  • Stupid Cupid (1988)
  • Maria Went to Town! (1988)
  • Sa Puso Ko Hahalik Ang Mundo (1988)
  • Magic to Love (1989)
  • Adarna: The Mythical Bird (1997)
  • Alyas Boy Tigas: Ang Probinsyanong Wais (1998)
  • Masikip sa Dibdib (2004)
  • Wrinkles (2006)


  1. ^ Villanueva, Marichu A. (May 11, 2009). "It's the singer, not the song". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Lo, Ricky (August 26, 2001). "Martin Nievera: The highs & the lows". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Pineda, Cherry (October 12, 2015). "The Third Party: rumors and stories of infidelity in celebrity relationships". Push. ABS-CBN Digital Media. Retrieved October 13, 2019. [...] Martin and then girlfriend Katrina Ojeda settled in the US. They had a son named Santino before they eventually separated reportedly because of another woman.
  4. ^ "9 celebrity breakups caused by third party #7". ABS-CBN News. June 21, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2019. [...] Nievera and his then-girlfriend Katrina Ojeda lived in the United States.
  5. ^ "ASAP XV's 24K Gold and 6th Platinum Circle Awards (2010) Winners: Sarah Geronimo, Jovit Baldivino, Christian Bautista & more". My Kiru. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lu, Monet (May 27, 2017). "Martin Nievera: The man who would be 'king'". Asian Journal. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "Martin Nievera, Cristine Reyes celebrate birthdays". ABS-CBN News. February 5, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Libero-Cruz, Grace (April 16, 2018). "Exclusive: "Forever Proud To Be 'The Son Of Bert Nievera'"—Martin Nievera Gives Tribute To His Late Dad". Metro. ABS-CBN. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Lo, Ricky (October 14, 2001). "The sad and happy ballads of Bert Nievera". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Ramirez, Joanne Rae M. (December 11, 2008). "Classmates". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Magandang Buhay: Martin Nievera talks about his childhood". ABS-CBN. August 19, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved October 9, 2018 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "Interview: Philippines Superstar Martin Nievera". Hawaii News Now. May 13, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "TWBA: Martin puts captions on his memorable photos". ABS-CBN. May 23, 2016 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "THE LIST: Celebs who started out as restaurant staff". ABS-CBN News. January 18, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  15. ^ "Before they were stars: 7 celebs who worked in restaurants". ABS-CBN News. July 7, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  16. ^ Lo, Ricky (March 27, 2004). "Martin: I go wherever my music takes me". Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  17. ^ Sancon, Allan (November 12, 2012). "Martin Nievera recalls highlights of his career; admits separation from ex-wife Pops Fernandez was "very first slap on my face"". Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c "A very Personal Interview with Martin Nievera". Fan TV Global Network. March 27, 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved October 16, 2018 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ Alpad, Christina (August 21, 2016). "Martin Nievera: The past, the present and accompanying lessons". The Manila Times. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Music in the Philippines after Liberation". Filipinas Heritage Library. Ayala Foundation. Archived from the original on March 20, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d Gonzales, Rommel (February 2, 2016). "Martin Nievera recounts how he became back-up singer for Barry Manilow (FUNNY STORY!)". Philippine Entertainment Portal. GMA Network. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  22. ^ Abunda, Boy (January 31, 2002). "The songs in Martin Nievera's life". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 10, 2018 – via
  23. ^ Lo, Ricky (June 9, 2011). "Martin: The soundtrack of his life". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Lo, Ricky (August 22, 2016). "Martin: Then & Now". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  25. ^ Villena, G. (October 17, 2011). "The bottom line on Boy and Martin". Yahoo News Singapore. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  26. ^ "Martin Nievera wants to audition for X-Factor". 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  27. ^ "40th Box Office Entertainment Awards given out". Retrieved 2014-05-21.

External linksEdit