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Don't Stop Believin' by Journey

don't stop believin journey lead singer


  • Journey's most enduring song, this track has a unique structure, which helps it stick in your mind. Where most songs have a chorus that's repeated several times, "Don't Stop Believin'" brings in its chorus (and title) only at the end - about 3:20 into the song. The structure goes: instrumental, first verse, instrumental, second verse, first pre-chorus, instrumental, third verse, second pre-chorus, instrumental, and then finally the chorus until fade-out. It was not their biggest chart hit (that would be " Open Arms "), but is by far Journey's most famous song, thanks to a resurgence in the '00s.
  • The line, "Strangers waiting, up and down the Boulevard" is a reference to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, where dreams are made. Keyboard player Jonathan Cain got the idea for the song when he went there to pursue his career. In his Songfacts interview , Cain said: "The song began with the chorus. My father had coached me. I was in Hollywood, struggling with my career, kind of lost. I was asking him, 'Should I come back to Chicago and just give up on this dream?' And he said, 'No, son. Stay the course. We have a vision. It's gonna happen. Don't stop believin'.'" Cain's dream came true when he joined a group called The Babys with John Waite. In 1980, he joined Journey in San Francisco, and this song took shape. He told Steve Perry about his idea for placing the song in Sunset Boulevard, and Perry had him describe it. "I described the menagerie of people who would show up on a Friday night," Cain said. "All the dreamers that had dreams to become actors. Producers, artists, lawyers, anything... they were all there on a Friday night."
  • Journey lead singer Steve Perry, keyboard player Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neal Schon are the credited songwriters on this one, but the entire band contributed. In the Time3 compilation, the genesis of this song is explained: "At the band's Oakland warehouse, this song bubbled out of a rehearsal. Schon developed the bass riff, the chugging guitar line and the sweeping chords on the chorus. Steve Smith built the song around a pattern featuring a lot of tom-toms, anchoring the number to a rich drum figure. Perry and Cain drew from their experiences with the Sunset Strip street scene for the lyrics, 'streetlight people.'"
  • Speaking with New York Magazine , Perry explained that the song originated during a series of gigs in Detroit when he found himself in a hotel room unable to sleep, staring out of the window: Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard Their shadows searching in the night Streetlight people, living just to find emotion Hiding, somewhere in the night "I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down, so that you couldn't see anything," he recalled. "All of a sudden I'd see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term 'streetlight people' came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing."
  • The popular resurgence of this song can be traced to its use in the 2003 movie Monster , which was based on the true story of the female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The film was not widely seen but drew critical raves and a Best Actress Oscar for Charlize Theron, who portrayed Wuornos. In the movie, the song comes on when Wuornos and Selby Wall (played by Christina Ricci) are skating to it in a roller rink. They mention how they love the song, and as it builds, so does their passion, and they end up kissing outside the rink. The use of "Don't Stop Believin'" in this critically adored scene got the attention of the Hollywood community, who saw the emotion the song could bring out and no longer thought of it as a nostalgia track. Requests started pouring in to use the song in a variety of movies and TV shows, and soon another generation was familiar with the song. So how did it get in Monster in the first place? The film's director Patty Jenkins used it when they shot the scene and knew it fit perfectly. She sent the band members viewing copies of the film and asked permission to use it on a short budget. Perry called her back and not only gave approval, but helped her select music for the rest of the film; he's credited as a music consultant.
  • The song was written to give the audience a connection with the band, a goal it achieved. Jonathan Cain told Songfacts: "It was the first attempt to bring an audience into the band's world. We're singing for you. We're singing about your world now. So, it was a departure from what they had been doing before. What I wanted to do was get a little Bruce Springsteen going on. Bruce was the master of that, bringing his audience into his songs. I was a huge fan of Bruce's."
  • Speaking with the British radio station Planet Rock in 2010, Steve Perry said of this song: "Personally, it's something that means a lot to me. Everybody has emotional issues and problems, and the song has helped me personally to not give up, and I'm finding a lot of people feel that."
  • This is the first track on Journey's seventh album, Escape . It was chosen to lead the album because, according to Cain, "With that piano line, it just sounds like a book opening up."
  • The song got a boost when it was used as the closing number in Rock of Ages , a jukebox musical featuring hits of the '80s. The show ran on Broadway from 2009-2015, and in 2012 was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise. It's an appropriate choice, as Rock of Ages takes place on Sunset Boulevard, which is also the primary setting for the song.
  • In the last ever episode of the TV show The Sopranos , which aired June 10, 2007, Tony Soprano plays this song on a jukebox during the final scene. The episode abruptly ends with the lyrics "Don't Stop" as the scene cuts to black. Steve Perry said in People magazine June 13, 2007: "I needed to know how this song was going to be used. I didn't want the song to be part of a blood-bath, if that was going to be the closing moment. In order for me to feel good about approving the song use, they had to tell me what happened. And they made me swear that I would not tell anybody."
  • This was featured in an episode of the TV show Scrubs called "My Journey." Other television series and films to use "Don't Stop Believin'" include South Park , The Wedding Singer , Shrek the Halls , Bedtime Stories , Yes Dear , King of the Hill , The Comebacks , View from the Top , Cold Case , CSI: Crime Scene Investigation , My Name Is Earl , Just Shoot Me and Laguna Beach .
  • In November 2008 it was announced that this track had become the first song available in the pre-digital era to sell more than 2 million downloads through iTunes. The track's popularity increased significantly after its appearance in the final episode of The Sopranos . It also became one of the most popular karaoke songs in America in the late '00s.
  • In May 2009 a remake by the cast of the Fox TV musical comedy Glee debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, five places higher than Journey's version ever reached. It was performed in the season pilot and became part of the soundtrack album Glee: The Music, Volume 1 . By the end of 2009, the digital download had earned 500,000 digital sales. The Glee version was performed on Sesame Street with monsters portraying the cast. The bit featured the letter G, so the lyrics were adapted to "Don't stop G-ing."
  • Believing in yourself and following your passion are ideals Steve Perry holds dear. When Randy Jackson, who used to play bass with Journey, was a judge on the singing competition American Idol , he asked Perry to come on as a guest judge. Perry turned him down, saying, "I don't feel good about sitting in judgment of anyone's honest passion to perform or their talent. If someone has a passion to perform, they should do it no matter what anyone says." Perry added: "I was passed on in the music business many, many times before Herbie [Journey manager Walter Herbert] heard my demo and believed in me. That was the moment that changed my life and I'm still forever grateful to him for believing in me. The hardest part is to keep believing in what you love when others tell you that you are not good at it."
  • MTV went on the air shortly before this song was released. The band made a Spartan performance video for it in an empty arena, apparently at a soundcheck. They made a better one with footage from a Houston stop on their Escape tour, which became the official video that shows up on their VEVO account. Neither video got much love on MTV, which preferred concept videos.
  • In the UK, this song peaked at #62 when it was first released. In November 2009, it was rereleased after Joe McEldry sang it on the TV show X-Factor , and this time, it climbed to #19. Joe McElderry won the competition, and franchise boss Simon Cowell wanted to release his version of the song as the single in the aftermath of the teenage singer's victory. However, Journey declined and Cowell instead arranged for McElderry to cover Miley Cyrus' track " The Climb ." Guitarist Neal Schon explained to The Sun : "We knew about Joe's version because Simon had contacted our management. He wanted to re-do the song with a different arrangement. We listened to it. We declined. There was nothing wrong with the original version - if it's not busted, let's not fix it." Schon added that Journey were aware they were possibly passing up a UK #1 hit. "Randy Jackson, who was on American Idol with Simon, was stressing that we should let him do it because it would probably go to #1. But we stuck to our decision."
  • In the UK, the Glee Cast version debuted at #5 on the UK singles chart dated January 17, 2010, one place above Journey's original recording. It was the first instance of two versions of the same song sitting at back to back positions on the chart since December 2008 when Alexandra Burke's take on " Hallelujah " was at #1 with Jeff Buckley's version one place behind.
  • The song starts with Perry singing about a young couple from two different backgrounds: Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world She took the midnight train goin' anywhere Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit He took the midnight train goin' anywhere But hang on a sec, any good Motor City citizen will tell you, there is no location called South Detroit; Detroit, Michigan, distinguishes only between an East Side and a West Side. If you go south in Detroit ("down-river"), you end up in Canada. Perry admitted to New York Magazine that he wasn't overly concerned with being geographically accurate. "I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit," he said. "The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It's only been in the last few years that I've learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn't matter."
  • This was used in the 1982 Atari video game Journey Escape . The song played in the background while you controlled various band members, helping them find the space ship while avoiding groupies and evil promoters. Computer graphics were pretty bad back then, so the groupies were represented as hearts with legs, and the promoters were floating heads. In fact, the very game was created to be based on the band Journey and the album Escape .
  • This was one of the first Journey songs on which keyboard player Jonathan Cain played. He replaced Gregg Rolle for the Escape album.
  • Lady Gaga, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Blondie and Shirley Bassey performed this at the finale of a Rainforest Fund benefit at Carnegie Hall in May 2010.
  • This song was used in a 2005 episode of animated TV series Family Guy where Peter, Joe, Cleveland, and Quagmire did a drunken karaoke rendition of the song. ITunes was catching on at this point, and after this episode aired there was a spike in download sales of the song. >> Suggestion credit : Bert - Pueblo, NM
  • Journey toured to support this album, but they interrupted their tour to open for The Rolling Stones in Philadelphia on September 25, 1981. It was The Stones first show on their North American tour.
  • This became the anthem of the Chicago White Sox during their 2005 season in which they won the World Series. Steve Perry attended the last game of the Series and sang the song at their victory parade. Perry's allegiance though, is to his hometown team the San Francisco Giants. He was often seen supporting the team when they won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Perry would sometimes lead the crowd in singing along to "Don't Stop Believin'" when it was played between innings at games.
  • Steve Perry severed ties with Journey in 1998 when he needed hip replacement surgery and couldn't give his bandmates a return date. Anxious to tour, they replaced him with the similar sounding Steve Augeri, and later with Arnel Pineda. For Journey fans, a dream scenario finds Perry reuniting with the band, triumphantly taking the helm on "Don't Stop Believin'" in an affirmation of unity and faith. But every year, they scenario seems less likely. In 2017 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Perry attended but didn't perform with the band, which did three songs (including this one) with Pineda. When Perry emerged with a solo album, Traces , in 2018, he offered some insight into his split with the band and his absence. "My love for music had suddenly left me," he said. "If music was ever to return to my heart, then and only then I would figure out what to do. If not... so be it, for I had already lived the dream of dreams." Journey first fractured in 1987 after touring for their Raised On Radio album. This was Perry's doing, as he was burned out and worried about keeping his voice healthy. But it was Perry who initiated their return, calling Cain in 1995 to talk about getting back together. This resulted in the 1996 album Trial by Fire ; Perry's hip condition emerged after it was finished.
  • "Don't Stop Believin'" powered Journey's 1988 Greatest Hits album to a whopping 15 million in US sales ( Escape sold 9 million), making it one of the best-selling compilation albums in history. In 2001, they released another compilation, The Essential Journey , which sold another 2 million.
  • During the 2020 pandemic, some hospitals used the song as a rallying call for patients recovering from COVID-19 and those treating them. The New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, for instance, played "Don't Stop Believin'" throughout the building each time they discharged a coronavirus patient.
  • In 2020, Ladbaby, a UK duo comprising YouTuber Mark Hoyle and his wife Roxanne, released a playful twist on this song titled " Don't Stop Me Eatin' ." Recorded to raise money for foodbank charity The Trussell Trust, Ladbaby's single was the UK's Official Christmas #1 that year.
  • "Don't Stop Believin'" was honored by the Library of Congress, which added it to the National Recording Registry in 2022. Steve Perry said: "That song, over the years, has become something that has a life of its own. It's about the people who've embraced it and found the lyrics to be something they can relate to and hold onto and sing."
  • On January 26, 2024, the RIAA certified "Don't Stop Believin'" at 18x Platinum, a jump from 5x Platinum in 2013. The new certification reflects streaming, and signals that the song is immensely popular across generations. Other songs to reach that milestone are all far more recent, like " Sunflower " by Post Malone. Based on these figures, it's safe to say that "Don't Stop Believin'" is the most widely popular song of all-time in America. You can play it to anyone and they'll certainly recognize the song and probably like it. The next-closest song from the pre-streaming era is Mariah Carey's " All I Want For Christmas Is You ," with a 14x Platinum certification in 2024.
  • More songs from Journey
  • More songs about perseverance
  • More songs used in TV shows
  • More songs used in movies
  • More popular Karaoke songs
  • More songs that were hits for more than one artist
  • More songs covered by the Glee cast
  • More songs that are discussed in movies
  • More songs popular during the coronavirus pandemic
  • More motivational songs
  • More songs from 1981
  • Lyrics to Don't Stop Believin'
  • Journey Artistfacts

