To live different lives must be fun — if not, then why is Jeannahlyn Alcano-Lord having a grand time? Lovingly known as Gaga Lord, the 41-year-old Filipina works as a dinner lady by day and a performer by night.
On a regular day of grinding, she heads to bars and lounges making audiences groove after serving meals in a primary school.
A comedian, a dancer, and a singer, Gaga is an ultimate performer rolled into one. With her infectious laughter and perpetual energy, she captures the hearts of everyone watching and listening to her. Seeing Gaga perform so exhilaratingly, complete with high kicks and hip shaking, it’s almost a sin not to get up and dance with the singer.
Gaga’s love for music goes back a long way, looking up to the iconic and incomparable Tina Turner as an influence. At the early age of 17, after graduating high school, she became a drummer at a band and was able to perform in countries outside the Philippines, such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Borneo. After years of performing, Gaga has rightfully earned her stripes. Naturally entertaining and having contagious humour, she eventually became the front singer of the band eight years later.
The Life That Wasn’t as Gaga as Her Name
Oozing with charm and energy — that’s how many would describe Gaga. However, those words fall short to encompass her personality and story. Gaga was from Calamba, Misamis Occidental and led a tough life in the Philippines, growing without her parents by her side.
When she took her chance abroad, things weren’t easy at first. Among the many challenges she had to bear is the longing for the home and family she had left in the Philippines. Notwithstanding this, she got by and managed to make the best of things. “It was very difficult when you feel homesick, but always look on the brighter side of life. In everything, give thanks for this is the will of God”, Gaga recalls her first few years abroad.
Caught up with her new life, Gaga had to stop performing for quite some time, a break which stretched to a decade-long hiatus. Fortunately, a new opportunity to jumpstart her singing career, though unexpected, soon came.
An Accidental Bond Girl
What started as a far-fetched idea between friends had led to a wonderful journey, albeit a nerve-racking experience for Gaga Lord. In her spontaneous audition for The X Factor UK, she had breathed a new life into classic Shirley Bassey song, Diamonds Are Forever, and wowed all four judges.
That audition did not only earn her the ticket to the show’s boot camp stage at Wembley Arena; it also gave her the chance to dance with two stunning celebrities Nicole Scherzinger and Alesha Dixon. And the three of them gave us a glimpse of the world’s latest—and must we say, sexiest—Bond girls.
“I achieved my singing career to a different level.”
Even though Gaga didn’t get through the boot camp, The X Factor had opened doors for her. She is now juggling gigs and bookings across the UK while working as a dinner lady. Keen to make it big, she plans to grab every opportunity that comes along. At present, Gaga is living in Middlesbrough with her husband Chris and daughter, whom she brought to the Philippines a couple of years ago for vacation.
Jeannahlyn Alcano-Lord — the Filipina who wowed the X Factor judges and now continues to pursue her passion for singing at 41 — has a message for everyone who wants to make it as well. “Don’t lose hope. As a personal experience, I ceased performing on stage for over 10 years because I thought it’s the end of my career. Then I realised you’ll never get too old to sing.”