Arnel Pineda

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Arnel Pineda
Pineda performing in 2009
Pineda performing in 2009
Background information
Birth nameArnel Campaner Pineda[1]
Born (1967-09-05) September 5, 1967 (age 55)
Tondo, Manila, Philippines
OriginSampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1982–present
Member ofJourney
Formerly of
  • Ijos Band
  • Amo
  • New Age
  • Most W@nted
  • The Zoo

Arnel Campaner Pineda (born September 5, 1967)[1] is a Filipino singer and songwriter. He came to prominence in the Philippines during the 1980s and internationally in 2007 as the lead singer of the American rock band Journey.[2]

Early life[edit]

Arnel Pineda was born on September 5, 1967, at St. Jude Thaddeus Diagnostic Clinic in Tondo, Manila, to Restituto Lising Pineda and Josefina Manansala Campaner.[1] His mother instilled his love for singing at an early age, encouraging him to sing along to her favorite singers[3] like Karen Carpenter and Barbra Streisand. Growing up, his parents entered him in many singing contests.[4]

His mother, who had been suffering from heart disease, died when he was 13 years old. Her illness had left their family deep in debt.[5] Being more than six months behind on their apartment rent and unable to sufficiently provide for the family, his father decided to move out and ask relatives to take in Pineda's siblings. To ease his father's burden, Pineda quit school and started working.

He spent about two years on the streets, sleeping wherever he could: in public parks, or on a narrow bench outside a friend's crowded house. He earned meager money by collecting glass bottles, newspapers, and scrap metal and selling them to recyclers. He would also go to the pier with his friends and take on odd jobs like cleaning scrap metal and docked ships. He didn't have much to eat, sometimes rationing a small package of Marie biscuit as food for two days.[6]


In 1982, when Pineda was 15 years old, he became the lead singer of the Filipino group Ijos. He used to sing in a Shakey's Pizza Parlor on Taft Street in Manila. In 1986, some members of Ijos formed a group called Amo. Amo entered and won the Rock Wars contest in the Philippines.[7]

In 1988, Amo entered and won the Philippines leg of the Yamaha World Band Explosion. They went on to the finals in Hong Kong, but were not qualified to win due to a technicality. The rules stated the winning song had to be an original composition. However, they also stated that the song entry in the finals had to be the same song with which the band won their country's leg of the competition. Amo's winning song in the Philippines was Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". After the contest, the band continued as Amo, performing live. They opened for Robert Palmer in Manila in 1989.[7] Amo played in clubs in Quezon City, Olongapo City and Makati, which are in Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines. Amo was very popular in the Chinese-owned California Jam club in Olongapo City, which was frequented by United States military personnel.[7]

In 1990, Pineda and other members of Amo formed another band called Intensity Five and once again entered the Yamaha World Band Explosion. Pineda won the Best Vocalist award and the band came in as first runner up.[7]

Later in 1990, five of Amo's original members split from the band leader, Ulysis Ablang and formed another band behind Pineda, New Age. This occurred prior to the release of Amo's only album released in 1990 titled Ang Tunay na Amo ("The Real Master") on BMG records which spawned one popular radio hit called "Running Away". (The song gained recognition in 2006 by another Filipino artist Erik Santos, who won a Filipino TV talent show, Star in a Million.) The remaining members of Amo went on to become The Boss Band, while Pineda's band, New Age, played regularly at Fire and Rain in Makati.[citation needed]

In 1991, during one of those performances, a talent agent spotted Pineda and New Age and asked them to move to Hong Kong to perform at a very popular entertainment restaurant called Grammy's. With New Age, Pineda performed six nights a week, Tuesday through to Sunday, for several years thereafter.[7] After a long-term serious relationship failed in 1994, Pineda suffered health problems, which almost destroyed his voice. He then returned to the Philippines. After six months of recuperation, he was able to sing again.[7][8] He returned to Hong Kong and resumed singing with his band. In 1998, the owner of Igor's, a horror-themed restaurant/nightclub in Hong Kong, asked New Age to perform there. Dressed in skeleton outfits, they called themselves The Rolling Bones.[7]