Comments: 119

  • Chad Eicher from Apple Creek, Ohio This song has got to be one of the greatest hit songs that I knew the words to. The cast of the Fox television show "Glee" did their version of that hit song. It just blew me away.
  • Rw Cain, at a songwriters festival in 2014, explained some parts of the song. The girl and guy story is like a version of Jack And Diane; they may not be real people. The trains moving at midnight is inspired by the song Midnight Train To Georgia. Live versions of the song, depending on the main vocalist, may change South Detroit to whatever city the band is playing in at that moment.
  • Soulsoldseparately from Buffalo, Ny Does "city boy born and raised in South Detroit" refer to an actual person?
  • Seventh Mist from 7th Heaven My daughter's favorite song. She often used it as inspiration once she was on her own and (seemingly) facing a new challenge every day. She never stopped believing.
  • Susan from Illinois Question-asker from A Train Going Anywhere, I think the lyric means ourselves. The movie is our lives. I believe our lives on this planet will end, but our souls will live on and on in another place.
  • Ronsha from New Jersey OMG. This song is so dang famous! People everywhere know this song. I swear to God it's even growing on the younger generations, including me. I used to hate it and think it's overrated, but deep down I always thought, oh darn, this song's catchy, who am I kidding? I'm 13 now and Don't Stop Believin' is one of the most uplifting songs I've ever heard. Not only the sound, but also the lyrics are beautiful. Good song to make you feel strong, nostalgic... it could make you cry too.
  • Brett from Mason Whether we choose to hear Streetlight People for street lights, people Steve Perry came right out and said after a concert in Detroit he is looking out from his hotel room down on the street and there we're people just wandering around the street. Not necessarily prostitutes or any other specific type of people. More or less aimlessly wandering around Under The Lights doing nothing. Mendez for the South Detroit I don't think he was intending to give a geography lesson. He was making a song sound the best it could possibly be
  • Mckinzie from United States This is my all time favorite song, I say that this is my song because I could relate to this song so much.
  • Nick from Ohio This is the most played classic hit of all time. Who would have thought that a song that peaked at #9 would become the undisputed biggest song in history.
  • Badintense from Erie Pa This song has crossed all generations and ethnicities as a beloved song. Last summer (2019) in my neighborhood a group of young black teens were hauling their giant boom box down the street blaring this song and singing the words perfectly as if they were in an adult karaoke bar. It actually brought a tear to my eye since I was a teen when this song first came out in 1981. Journey's music has really brought people together into a common bond no matter what the media tries to push on people.
  • Question-asker from A Train Going Anywhere what does the lyric "Oh, the movie never ends It goes on and on, and on, and on" mean in this song?
  • Seventhmist from 7th Heaven I recently took a long trip and played a Journey collection in my car, downloaded from a phone app. It contained a live version of this song, performed in Houston, that I hadn’t heard before. When Perry reached line about the boy, he sang, “Just a city boy, born and raised right here in Houston!” That definitely caught me by surprise.
  • Jodie from Xx I'm pretty sure he's saying "streetlights, people". Not "streetlight people".
  • Steve from Albany, Ny And the nonsense about Windsor being "considered" south Detroit continues to stick to the Wiki page like doodoo. LOL It's been said by many that you should never rely on Wiki as a source of reliable / accurate information. Very true.
  • Charles from Charlotte The stuff about lowlife killer Eileen Wuernos kissing her female lover just sullies the discussion of a great American pop song. Wish Perry & Co, had said NO!! to that.
  • Leonardo from Connecticut I would argue that the Sopranos season finale repopularized the song, not Monster...
  • Tony from San Diego Steve Smith plays an amazing drum pattern during the choruses.
  • Steve from Albany, Ny The info on the Wikipedia page for this song is inaccurate. And some moderator is allowing it to be there. I guess the following from John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band's song C-I-T-Y was actually referring to Windsor too: "On the South side of Detroit city I'm working all night on the line" Yep, definitely referring to Windsor, Ontario because everyone knows Windsor, Ontario is "considered" south Detroit. Right. LOL
  • Steve from Albany, Ny Regarding "south Detroit", I'm simply going to paste in what I just got done explaining to a mod at Wiki who is apparently bent on leaving misinformation on the Wiki page for this song. Sorry but this is pretty simple stuff and anyone who doesn't get it is an imbecile. ........................ I'm guessing / just realizing that you're a type of moderator here. If you in fact have control over what info is on the page in question, it would be a HUGE wrong to leave in the very misleading entry you've re-submitted. Windsor, Ontario is south _OF_ Detroit, Michigan. Detroit, Michigan is the city that NUMEROUS bands would make reference to in their songs. Especially rock bands and especially during the 70s into the 80s. Not Windsor and not any other suburbs of Detroit that also lie south of Detroit (or "downriver"). The song simply makes reference to the south SIDE of Detroit. The quote by Perry makes it clear that the word south was only added because... well, try singing it without south and just a long INNNN in it's place. As the quote makes clear, the song would not have sounded right without south (or something) before the word Detroit. Not that it's is needed for most to understand that the song is referencing Detroit and only Detroit but there is also a quote by Perry in which he stated that Detroit was very much in their (the writers) minds as they wrote the song. Windsor is not a part of Detroit. The song makes reference to the south side of Detroit. If the entry about Windsor is left on the page, so be it, but it is completely misleading and wrong.
  • John from Chino, Ca This song is played during the final minutes of Detroit Red Wings home games where it seems evident that the team will win. Played over the PA system, the song is muted so the crowd can sing the verse, "Born and raised in South Detroit."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On December 13th 1981 "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey peaked at #9 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on October 25th and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100... It reached #2 in Canada and #6 in the U.K. Was one of four tracks from the group's 1981 album 'Escape' to make the Top 100 (the others were "Who's Crying Now" (4), "Still They Ride" (#19) and "Open Arms" (#2)... And on September 12th, 1981 the album peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart.
  • Steve from Albany, Ny Some of the comments here regarding this song and it's mentioning of south Detroit are ridiculous. Saying there is no south Detroit is funny enough (there is a south side of any city and I was born and raised in SW Detroit myself) but I especially get a kick out of the people who say the song is referring to Windsor. If the following Steve Perry quote is accurate, "All of a sudden I'd see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term 'streetlight people' came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing.", then the ONLY city being referenced in the song is Detroit. If by chance the lyrics were written as "South Detroit" as opposed to "south Detroit", I suppose that could indicate that Perry/ the writers were thinking of some area of Detroit or evena separate town with that name but it's not likely and that capital S is the only error here. There's nothing complicated here, the song simply refers to the south side of Detroit.
  • Jay from Centereach, Long Island, Ny I am surprised that the "South Detroit" line is so controversial. As a New Yorker, and not wholly familiar with the local geography or the neighborhood names of Detroit, I always thought South Detroit simply meant the southern part of Detroit, much like the South Bronx is the southern part of the Bronx. But who cares? This is a great song; no one should be concerned about a geographic error.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation Neal Schon told RAW RAWK RU NEWS 2011-10-24 that the recent resurgence of "Don't Stop Believin'" after appearing on The Sopranos and Glee -- as well as becoming the first iTunes song to reach two million downloads -- is beyond his comprehension: "When the record came out, there were other songs that were actually bigger than that off it on radio. Y'know, to have it this many years later just come out and be bombastic (laughs) like never before, just like all over the place and just keep on . . . It just keeps on going. Y'know, it's just pretty amazing."
  • Terry from Grafon, Wi This song should be the national anthem of the United States.
  • Willie from Scottsdale, Az Bwaaahahaha! Now Michelle "White House Crasher" Salahi is shacking up with Neal Schon. Priceless.
  • Ken from San Mateo, Ca Since last year's World Series victory, I will always associate this song to the Giants and the Bay Area. Absolutely one of the best songs!!!!
  • Hannah from Gustavus, Oh I'm graduating this coming Sunday (May 29, 2011) and I couldn't be more thrilled that this was voted in as our class song. When they announced it at school you could hear people cheering. I think the reason it's such an enduring song for graduation is that unlike most of the class themes that get picked ("Good Riddance," "Here's to the Night," etc.) it's not about looking back and being sad it's over, but rather looking forward and realizing there is indeed life afterward. It's about living life to the fullest (the first verse) and how even though life is difficult ("some are born to sing the blues"), the important thing is to at least take chances and try ("roll the dice just one more time") - and of course, to not give up no matter what may happen, because everything will turn out just fine in the end.
  • Michael from Cincinnati, Oh Journey's 1982 album "Eascape was made into a video game titled "Escape".It was produced by Atari for the 2600 model.It was made by Data Age in San Jose,Cal.The Object of the game was to help the band members "Escape" the fans chasing them around.Pretty cool game at the time.
  • Steppy from Detroit, Mi *South Detroit Debate* I'm from metro Detroit (as well as a giant Journey fan) and had always wondered about the reference to South Detroit. I heard and interview a year or so ago with Steve Perry, where he addressed the issue. I listened to it online, maybe Youtube?, so the interview may have been old. At any rate, he said that after a concert in Detroit, he was sitting in his hotel room, very late, working on this song. The room was on a high floor and he was watching the people standing under the lights and pondering their lives ("streetlight people"). While he realized that South Detroit didn't really exist, he used a bit of artistic license, because it flowed better than East Detroit.
  • Megan from Stevenson, Al Tell me why this is AMAZING?! lol This song is on a totally different level. Awesome.
  • Jim from Long Beach, Ca Great song. South Detroit=Winsor,Ontario,Canada.....
  • Jay from St Paul, Mn I listened to a few interviews Steve has given. He said he used South Detroit because it sounded better than North, East or West. He said he didn't realize there was no South Detroit. He jokingly said he found out South Detroit was actually Windsor. As far as streetlight people, he said it's something that he noticed when he looked out of a hotel window. If you Youtube it, you can find the interviews. Very worth while.
  • Ken from San Mateo, Ca What a song...Like the Chisox, this also became a tribute song for the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants! And Journey is from this area, so it makes better sense.
  • Bobby from Belleville, Nj While Journey's version is a classic, back in 2008 before it was used in Sopranos, freestyle artist George LaMond remade the song into a pop/dance version. And a very good one, I might add.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny Five years before Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" Olivia Newton-John had a completely different record with the same title, it peaked at No. 33...
  • Bd from Vienna, Va Probably worth noting in the brouhaha about Journey turning down a cover of this song is that Randy Jackson was in the band for a while in the mid-80s before their first breakup.
  • Rob from Fredericton, Nb One of the many anthems most prominiately found in the 80s hall of great music. For every song played on the radio, this one song sticks out the most when I use to go to a carnival in my hometown. With the smell of fries, hotdogs and other foods lingering in the air, you could always hear a Journey tune blaring in the background while everyone enjoyed riding the many rides at this carnival. So when you take an experience, like a carnival, and feature all of it's pleasantries you soon inaugurate any song from the 80s, namely a Journey tune, and the picture is complete. Such a great band and such a great song.
  • Sara from Detroit, Mi And for those of you that want to split hairs, Look on the map of Detroit. Melvindale, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Ecorse, Delray, Allen Park, Southgate, Taylor, River Rouge, Wyandotte. These are all blue collar or very poor areas, and most people worked for the Big 3 auto companies. This area is called "Downriver" as it is south of Detroit. Detroit itself is a pretty small city. What most people think is Detroit is any one of the suburbs that lies within or outside of Detroit's city limits. Oak Park, Hazel Park, Highland Park, and Hamtramck, are all INSIDE the City Limits. Where as Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Southfield, Eastpointe, are OUTSIDE of Detroit's City Limits...yet most people consider it part of the greater metro area. When the word METRO is used by itself all over the country it means DETROIT METRO. We were the first place to use the term "Metro" as a colloquial term for a specific large area, as Detroit was the first city in the country to spread out that fast with that large of a population. The city of Detroit itself, is small.
  • Sara from Detroit, Mi You are all VERY WRONG about the South Detroit explanation. To those of us who are FROM Detroit and GREW UP THERE....SOUTH DETROIT IS ANYTHING SOUTH OF I-96...a.k.a "Downriver" ....There has NEVER been a place CALLED South Detroit. It's like being in any big city, the term is more loosely used, than say "South Philly", "South-Central L.A." "Southside Of Chicago". Yes Eastpointe was East Detroit but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with this, you don't see a "West Detroit" on the map do you? As for the lyrics it IS in fact "Streetlights, People". It's amazing how many Americans struggle with their own native language!
  • Carrie from Roanoke, Va Petra Haden does a cover version of this song.
  • Karen from Manchester, Nh I have loved this song for years...until I heard that it was the closing song on the piece of filth that is titled "The Sopranos".
  • Jose from Brisbane, Australia Please tour Australia! I know it's hard because for some reason, Australia never really got into Journey... sad lot we are.
  • Nikki from Yamba, Australia greta song... love that it has on family guy.. scrubs... the sapranos... the wedding singer and love when LC and stephen sing it on the second series of laguna beach!
  • Ellen from Chicago, Il A great song. See Wikipedia's article (search the song title) for additional details as to what exactly is meant by "South Detroit" - in the section called "Sports".
  • Rahul from Chennai, India absolutely beautiful song....
  • Stu from Philly, Pa They've been quoted as saying "it's streetlight people, we're talking about prostitutes." At any rate, check the lyrics book that came with the album. One of the greatest songs of all time, it was a real treat to see the cast of Glee perform it on that new TV show. One of the best non-Journey renditions of it. My band Raised On Radio usually starts our sets with this song.
  • Mike from Brighton, Ma To answer the age old question, "South Detroit" actually refers Southfield, Michigan. (Southfield, ironcally is north of Detroit.) In the 1980s, Journey played many charity soft ball games with WRIF-FM (The Riff).
  • Brendan from Cape Town, South Africa The line after "streetlights, people" sounds like "heaven just a fun emotion" Any other suggestions?
  • Allen from Knoxville, Tn On the University Of Tennessee campus, somebody has spray painted on the stop signs "dont STOP believin'" Great song, even 27 years after it was released!
  • Katie from St. Paul, Mn The lyrics say "Streetlights, people...", not "Streetlight people".
  • Josh from Indianapolis, In Journey Rocks Big Time!!!!!!!!!!!!! thers not a song by them i dont like> Rock on!
  • Bob from Dumbsville, Belarus Wow this song is beautiful! Everytime I'm down, I listen to it and it gets me back on my feet again. This song just defines 80s music. Journey will just never be the same without Steve Perry leading their crusade.
  • Morten from Sydney, Australia I'm an 80's music tragic but suprisingly had never heard of this song! Thanks to Family Guy for introducing me to this gem! -Morten, Sydney, Australia
  • Dean from Windsor, On I would just like to inform all those people who say this song isn't about Windsor. When "South Detroit" is mentioned the city of Windsor is what they are talking about. Windsor is actually SOUTH of Detroit. If your ever around my town and stand at the river your compass will point north. Enjoy!
