“Glee” star and Philippine singing sensation Charice Pempengco is on her way home to the Philippines after learning that her estranged father was killed there Monday, stabbed to death with an ice pick.
The 19-year-old singer, who plays Sunshine Corazon on “Glee,” has been in Singapore preparing to sing in this week’s two “David Foster and Friends” concerts scheduled there. Instead, she explained to her fans on Twitter, she’ll travel home to be with her mourning family.
“”I am very sorry to all my fans from Singapore,” she tweeted. ”I have to go back to the Philippines as soon as possible to be with my family. I hope you all understand. I love you all and I will see you next year.”
Pempengco’s 40-year-old father, Ricky, was reportedly at a grocery store Monday in the singer’s hometown of San Pedro, near Manila, in the Philippines, when he brushed up against a drunk man.
The man retaliated by stabbing Pempengco with an ice pick in the chest and back, according to the Laguna province police chief, Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz.
The suspect, whom Pempengco apparently did not know, remains on the loose. Police in the Philippines are offering a $470 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Local reports said Charice Pempengco had long been estranged from her dad after her mom left him when the singer and her younger brother were young children.
But in another Twitter message to her fans, this one written in her native language, Pempengco spoke highly of her dad, saying, “We had a really great relationship,” and, “He’s still my Dad, after all.”
“I loved him and I will still love him,” she added.
Singing since she was 4, with a voice she credits to her mother, Pempengco burst onto the international stage at 5 when a YouTube video of her singing grew into an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
She parlayed her 15 minutes of fame into appearances on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the recurring role on “Glee” and a recording career.
Her second studio album, “Infinity,” was released earlier this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.