In 1999, Pineda caught the attention of Warner Bros. record label and flew back to the Philippines on his days off to record a solo album, the self-titled Arnel Pineda. Most of the album's ten original songs were slow ballads, with only two upbeat numbers, one of which carries a Latin style. One of the songs, "Iiyak Ka Rin" ("You Will Cry Too") became a karaoke favorite in Asia, while another song "Sayang" ("Too Bad") became a radio favorite. Pineda wrote and arranged several songs. He continued to perform with New Age while making his album and for several years thereafter. In 2001, Pineda sang one song, "Looking Glass", with Filipino band South Border on their album The Way We Do. Earlier that year, Pineda formed a new band, eventually called 9mm, and played around the city's top bars including the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati. The band played a three-month stint at The Edge in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong, in 2002.[citation needed]

In 2004, three members of New Age reformed with a female singer sharing lead vocals with Pineda and called themselves Most W@nted. This band played 3–4-hour sets Monday through Saturday at The Cavern Club in Hong Kong.[9] On their only day off, Sunday, the band often performed at Filipino community events.

In 2005, Pineda recorded the theme song of the short-lived Filipino radio show Dayo. A band named The Visitors was briefly formed for promotion purposes of the Dayo soundtrack consisting of three members from Ijos/Yjoz, Amo, New Age and Most W@nted.[7]

The Zoo[edit]

In 2006, encouraged by well-respected Filipino talent manager and TV director Bert de Leon, Pineda moved back to the Philippines with Monet Cajipe, the guitarist who had been in all of Pineda's previous bands. They formed The Zoo with Emil Bondoc on bass, Edgar Mendoza on keyboards, and Mckoy Alcantara on drums. They signed on with de Leon's company, Sundance Entertainment Corporation. The Zoo performed several nights a week at clubs in Manila and Olongapo during 2006 and 2007. Shows regularly spanned 3–5 hours. The Zoo's first album Zoology was released by MCA Universal in September 2007 featuring 12 original tracks and one cover song ("Pain in My Heart" was originally recorded a decade earlier by Second Wind), five of which were penned by Pineda, and another was co-written by Pineda and Mark Valliente.[10][11]


Pineda in 2008

Videos of The Zoo performing cover songs by Journey, Survivor, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Stryper and other popular acts from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, began appearing on YouTube in February 2007. On June 28, 2007, Neal Schon of Journey contacted Noel Gomez, a longtime fan and friend of Pineda who had uploaded many of these videos, to ask for Pineda's contact information.[12] Schon sent an e-mail to Pineda inviting him to audition for Journey. Pineda initially dismissed the e-mail as a hoax, but after being persuaded by Gomez, he finally replied to Schon's e-mail. Ten minutes later, Pineda received a phone call from Schon.[13] On August 12,[14] Pineda, along with his manager Bert de Leon, flew to Marin County, just north of San Francisco, for a week of auditioning.[15][16] The star-struck Pineda was welcomed warmly but he described the audition as "nerve-wracking, tense".[17] On December 5, 2007, Pineda was announced as the new lead singer of Journey.[18]

Pineda debuted as the lead singer of Journey on February 21, 2008, at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival held at the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater in Viña del Mar, Chile.[19][20]

Chilean media acclaimed Pineda's performance (translated to English): "The new vocalist fits very well with the band, his vocal aptitudes shining through, which are very similar to the legendary musician of the band, Steve Perry."[21] Journey keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Cain described Pineda's performance in a radio interview: "We went to Chile just recently, where we had never played and they went crazy, they absolutely went nuts...Arnel's first show — talk about a stressful thing — we had a televised concert for 25 million people...Is the guy a winner? Yeah, he's a winner. He's a clutch player."[22]

Journey returned to the United States for a private RE/MAX Convention event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 6, 2008, then performed at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood on March 8, 2008 (this concert was recorded and used, in part, for the Revelation DVD).[citation needed]

On February 1, 2009, he performed with Journey at the Super Bowl XLIII pregame show.[23]

Revelation album and tour[edit]

Journey's first album with Pineda, Revelation, debuted at No. 5 in the Billboard Top 200 album charts in the week following its release (released June 3, 2008), and remained in the Top 20 for six weeks. It was certified gold by the RIAA with more than 336,000 units sold within the first few days.[24] It achieved platinum status by October 1, 2009.