  • Julie from Taylor, Tx When this song comes and best friend victoria go crazy! it's their best song. Classic 80's!
  • Melanie from Seattle, Wa Scott from Boston - what a cool story! Haha I want to go write that on a stop sign now! :D This song is sooo good. Journey's best IMO. Steve's voice is amazing.
  • Neil from Ottawa, Canada This song was sung by the football team in the 2007 film "The Comebacks". One of the players starts singing it in the change-room, and it turns in to a full-stage concert. It mocks the sports movie cliche of teams turning it around with an uplifting theme song, and also references the Chicago White Sox World Series.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, Canada What a great song! The only song Journey did in the 80s that wasn't horrid!
  • Fredrik from Stockholm, Sweden This song was also featured in the South Park episode "tsst" when Cartman is plugging in his X-Box. He sings the lines "Don't stop believing, hold on to your feelings"
  • Krista from Elyria, Oh I love Journey! And I love it when ametuers sing the lyrics! But I HATE baseball cards...
  • Scott from Boston, Ma During cross country last year there was a stop sign we always ran by during practice and it said "don't" above it and "believing" below it. It became our team's song and we often sang it very out of tune during runs. Also, that Family Guy episode is awesome (as most are). "Oh my god, that is Journey!"
  • Michael from San Diego, Ca One of the most beautiful songs of all time...if this song doesn't get to you, then you may need to check your pulse!
  • Richie from Sedalia, Mo Edgar, Kings Park, NY Better luck next time!!
  • Edgar from Kings Park, Ny This song reminds me of my failed suicide attempt. Well... there's always next time.
  • Brian from Portage, Mi Yes, Detroit is an East/West city, but no matter where an area is, there is still four cardinal directions.
  • Brian from Detroit, Mi Anyone from Detroit will know what i am saying, but "south detroit" refers tothe area south of Outer Drive, Detroiters refer to the area as "downriver." i Just want to clear the confusion. It ISINT canada, it ISINT eastpointe, NOR groose pointe.
  • Eamon from Motherwell, Scotland THis inspirational song was played every night in a juke by me when I was teaching summer camp in up state New York back in 1980. Being from Scotland, I loved the American rock scene and this classic just typifyies it. 27 years later, I play the Journey live DVD while I work out every other night and never tire of hearing it, it is in my blood. I had the pleasure of seeing Journey in Glasgow earlier this year and it was a real highlight. One question - I have heard different lyrics for this some say "Heaven is a funky mouse?" Any comments guys and girls? Eamon.Motherwell. Scotland.
  • Sergio from Miami, Fl I have been listening to this song for a long time now. I grew up listening to it and I admit, its my all time favorite. It is so cool now to see a new generation fall in love with it thanks to Family Guy, Scrubs and Sopranos. I dont think it matters if South Detroit is correct or not cause whenever they performed it live with Steve Perry he always replaced Detroit with the city they were in at the moment. I always thought that was a nice touch and he always got a cheap pop for it. I know I will always love this song and just dont get sick or hearing it. Journey was a fantastic band with some great musicians.
  • Mary from Canyon, Tx This song was my junior class song way back when in ancient times, not too long after it was first released. EVen I know Windsor, ON is south of Detroit! (Southeast to be exact.)
  • Mark from Glassboro, Nj This song was used in the very end of The Soprano's Final Episode. The song is cut short and the screen goes to blank.
  • Missy from Ann Arbor, Mi You may not belive this but 'Don't stop Belivin' was my senior class song...I love it and so did my class...we were a pretty small class and we were all ubsessed with soft and classic rock...the good stuff...Whenever I hear those first few piano keys play, I will alway go back to my high school gym, on a hot june day, walking to the stage to graduate...Good Times, Great Memories and GREAT SONG!!!
  • Mike from Hueytown , Al I love the 80's on VH1 ripped this song apart.
  • Mark from Des Moines, Ia I can't help but think of the CHICAGO WHITE SOX and their magical run to the World Series title in 2005. What a great season!!! What a great song!!!
  • Maria from Houston , Tx I agree with most, his voice is awesome!!!!
  • Kara from Cadillac, Mi Artists magic is what happens when you take a group of extraordinarily talented people and put them together, allowing them each to do what they do best. Journey is what happens when it all fits together and creates something wonderful. They're not just a band- they're an era. Neal Schon is with out a doubt one of the most gifted guitarists ever. His knowledge and presentation of his craft are nothing short of brilliant. Steve Perry's vocals are masterful. They, along with Schon's guitar work, gave Journey a distintive sound. Jonathan Cain - a perfect fit, though I admit I've always liked Greg Rolle too. I have a Journey album that was made prior to Steve Perry's joining and listening to that makes me know that Journey would have been great no matter what because they had the talent to be great. I know there were changes in the lineup, but Ross Valory's bass playing was also part of what made Journey what it is to me. I loved Steve Smith on the drums, but as with Rolle, I was sad to see Aynsley Dunbar go. Journey was a concept, a feeling, a part of life, an important accent to memories in my life and continues to contribute to important events in the lives of my kids. Two of my sons play guitar and are greatly influenced by Neal Schon. One of them is currently overseas serving in the millitary- he will marry his high school sweetheart when he returns and their wedding song will be "Open Arms". The two sons that I have at home have recently been getting into Journey - "Generations" and I have found that I love their music now as much as I ever did. It never mattered to me that Steve Perry said "South Detroit" - I lived in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti for many years and I never could keep the suburbs or other offspring areas of Detroit straight anyway. I lived in San Francisco too and always knew that "Lights" was about that city - even if it was written in (or partially in) L.A. - Who cares? Does anybody ever question why "Still They Ride" has traffic lights in it? No. Why? Because it's a truly amazing song about times changing before people are ready for them to with an outstanding guitar lead and excellent vocals. Get over the details. This is legendary music by exceptional musicians. Just enjoy it.
  • J from Boston, Ma and I mean (in the last comment) in the chorus part at the end.
  • J from Boston, Ma About the streetlight line, I think the first time the line is done, it sort of sounds like streetlight with a little extra sound on it. However, the second time the line is sung, he definetly says streetlights. As the song fades out, I think he says streetlight.
  • Jack from London, England Coming from England I had never heard this song on the radio before I heard it on Family Guy. I then heard the song during an episode of Scrubs Season 3 called "My Journey" and decided I had to download it. JOURNEY KICK ASS
  • Nathan from From The Country Of, Canada I always heard this song on the radio, but it wasn't until its appearance on Family Guy's kareokee episode that i realized how good the song actually is.
  • Peter from Detroit, Mi No matter what, at least once a month I hear this song at the bar. My friends and I are from Dearborn Heights, MI and I like to replace south detroit with "dearborn heights" while belting the lyrics to the annoyance of my girlfriend...she thinks I'm cute so it's cool. Rock on Journey!
  • Tom from Vashon, Wa This is an amazing song. It is so sweet. I love it. I think that it has a great message that we can all relate to. Wether we are living on the streets or we are just having problems with our closest friend. You can never stop believing.
  • Dave from Beamsville, Canada If you listen closely, you will hear a rendition of this song during the first wedding ceremony on 'The Wedding Singer' when Adam Sandler gets stood up at the alter.
  • Allan from Calgary, Canada At The Den (the on-campus bar at the University of Calgary) this song has been the last song every weekend night for the last 10 years. All the regulars drop their pants and do the "no pants dance" Quite a good time and a great way to end the night at a great bar.
  • Zeke from Washington, Dc All the lyrics say that the line is "Streetlight, people..." but if you listen to the song it DEFINITELY sings "Streetlights, people." Which do you think it is?
  • Kevin from Grosse Pointe, Mi Yeah, but who calls Windsor "South Detroit"? Nobody. I love this song, but that line always bugs me. Why not say "Just a city boy, born and raised in East Detroit" East Detroit is the former name of Easpointe, Michigan. Also, East Detroit is just considered the East side of Metro Detriot, so he could be from the eastern part of the city of Detroit or from any one of the suburbs that is considered East Detroit (Harper Woods, Roseville, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores)
  • Emma from Palm Beach, Australia This song was performed in episode 403 of "The Family Guy" entitled "Don't Make Me Over" (original air date 06/05/05) by Peter, Cleveland, Quagmire and Joe. It's an enjoyable rendition, with pall bearers even dropping a coffin in order to hit "The Drunken Clam" to check out the performance.
  • Matt from Haddon Hieghts, Nj This song is great and i got my whole family to love this song its Steve Perrys voice thats just awesome and its one of my fav
  • Cindi from Vancouver, Canada OMG WHO care weather it is North, South. East or West it is a great song.....I can think about better things to debate than which way is up, down or left or right....I agree with who ever said there is N,S, E or West every where just get a compass and stand outside this isn't rocket science it's a Rock song.
  • Zeke from Washington, Dc Actually, Canada IS south of Detroit. The southern part of Ontario is actually south of Detroit. Check your map Jon from Regina.
  • Justin from Monson, Ma I think Journey's song "Don't stop Believin" is the greatest song in the world. I love it so much. Each time it comes on the radio, I turn it up loud. By the way, why does anyone care about how the city of Detroit is used in the song. The song's great!!!!!!!! -Justin Dubois,Monson,MA
  • Matthew from East Brunswick, Nj Great song, Journey is a godsend of the 80's!
  • Anwiya from Sterling Heights, Mi Hey John from Canada, you know nothing. A portion of Canada (city name: WINDSOR) is south of Detroit.
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Fl white sox have used it for their theme song, omg!! at least it kept them going on to believe that they could win, and they did, so this song is like, an inspiration.
  • Christa from Aurora, Il This was the song the white sox used for inspiration to win the world series 2005!
  • Jeff from Sothington, Ct this is an inspirational song that has a good guitar part in it...the family guy episode was funny and the fact that i knew this girl that would sing this song and now everytime i hear it i see her singing it..but i still see myslef playing guitar...nice solo though
  • David from Yosemite, Ca I heard this song sung a few weeks ago in San Francisco's North Beach--I was trying to sleep in the GreenTortoise hostel in the room above the lounge--and a chorus of girls was singing it. It must have been Kerioki night, but it was lovely. I couldn't recall the group (Journey), but heard a bit on the radio, and googled the lyrics. I've been googling lyrics all weekend--Napster's having free downloads, which brought me here--nice site.. I wish I could have recorded the girls singing. David Yosemite Sept. 4, 2005
  • Chase from Pasadena, Ca Most of the memories posted on this website are by a girl named "Stephanie."
  • Stephanie from Ellicott City, Md this song brings back some great memories .... reminds me of being just over the edge of 17, vacationing in Florida with my family. we were staying at this resort, and i was hanging out in the game room. i had been pretty bored, and i met this guy about 2 years younger than me. he was from a small town in Maine, while i was from the big city in Maryland. i was grateful to find someone close to my age, and we played airhockey, with us deciding to make a friendly bet, the terms to be determined after the game. he let me win, and the term of the bet was decided to be a kiss. we ended up making out for awhile, and when we parted for the night, we shared no pretense that we'd ever meet again. the next night, i heard this song, and it made me think of him - although it was reversed, he was the small town boy and i was the city girl, for a smile we shared the night, and the memories go on and on. i had been feeling pretty low about myself at this time, and feeling undesirable, and he made me feel like, hey, maybe there is something desirable about me after all. so, Matt from Maine, thank you.
  • Ryan from Windsor, Canada Amazing song, one of the best from the 80's. oh and Jon from Regina, check your map bro. I'm from Windsor, Ontario Canada and to go to Detroit I'd have to travel North, not South (one of those "tricky" geography catches).
  • Jev from Marietta, Ga Well does anyone know where I can get a good ringtone of this song period.
  • Patrick from Charlotte, Nc no.
  • Jev from Marietta, Ga Does anybody know where I can get a Don't Stop Believin ringtone that is reliable?
  • Jon from Regina, Canada This is a great song. By the way, who really cares if they say South Detroit? It's not the end of the world. And John from Scottsdale, I thought most people knew this, but Canada is NORTH of Detroit, not south.
  • Matthew from Marquette, Mi Ok... I don't know how many of you really know Geography, but there is a North, South, East and West of EVERYTHING! There is South America, Southern US, Southern California, South Detroit, my dorm room even has a southern part. While you may not find South Detroit on a map, there is in fact a South Detroit. The guy probably grew up near Michigan Avenue. As for the song... GREAT EFFIN' SONG!
  • Tatem from San Diego, Ca No matter the radio station I'm listening to, you can always tell that distinctive Journey-Steve Perry sound and instantly know a Journey song regardless of your knowledge of their song list. Steve Perry gave Journey their uniqueness. I had heard about the Monster movie thing, never saw the movie though. It's hard to believe how old these guys are now. Steve Perry was a hottie. Aging happens to the best of us!!
  • Perviz from Cochin, India Words can't describe the kind of feeling you get on hearing this song. Truly a masterpiece!!
  • Perviz from Cochin, India This is truly a super duper song. Thanx a million Journey.
  • Kevin from Grosse Pointe, Mi Yeah the whole South Detroit thing always bugged me too. Detroit is an East Side/West Side city, not a North Side/South Side city like Chicago. If the lyrics had said "East Detroit" it would have made more sense.
  • Ryan from Lansing, Mi There is no East Detroit however as everyone should know, they changed there name to Eastpointe. But yeah he should really have said southren Detroit.
  • John from Scottsdale, Az When I ever hear this song, I have to say "you've got it wrong, Steve, and sing "There ain't no such place as South Detroit." I grew up in Detroit. There's an east side and a west side. The dividing line is Woodward Avenue. South Detroit is..uh... Canada. Stand on the plaza in downtown Detroit, and look south. Oh, Canada. Otherwise, I like the song, but Steve and his buddies should hvae stuck to San Francisco or looked at a map
  • Tom from Alma, Ga Ack! Another cookie-cutter corporate rock band. Being a child of the 80's, however, they did have some good stuff.
  • Dawn from Highlands Ranch, Co Well, Neal Schon, Steve Perry and Jon Cain I think all take credit for the genesis of this song, which probably explains part of why they're not together anymore. But actress Charlize Theron really wanted this song for a scene in her movie Monster, so she and director/writer Patty Jenkins wrote a letter to Steve Perry begging him to allow them to use the song. He saw the scene they wanted it for, said it was perfect, through Sony contacts asked Jon and Neal if they were ok with it, they said yes, and Steve became musical consultant for the film, as well as the song being in the film. Steve is still traveling around the US and Canada with Patty helping her promote the movie and accepting awards for it.
  • Mooler from Detroit, Mi Nora hit the nail right on the head. South Detroit is just referring to the southern part of the city just as south west detroit or west side or east side or northeast detroit...etc etc. I should from north east detroit. 7 and gratiot.
  • Paul from Greenwood, Sc Just a couple live shows, Journey frontman Steve Perry would insert the name of whatever city that would be hosting them, evidenced by the NFL films documentary of them from the late 80's where they are playing in Philly..."Born and raised in Phil-a-del-phia!"...also the guitar break between the first and second verse spotlights Schon at what he did best. Neil Schon was discovered by Carlos Santana and was playing on stage at the age of 15. He is incredibly fast and it shows on this classic.
  • Larry from Artesia, Ca Streetlight people, living just to find emotion Hiding, somewhere in the night
  • Angela from Santa Fe, Tx Does anyone know the lyrics to this song? I know most of them, however, there is one line in there where I can't seem to catch all the words. It is right after the line in the chorus "Streetlife people". Can anyone help me? Thanks.
  • Nora from Richfield, Mn The lyrics didn't say 'south OF Detroit', it said South Detroit. Big difference

