From the Slums of Manila to Star-Spangled Hysteria

 

The band Journey has many fans .  Their number one song “Don’t Stop Believing” has been sung by many. We’ve sung it with our friends at the karaoke bar. We’ve sung it in the car while driving down the free way. It seems that even though the song was released over 20 years ago in 1981, no matter what generation you are you know the song and you love it.
Despite all of that, many of us don’t know who Arnel Pineda is.
He’s been on Oprah and Ellen.
He has been the lead singer for  Journey since 2007.

Cinderella Story For The Ages
Arnel was homeless.
He lived in the Philippines and sang at funerals for coffee and biscuits to survive.

He did covers of Journey, Survivor, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Air Supply, The Eagles, Kenny Loggins, Stryper and other popular acts from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and his friend would post them onto youtube.

What Arnel didn’t realise was that one of those posted videos would change his destiny. Journey had been without their most popular lead singer Steve Perry for a long time. One of the band members is quoted as saying, “Journey without Steve Perry was like Jack without his box.” So they were looking for a new lead singer.

On June 28, 2007, Neal Schon of the band was impressed by one of his videos and emailed Arnel and asked him if he would like to audition for the band. Arnel thought that it was a scam but responded after being persuaded by his friend. After auditioning, Arnel was announced as lead singer for the band in December of the same year.

He made his debut on Feb. 2008 in Chile in front of 20, 000 fans. He almost passed out with stage fright. After the show, a band member described Arnel’s performance in an 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.”

Arnel continued to tour with the band and in 2009, they perform the Superbowl XLIII pre-show. He continues to be successful with the band today.

Don’t Stop Believing
This sounds crazy doesn’t it? Imagine going from homeless to playing at the superbowl. WOW!

Why is it that some make it while others flounder? Arnel was 40 when he was “discovered” By that age most people’s dreams have been forgotten. They would have just accepted their life and thought, “this is what I get.” Not Arnel, he had a dream and even when most people would have given up, he continued.

If you are reading a blog like this, then it’s likely that your dreams are still alive. Or perhaps, this is what you need to hear and this blog message will give your old dreams new life. It’s never too late.

If  you don’t give up then you are only contact away from a complete change in your life.  That contact could be a phone call, a chance meeting, a text, a fax or in the case of Arnel Pineda it was an email.  What if he had given up and never returned that email?  We would have never known him and he would just be another guy out there that can sing.  We all know people that are just as talented as Arnel.

The fact of the matter is that talent isn’t enough.  Sometimes success is about sticking to it well beyond others have given up.  Even when you look foolish.  Even when your biggest cheerleaders are no longer there to support you.  Because Arnel decided to keep going, he has more fans and more success than he could have ever imagined.

Hold on to that feelin’
Share this story with others: people who are still dreaming , people who who will find it inspiring, but most of all people who have let their dreams die so that the may be revived. Watch the trailer for his Cinderella Story below:

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