The US version of the album (distributed exclusively through Wal-Mart) consists of ten new songs ("Faith in the Heartland" was co-written and originally recorded by vocalist Steve Augeri and S. Augeri is credited as songwriter in the liner notes of this album) and 12 re-recorded classics, plus a live-in-concert DVD filmed during the March 8, 2008, concert in Las Vegas. The European version distributed through Frontiers Records contains 11 new songs, 11 re-recorded classics, plus one new bonus track, but does not include the DVD. All of the music on Revelation was produced by Kevin Shirley (who previously worked with Journey on their Platinum-certified Trial by Fire album).[25]

Jonathan Cain described the album in an interview:

We recorded our greatest hits with our brand new singer from the Philippines, Arnel Pineda, and it's unbelievable when you listen to it. We paid a lot of attention to the details because everybody loves those hits and we weren't about to step all over it...We're excited because we think Arnel is the future for our franchise...We knew that if we were ever gonna move on, we had to get somebody that was really gonna be our future and sound like Journey is supposed to sound...I think Journey fans are in for a real treat.[22]

In an interview soon after Pineda joined the band, Neal Schon said:

We feel reborn. I think there's a lot of chemistry among the five of us. At first we were going to go into the studio and just write 4 songs, but now it's escalated to a lot of great new and diverse material. The stuff sounds tremendous. Everyone's so stoked about it. We feel very fortunate to have found Arnel.[26]

Journey's 2008 tour accompanying the release of Revelation began on June 8, 2008, in Spain, followed by four dates in Germany, and one date in the Netherlands. Journey toured the United Kingdom and Ireland from June 17 through June 28, 2008. The US tour (with Heart and Cheap Trick) began on July 9, 2008, in Denver, Colorado, and continued through October 4, 2008, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Many dates were already sold out well in advance. Pineda celebrated his 41st birthday on September 5, 2008, during a concert at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ontario. In September 2008, Journey performed back-to-back sold-out concerts at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.[27] Pineda sang in 57 concerts during the 2008 Journey World Tour. Journey's recent[when?] visit to the United States Gulf Coast performing at the Wharf Amphitheater, Orange Beach, Alabama, and at the Pensacola Civic Center, Pensacola, Florida, was a tremendous hit due to the large Filipino communities living in that area.[citation needed]

On the second leg of the tour, Journey went on an Asian–Hawaiian tour, going to cities in Japan, the Philippines, China and Hawaii.[28] The Manila concert was released as a live concert DVD. Total concert revenue for Journey in 2008 was $35,695,481.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Pineda married Cherry Pineda in 2001. They have a son named Cherub and daughter, Thea Chenelle Pineda, born June 15, 2012.[30] Pineda also has two older sons, Matthew and Angelo.[31] In 2013, Pineda told Rappler that he divides his time between the Philippines and the United States.[32]

Pineda met Donald Trump at the White House in 2017 with two other members of Journey, Jonathan Cain and Ross Valory. The move was strongly criticised by the group's guitarist Neal Schon.[33] Pineda later explained that he does not belong to any political group, nor does he follow any religion.[34]


Year Title Role Production
2012 Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey Himself Tribeca Film Festival

Television appearances[edit]


Solo albums[edit]

with The Zoo[edit]

with Journey[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]


Year Award-Giving Body Category Work Result
2009 GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards Outstanding Global Achievement by a Filipino Artist (with Charice)[36] Won