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Arnel Pineda

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19:  (L-R) Producer John Paterson, Arnel Pineda of the band Journey, producer David Paterson and Yu Session attend the after party for the premiere of 'Don't Stop Believin': Every-man's Journey' during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at Gansevoort Hotel on April 19, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)

Who Is Arnel Pineda?

After a series of unfortunate events in his childhood, Arnel Pineda found success in Asia as the front man for the group The Zoo. In 2007, he was discovered by Journey guitarist Neal Schon, after a series of YouTube videos were posted of him covering American songs, including the famous hit, "Dont Stop Believin'." In December 2007, Pineda became the new lead singer of Journey. His is noted for having a strikingly similar sound to former Journey front man Steve Perry.

Troubled Childhood

Arnel Pineda was born on September 5, 1967, in Sampaloc, Manila, in the Philippines. Throughout his childhood, Pineda endured grave misfortune. When he was just 13 years old, his mother, who was 35 at the time, passed away after a long battle with heart disease. Her medical costs left the family in serious debt, and Pineda's father could no longer provide for Pineda and his three younger brothers, Russmon, Roderick and Joselito.

While relatives were able to take in his brothers, Pineda was left on his own. He spent the next few years homeless, often sleeping outside in public parks and scraping for any food or water that he could afford. When possible, he would stay at a friend's house, who offered him a cot outside. Eventually, Pineda was forced to quit school and take up odd jobs collecting scrap metal and bottles at the pier and selling newspapers to support his family.

Early Career

Pineda's love of music started at a young age. He began singing at just five years old, and had entered many singing contests as a child. In 1982, when he was 15, Pineda was introduced to a local band called Ijos, and was encouraged by his friends to try out as their new lead singer. He sang the Beatles' "Help" and Air Supply's "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All." Although they were concerned with his lack of training, Ijos members were wowed by Pineda's powerful voice, and took him on as the new front man of the band. One of the band member's friends even offered to pay Pineda's salary, 35 pesos a night, out of his own pocket, and Pineda was offered a tiny room to sleep under the guitarist's front stairs.

In 1986, some members of Ijos joined together to form the new pop-rock band Amo. The group found success covering songs by hit groups Heart, Queen and Journey. In 1988, they turned heads when they won the Philippines' leg of the Yamaha World Band Explosion Contest. Although they were disqualified in the finals due to a technicality, the event was broadcast on TV in Asia, widening their fanbase. The band continued performing at popular clubs and arenas around the Philippines.

In 1990, the members re-grouped yet again, under the new name Intensity Five, and re-entered the contest. The band came in as runner up and Pineda won the Best Vocalist Award. After a series of unfortunate health problems in the early '90s, including the brief loss of his voice, Pineda re-emerged in 1999 with a new solo album with Warner Brothers. The self-titled album had several hits in Asia.

After brief stints with a few different bands, Pineda found success again in 2006 with The Zoo, a band that he formed with Monet Cajipe, a guitarist/songwriter who had been in all his bands during over the previous 20 years. The Zoo performed at several popular clubs in the area and, in 2007, released an album by MCA Universal titled Zoology . Soon the band began covering songs by groups such as Journey, Survivor, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and more, with more than 200 performances uploaded to YouTube.

On June 28, 2007, Neal Schon, guitarist and member of the band Journey, saw a video of Pineda on YouTube and immediately contacted him. The band had been looking for a new lead singer, and Pineda's voice sounded strikingly similar to Steve Perry, Journey's legendary former front man. After speaking with Schon on the phone, Pineda made arrangements to fly to the United States and audition with the band in San Francisco. On December 5, 2007, Pineda was welcomed as the band's new lead singer.

Right away, Pineda went on tour with the band, performing two shows in Chile and two in Las Vegas. Both were a huge success. After a series of guest show appearances and magazine features, Pineda gained popularity within the American public. On June 3, 2008, the newly organized Journey released their first album, Revelation , which came in at No. 5 on the U.S. charts. The album was their highest charting album since Trial by Fire (with Steve Perry), and reached platinum status by October 2008.

Soon after the album's release, the band continued touring around the world with Pineda. The documentary, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey , slated to be released in 2012, will chronicle the band's "Revelation Tour," and Pineda's first years with the band.

Personal Life

When he is not on tour, Pineda resides in the Philippines with his wife, Cherry, their children, Cherub and Thea. He has two other sons—Matthew, 19, and Angelo, 13—from past relationships.


