Arnel Pineda says he began performing when he was a young boy in the Philippines. His mother and father, both tailors, recognized his talent early on and encouraged him to enter singing competitions.
Then, when Arnel was 13 years old, his mother died after a long illness. The family was left bankrupt, and Arnel was forced to fend for himself. "I would hang out with my friends, so they would make me sing in exchange for food," he says.
Eventually, Arnel became homeless. He slept on park benches in and around Manila and collected scrap metal to earn enough money for food.
After years of struggling, Arnel started singing to earn a living. He jumped from band to band and lived paycheck to paycheck. Then, one of his shows at Manila's Hard Rock Café was uploaded to YouTube. The rest, as they say, is rock 'n' roll history.