  1. ^ a b c "Philippines, Manila, Civil Registration, 1899–1984 Image Philippines, Manila, Civil Registration, 1899–1984; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16052-48904-87 —". FamilySearch. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  2. ^ Rolling Stone (December 5, 2007) "Journey Finds New Singer the Old-Fashioned Way: On the Internet", Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  3. ^ "Arnel Pineda: His Journey In My Eyes" Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "Everyman's Journey Arnel Pineda of Journey, part 1" Retrieved on April 4, 2010.
  6. ^ "Arnel Pineda on Sharon (Aug. 10, 2008) English Hardsubbed " Retrieved on April 14, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h (2008). "Unofficial Biography" Archived March 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  8. ^ (January 17, 2008). "Zoo's Arnel Pineda: Journey's New Voice". Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  9. ^ Julve, Smiley D. (January 2005), "What it takes to be Most W@nted" Archived December 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, The Sun Internet Edition. Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  10. ^ Greene, Andy (August 28, 2012). "Q&A: Journey's Arnel Pineda". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Zoo's Arnel Pineda is now the lead vocalist of Journey". Filipino Journal. August 28, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Noel Gomez's statement in reply to a comment on his video of The Zoo covering Journey's "Faithfully" on YouTube. Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  13. ^ Dizon, David (January 19, 2008), "Journey's Pineda: Proud to be Pinoy", ABS-CBN News Online. Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  14. ^ Arnel Pineda in an interview with Boy Abunda on the TV show Boy & Kris. Video of the interview uploaded on YouTube, retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  15. ^ Amoyo, Aster (January 17, 2008), "If I Know", Journal Online. Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  16. ^ ABS-CBN News Online (January 21, 2008). "YouTube gives Filipino singers the big 'cyber break'", Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  17. ^ Concepcion, Pocholo (January 14, 2008) "A life straight out of a movie" Archived January 18, 2008(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on February 28, 2008.
  18. ^ CNN Video (December 24, 2007). "Viral Videos on the Web". Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  19. ^ Tour Schedule Archived February 20, 2008(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on February 17, 2008.
  20. ^ El Mercurio Online (October 31, 2007) "Nelly Furtado, Marco Antonio Solís y Journey son los nuevos confirmados de Viña 2008". Retrieved on February 5, 2008.
  21. ^ (February 21, 2008) "Journey prendió al "Monstruo" Archived April 19, 2008(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on April 4, 2008.
  22. ^ a b KNBR (March 12, 2008). "Interview with Jonathan Cain by San Francisco radio station KNBR" Archived June 27, 2008(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on March 15, 2008.
  23. ^ "Journey -- Without Steve Perry -- Rock Super Bowl Pregame With 'Don't Stop Believin' '". MTV News. February 1, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  24. ^ "Rag Magazine July 2008: Interview with Deen Castronovo"[permanent dead link] Retrieved on July 14, 2008.
  25. ^ (March 11, 2008). "Journey set to release 'Revelation' June 3 exclusively at Wal-Mart" Archived February 28, 2008(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on March 12, 2008.
  26. ^ (December 5, 2007). "Journey welcomes Arnel Pineda with "Open Arms" to their family as the band's new lead singer" Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on December 6, 2007.
  27. ^ "Arnel Pineda...Journey's Great Equalizer", (archived 2009)
  28. ^ "The "Journey" Band Asian Tour 2009 will start in the Philippines". CelebrityPeeps.
  29. ^ "Billboard Top 25 Tours" Retrieved on April 3, 2009
  30. ^ "Arnel Pineda's little angel turns one!". Archived from the original on January 6, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  31. ^ "Bio: Arnel Pineda",
  32. ^ Sulat Jr, Bert B. "Arnel Pineda's journey continues". Rappler. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  33. ^ "Neal Schon Feuding With Journey Bandmates Over Trump Visit". Billboard. August 7, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  34. ^ Ng, Karen. "MYXclusive: ARNEL PINEDA Addresses Controversy Over White House Visit With JOURNEY Bandmates!". MYX. ABS-CBN Corporation. Retrieved November 3, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ "AP". Amazon.
  36. ^ "40th Box Office Entertainment Awards given out". Retrieved May 21, 2014.


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