  • Name: Arnel Pineda
  • Birth Year: 1967
  • Birth date: September 5, 1967
  • Birth City: Sampaloc, Manila
  • Birth Country: Philippines
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Arnel Pineda is best known as the new lead singer for the rock group Journey.
  • Astrological Sign: Virgo
  • Nacionalities


  • Article Title: Arnel Pineda Biography
  • Author: Editors
  • Website Name: The website
  • Url:
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: July 20, 2020
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014

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Steve Perry of Journey: “Things happened to me as a child. There was nowhere to talk it out, so I sang it out instead”

Journey wrote “Don’t Stop Believin’”, the most downloaded song from the 20th century. When their lead singer quit, the band spent years trying to replace him. Finally out of hibernation, he tells his strange story.

By Kate Mossman

don't stop believin journey lead singer

In the small hours of 14 June 2007, the Queen guitarist Brian May sat worrying at his computer. The American rock band Journey had fired another lead singer: 41-year-old Jeff Scott Soto had been erased from the group’s website – shed, Brian observed in his blog, like a used pair of boots.

It wasn’t that Brian didn’t sympathise with the pressures on a middle-aged rock band burdened with touring millions of dollars’ worth of hits when their original frontman was indisposed. He laid out Journey’s options. 1. Throw in the towel. 2. Find a look- and sound-alike. 3. Go out under a different name (“unrewarding”). 4. Find a new frontman who steals a bit of the limelight for himself.

Journey are responsible for “Don’t Stop Believin’”, the most-downloaded song written in the 20th century. They have had five lead singers to date. The single component they’ve spent three decades cyclically seeking to replace is the voice of their frontman, Steve Perry, who came and went, and came and went – then disappeared. Any Journey singer needs to sound exactly like Steve Perry, and that is not easy. He must have a high “tenor altino”, reaching F#2 to A5, with a tone somewhere between Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. The first time Perry quit the band was at the height of their fame, in 1987. He’d been nursing his dying mother, and considered retraining as a neurologist.

The second time he left, ten years later, was because the band were pressing him to have a hip operation, and he refused. The girlfriend of keyboard player Jonathan Cain dimly recalled a guy from another group she thought could hit notes as high as Perry could – so founder member Neal Schon tracked him down, and found him working as a maintenance manager for Gap, enjoying the security of his first pension plan.

The new singer, Steve Augeri, became known as “Steve Perry with a perm”. He took Journey’s hits to the arenas of middle America. As he did so, the real Steve Perry – who’d co-written those hits – rode a Harley Davidson through the San Joaquin Valley in California, back to where he was born.

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Perry has been a virtual recluse for 20 years. He sits before me in a Whitehall hotel, dissecting a chocolate muffin and carefully dabbing crumbs from his lap. He speaks in metaphorical language: he once said that leaving his band was like “re-entering the earth’s atmosphere with no heat tiles on my face”. The San Joaquin valley reached 110°F in the summer, with fields of almond trees, cotton and alfalfa. The alfalfa became a symbol of his escape. “It holds so much moisture that when you come to an area where there’s an alfalfa field on the left and right, the temperature drops 15 degrees. So I’m out on my motorcycle, and those were the days before ‘helmets’ [he makes quote marks in the air] and the wind is in my hair and all of a sudden, well, I cooled off.”

No one knew what Perry did next. There was a rumour he’d invested in a small bovine insemination business in California’s Central Valley, but it turned out to be a rogue edit on Wikipedia. In what some might call a terrible irony, the band he left behind enjoyed an unexpected, international renaissance without him, attracting a new generation of fans. In the 21st century, “Don’t Stop Believin’” was used on the soundtracks of the Oscar-winning 2003 film Monster , Scrubs, Family Guy, Glee and perhaps most memorably, in the final eerie moments of The Sopranos . It inspired long-read journalism on the magic of song craft, and it even formed the plot of the Broadway hair metal musical Rock of Ages .

don't stop believin journey lead singer

Perry banked the cheques – but he missed the shows, because there was a new lead singer in the band who sounded just like him, and this time everyone was talking about it. Arnel Pineda was a Filipino fan who’d spent two years living homeless on the streets of Manila as a child – Neal Schon had found videos of him singing Journey songs on YouTube. Pineda has enjoyed the most successful stint in the job since the man he is imitating. Find a frontman who steals a bit of the limelight for himself, said Brian May, and “the sky’s the limit”.

When not riding his motorbike through the San Joaquin Valley, Perry attended the local fair, which came to his home town in June as it had done in his childhood. “I was drawn to the circus life, because they’d come into town – it was lights, Ferris wheels, it was moving, it was fantasy – and the next thing you know they’re gone,” he says. The circus was, he admits, not unlike a rock band.

“I saw Pinocchio as a child, and there was something evil about this special place where all the children could go. They’d go on the rides, but their ears would grow – and they turned into asses, actually, I guess.”

Rock bands are a ruthless business, but in Journey it’s hard to say who holds the power – the mutable frontman who forced the band in and out of hibernation for a decade, or the founder member who turned the frontman’s voice into a million-dollar franchise. Perry once claimed that he’d never felt part of the group. Schon replied: “How can you ‘not feel part’ of something you’re almost completely controlling?”

They only communicate through their lawyers now. But their songs play in every sports bar and mall in America, instantly and innocently evoking the pain and passion of ordinary human life.

“It’s like your boyfriend saying to you: drop a few pounds, get your nose fixed at the same time. Fuck off!”

Perry has watched his replacements come and go, but once, he was the replacement himself: in 1977, aged 28, having failed in several bands, he’d returned home to work mending coops on his uncle’s turkey ranch when he got the call from Neal Schon, asking him to join a jazz fusion band who couldn’t get a hit. Perry asked his mother, and she advised him to go for it. Schon tried him out by bringing him on the road and telling everyone he was the roadie’s Portuguese cousin. He sang a song at soundcheck when the official singer was away from the stage.

The clichés – “married to music”, “a band is like a family” – are well worn, but for the generation of men who became millionaire rock stars in the seventies and eighties (for it is men, and it is one generation) they are the only way to understand their motivations, not least because it is a language they invented themselves. Solo albums were referred to by Journey’s manager Herbie Herbert as cheating on your wife (both Schon and Perry cheated). Of the hip operation stand-off, Perry says: “When they told me they checked out some new singers, it’s like your boyfriend saying ‘Look, I really love you, but I need to know if we’re getting married or not because I’ve checked out some other chicks.’”

But it was more than that, wasn’t it? They were telling him they’d only take him back if he underwent major surgery.

“OK,” says Perry. “It’s like saying, ‘By the way, drop a few pounds, too. Get your nose fixed at the same time.’ FUCK OFF.” He then asks if we can talk about his new record, Traces , his first in 25 years.

don't stop believin journey lead singer

When Perry was 16 years old, he heard “I Need You ” by the Beatles, released on the Help! album, and he felt they could have done better. Why had they done a kind of bossa nova he wondered, when it clearly cried out for R&B? He has reworked the song on his new album, which he wrote and produced on his own – “No one had their foot on my neck saying, ‘Are you done? Are you done?’ FUCK OFF.” he says.

When he was very young, Perry would “mumble hook lines” for potential songs, and it was in Journey that he was able to “apply everything I had ever dreamed of”. Their audience – suddenly full of girls – had a new and emotional relationship to the band via their commercial power ballads.

“You can’t solo for 18 bars,” he recalls telling Neal Schon – who was such a good guitarist that he’d been recruited by Carlos Santana aged 15, in the summer of 1969. “You can have about eight bars. And if it’s going to be eight bars, it has to be something beautiful.”

The first time the pair were put together to write, they finished Perry’s love letter to San Francisco, “Lights ” , in about ten minutes. He describes a song idea as a “sketch” – a framework of chord changes, a couple of melody ideas and a loop for rhythm. “But my problem is, I hear it completed already.”

Songs, he says, should be “like pancakes – stacked high with layers of feeling”. Modern writing is an “industrial assembly line because everyone’s on the grid. There’s 20 people writing these songs – they’re trying to maximise the individual assignments, like when they’re making a film, to increase the opportunity for a hit. But a song should be all about selling a feeling .”

Selling a feeling – is that the essence of power ballads?

“It’s the essence of music,” he says.

“Songs should be like pancakes, stacked high with layers of feeling”

“Don’t Stop Believin’” has had a lot of analysis in recent years, as interest has grown in the industry’s backroom magic. It is a power ballad with a strange minimalism, full of barely-there figures – “strangers waiting” and “streetlight people”. Unable to sleep in a Detroit hotel room, Perry had looked down to the street and noticed the way in which walkers would pop up suddenly in circles of light. The lyric’s “midnight train” was a musical madeleine, designed to take you back to Gladys Knight. The song was self-consciously cinematic, but states that life is a movie that never ends. Its thin but powerful sense of hope was so abstract, it applied to everyone – from the gambler in the lyric, rolling the dice “one last time”, to the real John Doe hearing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in a bar on a Friday night. It started with a refrain written by Jonathan Cain: what Cain heard as a chorus, Perry heard as a “pre-chorus” – suggesting that a “chorus of choruses” should be held off till the very end. It does not appear until three minutes and 20 seconds, delaying the climax. Perry gets a bit antsy discussing it.

“I don’t want to talk about the music because then you won’t listen, and it won’t be yours,” he says. “Your definition – what the song does to you, and the next person – are totally different. You hear music differently based on your life, your experience, what you are. When something resonates with a massive number of people, that is exactly what is happening.”

In 2007, he was approached by HBO for permission to use the track in the final seconds of The Sopranos . He refused to give it over without knowing what scene it would accompany, concerned that the entire Soprano family were going to “get whacked” to the song. For a few weeks, he was one of the only people in the world who knew how the series ended.

Another, equally effective modern-day licensing of the track was in Patty Jenkins’s Monster , when the serial killer Aileen Wuornos, played by Charlize Theron, meets her lover at a roller rink. A jukebox and a skating rink were just the kind of places you heard Journey every day, growing up, reinforcing the sense of their music as part of the wallpaper of American life. Perry, now 69, loved high school, “a magical time, when innocence is running your life.” Its memories are his songwriting metaphors: a concert venue, he says, rather strangely, is “the backseat of a car”.

“Everything I write comes back to high school. I know it sounds funny, but everything. It all comes from the emotions I grew into during my adolescence. Those moments are not to be tossed away.” He becomes emphatic. “If something means something to you, go back and get it and make it part of your life. And anyone who doesn’t understand how important that is, you tell them to FUCK OFF,” he advises, before breaking off to reveal he is desperate for the bathroom.

He was one of the only people in America who knew how The Sopranos ended

Perry was born to Portuguese parents in 1949. His father, Ray, was a singer – a baritone – who had tried to break into the business, and performed in the local theatres of his hometown. What kind of music did he sing?

“‘Pennies from Heaven,’” Perry replies.

His parents eloped because his mother’s father didn’t approve of a singing career. He tells their story as though music were some kind of hereditary condition or family curse, which in the case of Perry, you kind of feel it might be. His parents split when he was eight years old, and he, an only child, moved with his mother to his grandparents’ dairy farm – which might explain the rumours about his subsequent career. As with many rock stars, from Roger Waters to Lennon, the absent father was significant. I ask him why he became a singer.

“People don’t become performers because they don’t have needs,” he says. “Singing, though it can be very lovely, is essentially a primal scream. And I was screaming pretty loudly – and quite big.”

He was an invisible child, he says, but also a silenced one.

“There was a lot going on but nowhere to take it. Things happened to me as a child that I still can’t talk about – nothing to do with my parents, but things did happen. It happened to a lot of kids, as I find out.”

How old was he?

“About nine. But there was nowhere to take that stuff back then. One of my needs to perform was the need to get myself heard. Now, please, do understand, I’m not complaining – but there was nowhere to talk it out, so I got to sing it out instead.”

He spoke to a professional at the age of 63 about what had happened to him at nine. He was advised to do so by the woman he calls the love of his life, Kellie Nash, a psychology PhD candidate. But like everything else that has happened to Perry, theirs was not a conventional story.

During his mysterious, fallow years, Steve Perry seems to have investigated an alternative career in filmmaking. He was “shadowing” Monster director Patty Jenkins: “I love editing, I love directing. So with Patty I watched and learned a lot.” Jenkins was working on a TV film called Five for the Lifetime Network, exploring the impact of breast cancer. Being a methodical director, she surrounded her cast with real patients in remission. One of them – Nash – caught Perry’s eye. Jenkins then told him that Nash’s cancer had returned, was in her bones and lungs, and that she was fighting for her life. He went ahead anyway.

