Singer, actress, TV host, product endorser, guitarist
Jennylyn Vergara Mercado (born May 15, 1987) is a Filipino actress, singer and songwriter. She gained fame as the winner of the first season of the Philippine TV series StarStruck, a reality search show on GMA Network. She has released three albums from GMA Records and Viva Records which have several popular singles such as "Sa Aking Panaginip," "Moments Of Love" collaboration with Janno Gibbs, "Maybe This Time" and Kahit Sandali."
Mercado started as a recording artist with Alpha Records in 1999 through the recommendation of her voice coach, Susanna Pichay. She was in Nonoy Tan's singing group, G4. Unfortunately the group never released an album because two of the four members dropped out. However, the group was able to record two songs. After G4, Mercado went into commercial modeling and landed a stint with Bambini cologne and a Pond's television advertisement. She was also part of the Elite Circle of 10 Modeling Search where she competed with StarStruck co-finalist, Dion Ignacio.
She released her first album, Living the Dream, containing original compositions of composer Vehnee Saturno, and a carrier single titled "Kahit Sandali". In May 2006, Mercado released her second album Letting Go which included the single "Sa Aking Panaginip" by Vehnee Saturno. Her first major concert was held on May 15, 2006, at the Music Museum in Greenhills. In January 2010, under VIVA Records, she released her third album, Love Is... Jennylyn Mercado. Due to her popularity, she held a birthday concert at the Music Museum, titled I Am Woman in May 2009. The concert was sold-out.
Last 2013, She made a movie comeback with Regal Entertainment with a romantic, sexy film The Bride and the Lover. Her contract with Polyeast Records ended that year. Currently, she is playing the role of a woman who has a split personality. According to her, this is the most challenging role she had ever played. She is going to release her fifth album with GMA Records in late 2014.
Mercado was born on May 15, 1987, to a mother who was a duty-free store beauty consultant. Mercado had a stepfather who abused her as a child. He burned her skin with cigarette butts. Her mother, who was working in Dubai at that time, immediately flew back to the Philippines not to help her daughter, but to bail out Mercado's stepfather, who was in jail for abusing 4-year-old Jennylynn.
Mercado's life story was featured in the weekly drama anthology Magpakailanman in October 14, 2004. She is now the official spokesperson of the Bata Foundation (Christian Mission Services), a non-government organization.
At 21, she got pregnant by her ex-boyfriend Patrick Garcia, who distanced himself upon learning of her pregnancy. On August 16, 2008, she gave birth via Caesarian section (8-9 p.m.) to an 8 pound, 12 ounce (3.68 kg) baby boy at St. Luke's Hospital, Quezon City. Her child's name is Alex Jazz "AJ" Mercado.
On October 28, 2010, Mercado was reportedly rushed to the hospital because of a minor heart attack.