In 2007, Neal, Journey's lead guitarist, came across the video of Arnel. He watched in amazement as this young man from the Philippines performed "Faithfully," one of Journey's biggest hits, with the same passion and intensity as Steve Perry.
"I stumbled upon Arnel like in the eleventh hour when I was ready to give up," Neal says. "And I went, 'Wow.'"
The other members of the band agreed to fly Arnel to Los Angeles for an audition. "From the first point that I heard [him] until he came over not long afterward to audition with us, we've had what I call GBS—goose bump surplus," says Ross, the band's bass player.
After years of searching, Journey finally found its new lead singer. Not only has Arnel perfected that Steve Perry sound, he's also reignited the soul of a band whose journey had stalled.
Arnel gives all the credit to his mother, a woman who believed in him long before he believed in himself. "I think it's her voice that carried me all through this pain that I've gone through," he says. "She's always been my biggest influence."
A Message from Steve Perry:
In a statement sent to Oprah Show producers, Steve wishes the band well. "Though we've gone our separate ways, I will be forever grateful for our time together...the music we created...and our faithful fans," he writes. "Continued success to all of you."
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