“I’d lost my mother,” he says. “I’d not reconnected with my father – which was another clean-up waiting to happen. I’d lost the grandparents who raised me. And I’d lost this career that I’d wanted so much, because I’d walked away from it.”

Was he so accustomed to losing things that a date with Nash didn’t scare him?

“I don’t know,” he says. “I justified it by telling myself, well, she’s a PhD psychologist, maybe I need another shrink?”

They had a year and a half together before Nash died in 2012. One night she said, “Promise me you won’t go back into isolation, for I feel that would make this all for naught.” He repeats the strange words, wide-eyed: all for naught . It was then that he decided to return to music.

“Life gets undone,” he says. “You try to come up with a plan, but it’s good for ten minutes a day. Some people have an ability to make belief systems work for a lifetime, but I think they’re hard to keep up.”

In 2014, he made world news when he turned up unannounced at a gig by the indie band Eels and performed their song “It’s a Motherfucker ” along with two of his own. He’d not sung live for 19 years but, explained the band’s Mark Everett, “For some reason only known to him, he feels like tonight in St Paul, Minnesota, it feels right.”

Perry, the once-invisible only child, still talks about Journey as a “nucleus”  he could never break into. It is fair to say that the band didn’t want him at first – it was only under the orders of their manager that he was hired at all. They came to epitomise corporate rock. “There are still things I don’t like about it,” Neal Schon once said, “but this is the way I make my living.”

You suspect that, creatively, both men might have been better off without the band – the jazz rock boy-wonder, and the hit-writing soul mogul who really wanted to be on his own. But you take whatever route to fame is presented to you – and you follow the money: “I’d rather fail at being what I wanted to be,” Perry says, “than be successful being someone I didn’t.” 

“Traces” by Steve Perry is released on 5 October through Hear Music

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This article appears in the 26 Sep 2018 issue of the New Statesman, The Tory Brexit crisis

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American Anthem

'don't stop believin" goes on and on, because we need it to.

Roben Farzad

don't stop believin journey lead singer

Steve Perry performs with Journey at a Chicago-area concert in 1981. Paul Natkin/Getty Images hide caption

Steve Perry performs with Journey at a Chicago-area concert in 1981.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at .

It's midnight on a Tuesday in Richmond, Va. At Sticky Rice, a sushi joint that hosts this college town's most raucous karaoke night, the crowd is already at fire-code capacity, and would-be crooners are forming a line outside. At around 12:30 a.m., a set of famous piano chords begins to play, and the place explodes. Friends stand together on tables; the people stuck in line outside press against the windows. For a fleeting moment, everyone's on the same midnight train going anywhere.

Twenty-somethings Matt Malone and Shilpa Gangisetty are tonight's lucky performers of Journey's " Don't Stop Believin' ," for which the DJ has received as many as five requests — though you can't exactly hear their singing beneath the overflowing crowd shouting along. When they're done, Gangisetty, who is Indian American, says she loves the song because it's something she can enjoy with her immigrant parents.

"This came out right before my parents came to this country," she says. "There aren't too many cultural things that we can relate on."

"It's like the 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' of, like, middle school," Malone chimes in. "You have to know it. Everyone hates to love it."

Thirty-eight years after it debuted on the album Escape, "Don't Stop Believin'" is the go-to anthem for perseverance that has itself persevered, successfully riding wave after new wave of media. Though born in the era of rock radio and cassette mixtapes, the song found its real glory at the dawn of binge TV and the smartphone, and it has woven its way into weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduations, the 2005 World Series, The Sopranos and Glee .

Its fate was hardly a given. Critic Deborah Frost didn't even mention "Don't Stop Believin'" by name in her October 1981 review of Escape in Rolling Stone, which gave the album two out of five stars. "Maybe," she wrote, "there really are a lot of 'streetlight people' out there. If so, my guess is that they'll soon glow out of it." They didn't: According to Nielsen Music, "Don't Stop Believin'" holds the record as the most downloaded 20th-century song, and it has nearly 700 million streams on Spotify, at last count. What is it about this track that just won't stop?

The story of the song itself begins with Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain. In the late 1970s, he was a struggling rocker who was ready to quit SoCal and move back to Chicago. Cain says everything had been going wrong: He and his girlfriend had split up, and he'd had to pay a costly vet bill to save his dog after it was hit by a car.

"I called my father for some money," he says. "I said, 'Dad, I'm out of cash here. ... Should I come home? Is this thing just not, you know, panning out?' And he told me, 'We've always had a vision, son. Don't stop believing.' I had a lyric book next to me, and I wrote it down."

Things started looking up for the musician after that. Cain found himself in a band opening up for mega-act Journey. Then, Journey itself poached him.

Alone Together: Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' Opens The Corners Of Community

Alone Together: Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' Opens The Corners Of Community

What Does 'Born In The U.S.A.' Really Mean?

What Does 'Born In The U.S.A.' Really Mean?

In 1981, when the band was recording Escape, lead singer Steve Perry asked Cain to come up with a final track. Cain still had his dad's advice in the dog-eared lyric book and from it drew inspiration for the pedaled, keep-the-faith piano part that builds and releases over and over until the phrase itself arrives in the chorus, more than three-quarters of the way into the track.

The characters introduced in the first verse, a small-town girl and a South Detroit city boy, are familiar by now — enough so that it's rarely addressed that there is no such neighborhood as South Detroit, apart from Perry needing an extra syllable. As for the singer in the smoky room with wine and cheap perfume, that tableau evokes the desperation Cain says he felt at the Sunset Strip's Whisky a Go Go during his rough Los Angeles days.

"I really believe this song is about wanting to make it," he says, "Where you think you're stuck in life — that you're able to get out, the same way I got out of Chicago."

don't stop believin journey lead singer

The fictional William McKinley High School's glee club sang "Don't Stop Believin'" in a 2009 episode of Fox's Glee . FOX Image Collection/Getty Images hide caption

By the late 1990s, Perry had left Journey, and the band's career was in the wilderness. But the requests for "Don't Stop Believin'" kept coming.

Charlize Theron roller-skated to the song in her Oscar-winning turn as a serial killer in 2003's Monster . Four years later, The Sopranos ended its pioneering six-season run on HBO with — spoiler alert — a tense sequence involving a diner and parallel parking, soundtracked by "Don't Stop Believin'." Downloads of the track on iTunes soared. In 2009, the earnest high school show choir on Glee covered the song for the first of several times throughout the series' run, sending its download numbers through the roof again.

"Don't Stop Believin'" has been heard on Scrubs, South Park and Family Guy. A string ensemble played it in the Adam Sandler comedy The Wedding Singer. It was the rally song for the Chicago White Sox in the team's 2005 World Series run, and it was the climax of the hit Broadway jukebox musical Rock of Ages. On social media, you can find plenty of photos of stop signs playfully defaced with the title exhortation.

For all its new success, Journey still needed a new lead singer who had something approximating Perry's trademark high tenor altino . Desperate, guitarist Neal Schon turned to searching for singers on YouTube — where, late one night, he discovered Arnel Pineda, a formerly homeless kid in the Philippines who was covering the band's ballads at smoky venues that reeked of wine and cheap perfume.

In 2007, Journey flew him to the U.S. for a tryout and hired him — a fairy-tale story chronicled in the 2009 documentary Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey .

Pineda told CBS News in 2012, "Even before I discovered 'Don't Stop Believin,' it has been my motto — you know, to never stop believing in myself. The life that I've gone through, all those hardships, I never stopped believing that someday there is something magical that will happen in my life."

As for Frost — the critic who originally panned Escape in Rolling Stone — she tells NPR that four decades later she's still not a fan but that maybe those streetlight people might — might — have a point.

"You know, I think maybe it helps them celebrate their high school years — or their hopes," she says. "And if it does, what can I tell you? Good for them."

Roben Farzad is the host of Full Disclosure on NPR member station VPM.

Walter Ray Watson produced this story for broadcast. Daoud Tyler-Ameen adapted it for the Web.

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Journey Lead Singers In Order: History and Band Members

don't stop believin journey lead singer

In this article, we delve into the captivating history of Journey, an iconic rock band that has left an indelible mark on the music industry. From their humble beginnings to their meteoric rise to fame, Journey has mesmerized audiences worldwide with their unique sound and timeless hits. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the remarkable story of this legendary band.

Formation of the Band

Journey was formed in 1973 in San Francisco, California, bringing together a group of highly talented musicians. The founding members included Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Aynsley Dunbar, and George Tickner. With their combined musical prowess and creative vision, they set out to create something extraordinary.

Early Years and Musical Style

During their early years, Journey experimented with a fusion of rock, jazz, and progressive influences, creating a distinctive sound that set them apart from their contemporaries. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1975, showcased their musical versatility and marked the beginning of their incredible journey.

Evolution and Breakthrough Success

In 1977, Journey underwent a significant change that would forever shape its destiny. Steve Perry joined the band as their lead vocalist, injecting new energy and unparalleled vocal range into their music. This lineup change proved to be a turning point for Journey, leading to a series of chart-topping albums and unforgettable songs.

Chart-topping albums and Hit Singles

Journey’s breakthrough came in 1978 with the release of their album “Infinity,” which became a massive success. The album spawned the hit singles “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights,” propelling Journey into the mainstream spotlight. They continued their winning streak with subsequent albums, including “Evolution” (1979) and “Departure” (1980), which produced hits like “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” and “Any Way You Want It.”

The Iconic Album: “Escape”

In 1981, Journey released their most iconic album to date, “Escape.” This album elevated their status as rock superstars and solidified their place in music history. Featuring the mega-hits “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” and “Who’s Crying Now,” “Escape” became an instant classic, captivating audiences with its emotionally charged lyrics and powerful melodies.

The Power Ballad Era

Journey’s success continued into the mid-1980s, defined by the rise of power ballads that struck a chord with fans worldwide. Songs like “Faithfully,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” and “Send Her My Love” showcased the band’s ability to create heartfelt and anthemic ballads that resonated deeply with listeners.

A Change in Direction

As the 1990s approached, Journey faced challenges and underwent significant lineup changes. Steve Perry departed from the band in 1987, leading to a period of transition as they searched for a new lead vocalist. Despite these challenges, Journey remained resilient and continued to produce music that captivated its loyal fan base.

Journey’s Enduring Legacy

Although the band’s popularity waned in the late 1990s, their music never faded from the hearts of their dedicated fans. Journey’s timeless classics continue to resonate with audiences of all ages, thanks to their emotional depth, infectious melodies, and inspiring lyrics. Their songs have become anthems for perseverance, love, and the power of music itself.

Past Journey band members include the following:

  • Steve Perry (1977-1998)
  • Aynsley Dunbar (1974-1978)
  • Robert Fleischman (1977)
  • Steve Smith (1978-1985, 1995-1998)
  • Randy Jackson (1985-1987)
  • Steve Augeri (1998-2006)

Current Journey band members:

  • Neal Schon – Guitar (1973-present)
  • Jonathan Cain – Keyboards (1980-present)
  • Ross Valory – Bass (1973-1985, 1995-present)
  • Arnel Pineda – Vocals (2007-present)
  • Deen Castronovo – Drums (1998-present)

Lead Singers of Journey

Van Halen Lead Singers In Order: A Journey Through the Years

Black Sabbath Singers In Order: Ever-Changing Lineup of Black Sabbath

The Original Journey: Gregg Rolie’s Era

Gregg Rolie

Gregg Rolie, a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, served as the original lead singer of Journey. He began his musical career as a co-founder and lead vocalist of Santana before joining forces with Neal Schon to form Journey. Rolie’s soulful voice and exceptional skills as a keyboardist and harmonicist contributed to the band’s early success. He showcased his talent on albums like “Journey,” “Look into the Future,” and “Next.” However, Rolie transitioned to co-lead vocals when Steve Perry joined the band in 1977.

