Started participating in singing contests at the age of 5. Lost his mother at the age of 13; started doing odd jobs to help his family financially. Joined a Filipino band Ijos at the age of 15. Became a father at the age of 20, but did not get married. In 1988, won the Philippines leg of the Yamaha World Band Explosion. The rock band Journey's lead guitarist Neal Schon handpicked him to be the band's lead singer in 2007. Founded the Arnel Pineda Foundation Inc. in 2010. The organization caters to the needs of underprivileged children. Gave his voice to an animated music video in 2014 to garner support for Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts. Together with Journey, has also helped donate more than two million meals to the United Nations' World Food Programme.