Having popularized many iconic ‘90s hits, April Boy Regino is truly a great loss to the OPM industry.
The singer passed away on Sunday, November 29, as announced by his younger brother Vingo Regino through a Facebook post. He was 59 years old.
Dubbed as the “Idol ng Masa,” April Boy was born Dennis Regino M. Magdaraog on April 9 in Marikina. Born to an impoverished family, April Boy was only able to attain a grade school education.
Together with his younger brothers Vingo and Jimmy, they jumpstarted their music journey as the group April Boys. Their first hit was the 1993 song “Sana’y Laging Magkapiling”. Eventually, they got to popularize many other ‘90s songs such as “Honey My Love (So Sweet),” “Sana’y Mahalin Mo Rin Ako,” and “Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Mamahalin,” just to name a few.
As solo performer, April Boy rose to massive stardom for his 1997 novelty hit “Di Ko Kayang Tanggapin,” which even had signature dance moves that people still know up to this day. He also became known for his caps, which he usually gives out to the audience during performances.
April Boy also released more music that became iconic such as “Umiiyak Ang Puso,” “Esperanza,” and “Paano Ang Puso Ko,” among others. He appeared in movies and had some of his hits as movie and television series theme songs. He also had dance songs like “Sabi ng Puso Ko” and “Ye Ye Bonnel.”
With his success, he was able to perform in many concerts in and out of the Philippines, including in the United States where he settled down at one time.
In his Rated K interview in 2014, April Boy expressed his gratitude for the success that he received. “Salamat po sa Diyos at siyempre po nabigyan ko po ng magandang pamumuhay ‘yung pamilya ko. Nabigyan ko pong kasaganahan. Saka napagtapos ko po ‘yung anak ko. Di po ba ako, hindi ako nakapag-aral ho, eh. Hanggang grade school lang ho ako, eh. Hindi ko po alam na maaabot ko po ‘yung ganitong tagumpay,” he said.
Unfortunately, April Boy suffered a series of illnesses in the years after. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which he eventually recovered from. Sadly, he had a heart ailment after and was advised to rest and limit his activities including holding concerts. He also suffered from diabetes, which caused him to almost lose his eyesight.
In his struggle, he was able to write the Gospel song “Tanging Hiling,” which was also part of the last album he released.
Last April, his wife posted on Facebook a short clip of the singer celebrating his birthday in California.
April Boy is survived by his wife Madel, daughter Charmaine, and son JC who is also a singer.