Steve Perry: The Voice of Journey’s Greatest Hits

don't stop believin journey lead singer

Steve Perry, widely recognized as the quintessential Journey lead singer, propelled the band to unprecedented heights during their most commercially successful era. Born with a gift for singing, Perry’s powerful and emotive vocals struck a chord with audiences worldwide. With Perry at the helm, Journey released a string of chart-topping albums, including “Infinity,” “Escape,” and “Frontiers.” Iconic songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” and “Faithfully” became anthems for a generation. Perry’s remarkable songwriting abilities and magnetic stage presence contributed to the band’s enduring legacy.

Current Lead Singer: Arnel Pineda

Arnel Pineda

Following Steve Perry’s departure in 1987, Journey experienced a series of lead singer changes. Steve Augeri, known for his vocal range and stage charisma, took over from 1998 to 2006. Jeff Scott Soto briefly joined the band in 2006, leaving his mark with his distinctive style. However, it was Arnel Pineda who breathed new life into Journey as the current lead singer. Pineda’s incredible vocal resemblance to Steve Perry, coupled with his dynamic stage presence, won the hearts of fans worldwide. Since 2008, Pineda has seamlessly integrated into the band, injecting fresh energy and passion into their performances.

Journey’s Enduring Discography: Albums That Defined an Era

Over the past five decades, Journey has released a diverse and extensive discography, showcasing their musical prowess and creativity. Let’s explore some of their most iconic albums:

“ Infinity ” (1978): With Steve Perry as the lead singer, “Infinity” marked a significant turning point for Journey. It featured hit singles like “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights,” solidifying their place in the rock music landscape.

“ Escape ” (1981): This album became a monumental success, boasting chart-topping hits such as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms.” “Escape” catapulted Journey to international stardom and remains one of their most beloved records.

“ Frontiers ” (1983): Building upon their previous success, “Frontiers” showcased Journey’s evolution with tracks like “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Faithfully.” The album’s polished production and memorable hooks solidified Journey’s status as one of the biggest rock bands of the 1980s.

“ Raised on Radio ” (1986): Released during the band’s final years with Steve Perry, “Raised on Radio” featured a more radio-friendly sound and produced hits like “Be Good to Yourself” and “I’ll Be Alright Without You.” Despite tensions within the band, the album showcased their ability to create catchy, melodic rock tunes.

“ Revelation ” (2008): With Arnel Pineda as the lead singer, “Revelation” marked a new chapter for Journey. The album featured new recordings of their classic hits, reaffirming Pineda’s vocal prowess and rekindling the band’s popularity among longtime fans and a new generation.

“ Eclipse ” (2011): Continuing their musical journey with Pineda, Journey released “Eclipse,” a record that showcased their ability to evolve while staying true to their roots. The album demonstrated their enduring songwriting skills and featured tracks like “City of Hope” and “Edge of the Moment.”

“Escape & Frontiers Live in Japan” (2019): As a testament to their enduring appeal, Journey released a live album featuring their performances of the “Escape” and “Frontiers” albums in their entirety. The release showcased the band’s timeless hits in a live setting, capturing the energy and excitement of their concerts.

Journey’s Impact and Legacy

Journey’s impact on the rock music landscape cannot be overstated. With their infectious melodies, anthemic choruses, and powerful vocals, they carved out a unique sound that resonated with millions of listeners. Their music transcended generations, becoming the soundtrack to countless moments and capturing the hearts of fans worldwide.

Steve Perry’s tenure as the lead singer marked the band’s most successful period, and his distinct voice became synonymous with Journey’s sound. His emotional delivery and ability to connect with audiences elevated their songs to new heights and created an unparalleled legacy.

Arnel Pineda’s addition to the band injected new energy into Journey and allowed them to continue their musical journey. Pineda’s remarkable vocal resemblance to Perry breathed new life into the band’s live performances, earning him a dedicated fanbase and ensuring that Journey’s music lives on.

Journey’s timeless hits continue to be celebrated and embraced today. Songs like “Don’t Stop Believin'” have become cultural touchstones, appearing in films, TV shows, and sporting events, and capturing the imaginations of new generations of listeners.

Journey Band Member’s Ages

Here, is the list of all the Journey member’s ages. It seems like all of the Journey band members are above 50 and below 80.

don't stop believin journey lead singer

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  • Behind the Song

Behind The Song Lyrics: “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

by Jacob Uitti December 15, 2021, 9:19 am

What if I told you the world’s favorite 1:58 AM song—“Don’t Stop Believin’”—came from a conversation between a dejected musician and his supportive parent?

Videos by American Songwriter

Well, that’s exactly what happened with the tune and the writer of its famous chorus, Jonathan Cain, the now-71-year-old musician and longtime keyboard player and writer of the American rock band Journey.

Sing it with us now:

Don’t Stop! Believin’! Hold on to that feelin’ Streetlight, people Don’t stop, believin’ Hold on Streetlights, people

The song, which was released on the band’s sophomore album, Escape , in 1981, later hit the Billboard and the U.K. charts at various points in its long lifespan. Later, Rolling Stone named it No. 133 of its best 500 songs.

We caught up with Cain to talk about the origins of the lyrics, which includes a phone call with his father. As Cain says, he remembers writing it like it was yesterday.

American Songwriter: Do you remember writing “Don’t Stop Believin’”?

Jon Cain: Like it was yesterday. Yeah, I remember like it was yesterday. Basically, we had one more song—[former Journey lead singer] Steve Perry said, “I think we need one more, let’s write one more song.” He said, “There must be something in that lyric book.” Because I had several spiral notebooks full of ideas and lyrics. I’m writing lyrics all the time. Even back in those days, I was working on it. I believe you use it or lose it when you’re writing lyrics.

AS: Absolutely.

JC: So, I had this idea. My dad and I had this conversation. In the 70s, I was kind of on my down and out phase. I’d lost my record deal with Warner Bros. and I had a day job and then my dog got hit by a car and I had a $1,000 vet bill. And I had called for money and I said, “Maybe I should give up on this thing dad, and come home to Chicago.” And he said, “No. You stay where you are.”

He said, “Your biggest breakthrough is right around the corner. It seems bad right now but there’s something coming and I feel it and don’t stop believing, Jon. That’s all I can say to you, don’t stop believing.” So, I wrote it and as I was talking to my father, he said, “I’ll send that money, you can pay me back someday, don’t worry about it. But your greatest breakthrough is right around the corner, just stay with it.”

JC: So, I did. And I wrote down don’t stop believing. And that was five years before Journey called me to join. So, I had this in my notebook. And we had finished all these songs and when I went home that night, I saw the title, “Don’t Stop Believin’” and I said, “That’s it!” And so, I immediately jumped on my little Wurlitzer and came up with a chorus. I mean, in about 20 minutes I had it.

And I brought it in and all I had was chords. And when I played it for the guys, they were like, “This is a great chorus.” So, we beat it around a little bit, and then Steve said, “I got an idea, why don’t we use your chords for the chorus, same ones.” He said, “Don’t change them. They’re great chords, just change the way you do it. Just do that rolling thing you did in the bass, that eighth note feel.”

And then Neil [Schon] came up with the bassline—doo-doo-doo-doo—and he showed that to Ross [Valory] and then he came up with the B-section, the “strangers waiting up and down…” Interestingly enough, musically there’s a tension and release that is constant. It’s like a theme in the song. It sort of goes to the chorus and then releases. Tension and release, tension and release.

Then we ended up with this musical version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and interestingly enough, the chorus was introduced by Neal’s guitar. Neal just came right out and played that melody before we sing it. Which breaks all the rules. And I kept saying to Steve in the rehearsal room, are we going to go to the chorus? And he said, “No, we’re going to save it to the end. And we’re going to make them want to play it over and over again. It’s only going to be one time, they’re going to hear it and it’s going to be gone and they’re going to want to play it again.”  

I liked that philosophy, I said that was a good strategy, let’s go with it. So, we did. And we didn’t have the lyric yet for the verse and I went to Steve’s house there and it reminded me—Neal had played that interlude that sounded like a train. It was these little staccato things—diggy-diggy-diggy—it sounded like a train going down the track. And I listened to it. We had a cassette and a little blaster and I said, “This sounds like a train, Steve.”

And I said, “You know that song, ‘ Midnight train to Georgia ’ [by Gladys Knight & The Pips]? What about a midnight train going anywhere?” And he’s like, “Yeah!” and then he looked at me and he said, “That Jack and Jill song about the guy and a girl, what if we plug that concept in?” I said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea.” And then “small-town girl living in a lonely world,” you know? And then we had this little movie of these two meeting somewhere.

And I said, “They’re going to meet on Sunset Boulevard.” Because I lived right above Sunset Boulevard in Laurel Canyon and I described what Friday night looked like on Sunset Boulevard in 1974. It was a menagerie of all these people from all walks of life. Rock stars, actresses, hustlers, you name it. They were all meeting on Sunset Boulevard on Friday night to check it out. And it was this big cruise thing where the cars would be there and people would be walking up and down the street, from every different place.

I mean, L.A. in 1974 was the heart of rock and roll, it really was, on Sunset Boulevard. You had the Whiskey-a Go Go. Van Halen playing at Gazzarri’s. You had Aerosmith playing at the Starwood. You had David Bowie with his Diamond Dogs thing. All of that. It was the heart of rock and roll. So, Steve said, “Yeah!” So, strangers waiting up and down the boulevard, their shadows… ” That was Sunset Boulevard. And he totally got the movie.

JC: We saw the movie together. Now, he hadn’t been there, but I’d described the movie well enough that he was like, “Let’s do this.” And we wrote about Vegas. Paying anything to roll the dice one more time. That’s it and that’s dreaming. Like, I’m going to win, I’m not stuck where I am. I think we wanted to write that song to say it’s okay to dream, it’s okay to get out. You’re not stuck where you are. You can go somewhere and take that midnight train.

And the “South Detroit” thing I got a lot of flack for. Because there was no South Detroit. And I said, “Because it’s a mystical place, it doesn’t exist!” It’s the city of possibilities in your mind. That’s what South Detroit is. So, leave it alone. And that’s really it.

AS: And how about the chords, the keys part you play?

JC: Oh, that was just kind of leftover from The Babys, I think [Cains band before he joined Journey]. Again, it’s tension and release. So, we’re playing a sort of an augmented 3rd to a 3rd and even the B-section has tension and release to it. So, we broke the rules with the form on that because it’s ABABC, you know?

Very seldom are you going to see a song like that. And that was just the way Steve Perry was wired. When we put the song together in the studio, it was obvious that it was going to open up the Escape album. It was the one that led fans into the new sound of Journey. They hired me to change their sound [in 1980] and I did. I helped them—we all did it together. And they were very brave to take a chance on me and I’ll be forever grateful that I was able to put my signature on that album.

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don't stop believin journey lead singer

Bonnie Raitt Set for ‘Just Like That’ Tour in 2022 with Lucinda Williams, NRBQ

© 2024 American Songwriter

don't stop believin journey lead singer

Here’s The Story Behind 'Don’t Stop Believin’,’ The Song That Keeps On Giving

Lauren Moraski

There’s no denying it: Rarely a wedding or party goes by without Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” being played.

Released in June 1981, the song appeared on the rock band’s seventh album, “Escape.” Although it never made it to No. 1 on the charts, “Don’t Stop Believin’” has seeped into our culture in countless ways. The “Sopranos” series finale . That memorable “Glee” pilot episode. Broadway’s “Rock of Ages” musical. Your karaoke night. You probably know the words by heart, but you may not know the details behind the making of the song.

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain tells the story of the tune’s genesis in his new memoir, Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band and the Song That Inspired Generations .

In the 1970s, Cain ― then an aspiring musician ― left his hometown of Chicago for Los Angeles in hopes of landing his big break. When things didn’t go as planned, he phoned his father for some help. It turned out to be a fateful call.

