Music Hero was a Filipino pop band composed of young and talented musicians who are all products of Eat Bulaga!'s music competition of the same name.
The group was dubbed by the noontime show as an “elite revolutionary band” because of the variety of musical instruments each member plays. Its final line-up before its disbandment included Manly Ocampo (vocals), Rangel Fernandez (vocals), Fender Dimalanta (electric guitar), Joaquin Rodrigo (drums), RD Benavides (bass guitar), and Brian Feliciano (keyboard).
In addition to regularly performing on the longest-running noontime show, Music Hero occasionally covered popular songs which are posted on their social media accounts. One of the band's notable covers was its anime medley that went viral online, earning millions of views on Facebook and YouTube.
The group released their debut single on June 2018 titled "Walang Papalit". It immediately topped Spotify Philippines’ Viral playlist and also earned spots on the music-streaming site’s local Top 200 Pop and All Genre tracts. The song also ranked second by the end of June in World Music Awards’ Top 10 Digital Tracks in the country.
After their initial success, Music Hero released more singles including "Fix My Heart" (2018), "KLWKN" (2019), and "LDR" (2019).
The group disbanded in June 2020.
August 2016–May 2017: Music Hero competition and band formation
Music Hero is a music competition on Eat Bulaga! that gave the spotlight to instrumentalists that began in August 2016. The first edition featured musicians ages 19 years old and below who are skilled at playing any musical instruments.
Throughout its run, the contestants went through a series of elimination rounds before being narrowed down into twenty-one musicians from eight different instrument categories: keyboard, violin, bass guitar, woodwind, acoustic guitar, drums, saxophone, and electric guitar. Grand finals for each categories were then held in order to further narrow them down into eight finalists for the show's championship round. The eight championship competitors were Jim Tan (keyboards), Dominique Casacop (violin), Zild Benitez (bass guitar), Brian Feliciano (woodwind), Radlee Laquian (acoustic guitar), Joaquin Rodrigo (drums), Josh Espinosa (saxophone), and Blaster Silonga (electric guitar).
In March 2017, seventeen-year-old electric guitarist Blaster Silonga of Marikina City was proclaimed as The Ultimate Music Hero of the competition, receiving ₱500,000 in cash prize.
After the competition, seven of the eight grand finalists became regular performers of the noontime show and became known as the Music Hero band. At that time, the band consisted of Zild Benitez, Dominique Casacop, Brian Feliciano, Joaquin Rodrigo, Blaster Silonga, Radlee Laquian, and Jim Tan. However, the band's growth was limited because of the lack of a lead vocalist.
June 2017– May 2018: Search for a lead vocalist, departure of Zild and Blaster
In order to find a lead vocalist for its newly-formed band, Eat Bulaga! introduced the second edition of its music competition titled Music Hero: The Vocal Battle. The segment premiered in June 2017. More than forty contestants competed against each other through the various elimination rounds of the contest in hopes of becoming the frontman of the band.
At some point in the middle of the search for the band's lead vocalist, bass guitarist Zild Benitez and Ultimate Music Hero and electric guitarist Blaster Silonga left the Music Hero band to continue pursuing a separate career with their already existing band called IV of Spades. Both Zild and Blaster have been members of IV of Spades since 2014. They joined the Music Hero competition during a brief hiatus of their band. They were replaced by fellow Music Hero contestants Fender Dimalanta (electric guitar) and Jay-R Corre (bass).
After participating in a rigorous nine-month-long vocal battle, Manly Ocampo, the 19-year-old "Pop-Ballad Stud" of Calamba, Laguna, was proclaimed as the ultimate champion of the competition in February 2018. He took home ₱500,000 as a cash prize and became the frontman of Eat Bulaga!'s homegrown pop band. Grand finalist Rangel Fernandez, the "Angelic Songstress" of Quezon City joined the band afterwards as the second lead vocalist.
Afterwards, the band became a mainstay group on Eat Bulaga!, performing regularly every Saturday and on most weekdays. The group also became notable for videos of song covers and medleys, which have garnered thousands of views on social media. One of the band's notable covers is its 1990s anime soundtrack medley that went viral online, earning millions of views on Facebook and YouTube.
June 2018–November 2019: Debut single and continued success
In June 2018, Eat Bulaga! released the debut single of Music Hero titled "Walang Papalit" on the show's official YouTube channel. The band had full creative control of the song, especially with the arrangement and style. The band took about a month to record the song. Despite their different backgrounds and instruments, the members worked together to give it a different flavor and take advantage of the full band.
The debut single immediately topped Spotify Philippines’ Viral playlist and also earned spots on the music-streaming site’s local Top 200 Pop and All Genre tracts. The song also ranked second by the end of June in World Music Awards’ Top 10 Digital Tracks in the country. As of August 2019, the video has received more than 11 million views on Eat Bulaga!'s YouTube channel.
After its successful debut single, Music Hero released its second single in August 2018 titled "Fix My Heart". Unlike the soft rock vibe of the debut single, "Fix My Heart" had a more upbeat teen pop rock style with a catchy and dance-able tune.
In February 2019, Music Hero released its third single "KLWKN" (pronounced Kalawakan, transl. "vastness of space"). The hit song was described as as gentle and heart-fluttering acoustic tune that uses cosmic, metaphoric images to portray how it feels like to be in the company of someone you dearly love. The chart-topping single even earned the band the chance to perform it live on the Wish 107.5 Bus. As of late May 2020, their Wishclusive video has 2.22 million views. Their fourth single was released in August 2019 titled "LDR (Laging Di Ramdam)", and eventually performed live on the Wish Bus.
December 2019–June 2020: Disbandment
By the end of 2019, Jay-R Corre, Radlee Laquian, Jim Tan, and Dominique Casacop left the group.
In June 2020, the official Facebook page of the band changed the description of its About section, leaving only the single word "disbanded". Its Facebook profile picture was also replaced with a black square image on 2 June 2020, possibly to participate in the global movement known as Blackout Tuesday to protest against the murder of George Floyd and police brutality. However, the band's Facebook profile picture remained unchanged even after the one-day event, which further indicates their disbandment.
Despite the disbandment, Manly Ocampo and Fender Dimalanta appeared in the opening production of Eat Bulaga! on 25 July 2020 to sing their hit songs "KLWKN" and "Walang Papalit".
- Manly Ocampo – lead vocals (2017–2020)
- Rangel Fernandez – lead vocals (2017–2020)
- Fender Dimalanta – electric guitar (2017–2020)
- Joaquin Rodrigo – drums (2017–2020)
- RD Benavides – keyboard, bass guitar (2017–2020)
- Brian Feliciano – saxophone, keyboard (2017–2020)
- Jay-R Corre – bass guitar (2017–2019)
- Radlee Laquian – acoustic guitar (2017–2019)
- Jim Tan – keyboard (2017–2019)
- Dominique Casacop – violin (2017–2019)
- Zild Benitez – bass guitar (2017)
- Blaster Silonga – electric guitar (2017)
|"Walang Papalit"||12 June 2018|
|"Fix My Heart"||3 August 2018|
|"KLWKN"||1 February 2019|
|"LDR (Laging Di Ramdam)"||18 August 2019|