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PIA Press Release

PGMA presents Presidential Citation to 2-time Grammy Awards winner Richard Lyn Carpenter

Manila (14 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo presented today a Presidential Citation to two-time Grammy Awards winner pop musician Richard Carpenter in recognition of his exemplary contribution to the music industry in America and the rest of the world, including the Philippines.

The Presidential Citation handed by the President to Richard, best known as one-half of the brother/sister duo the Carpenters, along with his sister Karen, during a call at Malacanang's Music Room at noon today.

The citation recognized Carpenter's "unbounded dedication to his craft" as well as his "strong influence to Filipino musicians."

The President informed Carpenter that Filipinos strongly appreciated his music and "we are such a great fan of yours here in the Philippines."

"I understand you and some Asian countries like Japan, Korea and Hong Kong strongly appreciate my melody," Carpenter, who was wearing a Paul Cabral–designed barong, said as he thanked the President for the citation.

"I don't know what to say. I'm most happy to be in this position," he said.

He added that Americans no longer appreciate his music because of the influx of new artists and musicians, to which the President answered that his music are still appreciated by the Filipinos until now.

Carpenter was accompanied by his wife May Elizabeth, Claire de la Fuente or popularly known as the "Karen Carpenter of the Philippines, his lyricist, and Viva Films' June Rufino.

After the brief call, the President and Carpenter proceeded to the Kalayaan Presidential Broadcast Studio where the musical genius from New Haven, Connecticut, serenaded the Chief Executive with the songs "Yesterday Once More," and "I Have You" using a baby grand piano.

The President gamely joined in singing "I Have You" to the delight of the audience.

The pop musician was then treated to a simple lunch prepared by the chefs and students of the Asian Institute of Culinary Arts at the Kalayaan Garden.

The menu included steamed rice, beef tenderloin, chicken and pork adobo, mixed green salad, egg noodles with shitake mushrooms, kesong puti and the Filipino all-time favorite -- halo-halo as dessert.

Their distinctively soft musical style made the Carpenters one of the best-selling musical acts of all time, with timeless classics such as Billboard Top 40 singles "Close To You," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days And Mondays," "Superstar," "Hurting Each Other," "Yesterday Once More," "I Won't Last A Day Without You," and "There's A Kind Of Hush."

Richard composed many of their songs that included "Goodbye to Love," the first pop ballad to have a fuzz guitar solo, "Top of the World," their only Top 10 country song (number 1), "Yesterday Once More" (number 2) and "Only Yesterday" (number 4). (OPS) [top]

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