Arnel Pineda, was living in poverty in Manila, Philippines, when his friend believed in his singing abilities so much that he posted videos of Arnel singing classic hits like Journey and Rush on YouTube.
American rock band, Journey, from San Francisco, is known for their hits, “Open Arms,” “Who’s Cryin’ Now,” “Faithfully,” and “Don’t Stop Believin,’” sung by lead singer Steve Perry (1977-1987 and 1995-1998) and, Steve Augeri (1998-2006). In 2007, they were looking for a new lead singer, and Journey’s guitarist, Neal Schon, spent hours on the internet looking for someone who could fill the shoes. He stated in his eleventh hour online, right when he was about to call it quits, he found, Arnel Pineda. Cast with doubts, Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon, were wondering if Arnel was too far away to contact, could he speak English, and would he be able to handle the emotional wear and tear and rigorous touring lifestyle. They decided to contact him and fly him to the States for an audition.
When Arnel’s friend read the email that stated, “Do you want to sing with Journey,” he stated, “I think this is the break we have been waiting for.” Cast with doubts, Arnel thought it was a hoax, and that if it were real, he would have to prove himself to all the haters. Having to sing for his Visa to audition in the States, Arnel, was granted permission, made the cut, and the rest is history for this, “Elvis of the Phillipines.”