“My dog got hit by a car, and I was in Hollywood, and I had to pay the vet bill. And luckily they saved her life,” Cain told HuffPost at Build Series . “I had called him for some money, for another loan. And I hated calling my dad for a loan. I said, ‘Dad, should I just give up on this thing and come home? It seems like I might be pushing it back to Chicago.’ ‘No, no, don’t come home. Stick to your guns. Don’t stop believin’. I went, ‘OK.’ Everything he would say to me somehow I would just doodle in my little notebook that I wrote songs in. That’s basically what happened. He had said to me, ‘Don’t stop believin’,’ and I took it to heart. He sent me the money, and great things started to happen.”

Jonathan Cain speaking at Build Studio in New York City on April 30.

In 1980, Cain left his previous group, the Babys, to join Journey, replacing Gregg Rolie on keyboards. While writing songs for “Escape” with Journey singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon, Cain began to flip through his notebook.

“Steve Perry asked me, ‘Is there another idea around? We need one more song.’ And when I looked in the back of the spiral notebook, there was ‘Don’t stop believin’’ ... and I thought, ‘Well, Steve Perry would sing this if I can bring in a chorus of some kind,’” Cain said. “So I wrote this chorus, and I brought it in, and all of us together finished the song in a room. It was magical.”

Cain said they could feel the momentum of the song, particularly after recording it in the studio.

“Workin’ hard to get my fill. Everybody wants a thrill, payin’ anything to roll the dice just one more time.” - “Don’t Stop Believin’”

“I think when we finally heard the final mix, Neal looked at me, and he said, ‘There’s something special about this.’ And I said, ‘Let’s make it the first song on the album, because it sounds like it draws a listener in. Let’s make it Track 1.’ So that’s how we sequenced the album,” Cain said.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” reached No. 9 on the Billboard singles chart, but he said he doesn’t recall that it was “a huge hit.”

Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain at the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.

Years after the release of “Don’t Stop Believin,’” Perry ― the voice behind the song ― parted ways with Journey, leaving a big hole to fill. After a couple of other frontmen, the group secured a steady lead singer in Arnel Pineda , who joined in 2008.

Last year Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although Perry attended the ceremony, he didn’t perform with the the band. Still, Cain thinks Perry enjoyed the moment.

“He seemed very, very vibrant and proud to be standing there with us,” Cain said. “He lives a very private life, and he chooses to keep it that way. Whenever I see him at these events, he seems very, very happy, content with his life. I know he’s gone through some troubles, like we all have. But he’s moved on.”

Arnel Pineda and Neal Schon at a Journey show in Los Angeles in 2017.

Cain has moved on too. He said he hopes to work on some new music with Journey soon. And you can count on the band performing “Don’t Stop Believin’” on tour this summer.

“I don’t ever get tired of it,” he said. “For me, it’s an honor to have a song that’s loved by three, four generations by now … Anyone who gets tired of a song is working off their own ego. When we’re in Journey, we check our egos at the door.”

And as for the future of “Don’t Stop Believin’”?

“It’s like Thomas the train. It keeps chugging along,” Cain said.

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Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

  • Episode aired Mar 8, 2013

Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey (2013)

A documentary on Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the new singer for the rock & roll band, Journey. A documentary on Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the new singer for the rock & roll band, Journey. A documentary on Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the new singer for the rock & roll band, Journey.

  • Ramona S. Diaz
  • Jeffrey Dinsmore
  • Lois Vossen
  • Arnel Pineda
  • Jonathan Cain
  • 9 User reviews
  • 26 Critic reviews
  • 53 Metascore
  • 1 win & 1 nomination

Theatrical Version

  • Self - lead vocalist, Journey

Neal Schon

  • Self - lead guitar, Journey
  • Self - keyboards and rhythm guitar, Journey

Ross Valory

  • Self - bass, Journey
  • Self - drums, Journey
  • Self - manager, Journey
  • Self - Arnel Pineda's greatest fan
  • Self - Arnel Pineda's wife

Ellen DeGeneres

  • (archive footage)

Steve Perry

  • Self - lead vocalist 1977-1998, Journey
  • Self - Arnel Pineda's brother
  • Self - lead vocalist 1998-2006, Journey
  • Self - tour manager 1998-2010, Journey
  • Self - stage manager, Journey

Katherine Heigl

  • Self - bass and vocals, Chicago

Ann Wilson

  • Self - lead singer, Heart
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

Did you know

  • Soundtracks Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) written by Jonathan Cain & Steve Perry courtesy of Jonathan Cain (as John Friga) & Steve Perry

User reviews 9

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  • Mar 22, 2014
  • March 8, 2013 (United States)
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Journey’s Jonathan Cain shares the real-life story behind ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ ‘ as band prepares for Spokane show

Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda, right, sings alongside keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who steps out to play guitar on a song in 2017 at the Spokane Arena. The band will bring its 50th anniversary tour to the Arena on Friday.  (JESSE TINSLEY)

One of the architects of the massive hit “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” almost stopped believing in Journey when vocalist Steve Perry quit the band in 1998. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain was uncertain that the band could continue after Perry left the group. It was understandable, since Journey said goodbye to a singer with such a big set of identifiable pipes that his nickname is “The Voice.”

“Steve was the best bandleader you can have,” Cain said. “He was magical.”

If Journey failed to replace Perry, the group would have called it a day during its 25th anniversary. However, guitarist Neal Schon refused to give up, and Steve Augeri filled Perry’s role. Jeff Scott Soto followed Augeri. Neither replacement singer approximated the impact of the iconic Perry. And the band was searching for yet another vocalist in 2007. Cain once again wondered if Journey could continue.

Then Schon witnessed Journey cover band singer Arnel Pineda in 2007 belting out “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” in his native Manila via YouTube. An invitation to audition was offered.

“I was skeptical,” Cain said. “I’m a realist. I thought, this kid has never been to America. There will be blowback because of his skin color and his race. I worried about how much of this country would accept him.”

But Pineda was embraced with open arms by Journey fans. A quarter century after Perry bid farewell to Journey, the band is nearly as popular as it was during its heyday.

“We could have never have guessed this would happen,” Cain, 73, said while calling from Los Angeles. “There is life for us at this point. When I look back at all that we accomplished, it’s just amazing to take it all in.”

So Cain and the rest of Journey, which includes drummer Deen Castronovo and bassist Todd Jensen, believe. “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” isn’t just the name of Journey’s biggest hit. It’s also the advice Cain received from his father when he struggled as a musician during the ‘70s.

“ ‘Don’t stop believin’ Jon,’ is what my dad told me,” Cain said. “I wrote it down in one of my notebooks.” “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” is also the name of Cain’s memoir, which was published in 2018.

Journey, which will perform Friday at the Spokane Arena, was massive during its early ‘80s peak with Perry, who is an underappreciated arranger of the band’s many hits. When Journey was putting together songs for its breakthrough album, “Escape,” in 1981, Perry asked Cain for ideas.

“The clock was ticking on us and Steve wanted to know if there was anything in my magic notebook,” Cain recalled. “I shared with him the phrase, ‘Don’t stop believin’.”

Cain proceeds to sing the couplet, Don’t stop believin’/hold on to that feeling. It’s an enduring anthem. The chorus doesn’t arrive until the conclusion of the tune, which is rare.

“Steve came up with that idea,” Cain said. “He said, ‘Make them wait to hear it. That way they’ll always want to hear it.’ I can still hear Steve yodeling the words to ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. ”

Journey has sold 48 million albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. “I don’t know how to top that,” Cain said.

There’s often drama and unpredictability over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mark Knopfler blew off Dire Straits’ induction in 2018. After years of complaining that they were dismissed by the hallowed Rock Hall, Kiss accepted the hardware but surprisingly refused to perform at their ceremony in 2014. According to Cain, nobody knew what Perry would do during the night of Journey’s induction.

“I was hoping he would perform,” Cain said. “I was waiting for him to do so. He didn’t perform, but I was ready if he was up to it. On the plus side, Perry was full of grace and humility. He had a one-on-one for 15 minutes with Arnel, who came out and said, ‘My God, I met him!’ It was an amazing experience.”

Journey played “Lights,” “Separate Ways” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Speaking once more of the latter, Journey was ecstatic that Sopranos visionary David Chase selected the hit to cap his iconic show.

“That blew us away,” Cain said. “David Chase notified us a year before it aired. ‘I’ve chosen your song’ is what he told us.”

The members of Journey were sworn to secrecy. “We didn’t say a thing,” Cain said. “It was a feel-good song for Tony Soprano’s character. I loved the show and James Gandolfini (who played Tony Soprano).”

While on vacation in Italy in 2013, Cain was checking out of a hotel in Rome shortly before Gandolfini checked in. Just a few hours later, Gandolfini passed away in his room. “I was freaking out when I heard about it,” Cain said. “That was just too weird.”

But fans might also file Journey adding a cover band singer from halfway around the world as weird. “Who would ever guess that would work,” Cain said, “But it has worked out well.”

Pineda’s tenure with the band has almost matched Perry’s period with Journey, which was 21 years.

“We’re still going strong,” Cain said. “We have more years ahead of us.”

Don’t stop believin’, indeed.

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10 Best Steve Perry Songs of All Time

List of the top 10 best steve perry songs of all time.

Edward Tomlin

Steve Perry is an American singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Journey during their most commercially successful period in the late 1970s and 1980s. Born on January 22, 1949, in Hanford, California, Perry’s distinctive voice and powerful vocal range contributed to Journey’s chart-topping hits, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” and “Any Way You Want It.”

Perry joined Journey in 1977 and quickly became an integral part of the band’s sound. His soaring vocals and emotive delivery helped propel Journey to superstardom, making them one of the most successful rock bands of their era. Perry’s tenure with Journey produced numerous multi-platinum albums and cemented his status as one of rock music’s most iconic frontmen.

In addition to his work with Journey, Perry has also released several solo albums, including “Street Talk” (1984) and “For the Love of Strange Medicine” (1994). His solo career saw success with hits such as “Oh Sherrie” and “Foolish Heart.”

Though Perry took a hiatus from music in the late 1990s, he returned to the spotlight in recent years, collaborating with other artists and releasing new music. His enduring influence on rock music and his legendary vocal performances continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

Table of Contents

1. Don’t Stop Believin’ (with Journey)

“Don’t Stop Believin'” is an iconic song by the American rock band Journey, released in 1981 on their album “Escape.” It’s a timeless anthem that has become a staple in pop culture, known for its catchy melody and inspirational lyrics. The song’s message about holding onto hope and never giving up resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it’s belted out at karaoke nights or played at sporting events, “Don’t Stop Believin'” continues to be a beloved classic that uplifts spirits and brings people together.

2. Faithfully (with Journey)

“Faithfully” is another classic song by Journey, released in 1983 on their album “Frontiers.” It’s a power ballad that captures the essence of devotion and commitment in relationships. The lyrics express the challenges of life on the road as a musician, but also the enduring love and loyalty to a partner waiting at home. With its heartfelt vocals, emotive melody, and soul-stirring guitar solos, “Faithfully” has become a timeless favorite for couples and fans of rock ballads alike. It’s a testament to the enduring power of love and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of dreams.

3. Open Arms (with Journey)

“Open Arms” is yet another iconic ballad by Journey, released in 1981 on their album “Escape.” It’s a heartfelt love song that showcases the band’s ability to create powerful melodies and emotional lyrics. The song expresses vulnerability and longing, as the singer yearns for reconciliation and acceptance in a relationship. With its soaring vocals, gentle piano accompaniment, and poignant lyrics, “Open Arms” has become a timeless classic that resonates with listeners around the world. It’s a testament to the universal themes of love, forgiveness, and the longing for connection that transcend time and place.

4. Oh Sherrie

“Oh Sherrie” is a song by American singer Steve Perry, released as his debut solo single in 1984. It was included on his album “Street Talk.” The song was a commercial success, reaching number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. “Oh Sherrie” is known for its catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics, and it remains one of Steve Perry’s signature songs.

5. Foolish Heart

“Foolish Heart” brings to mind the complexities of love and the vulnerability it often entails. It’s a phrase that suggests a heart driven by emotions rather than reason, sometimes leading us into situations we might regret or find difficult to navigate. Whether it’s the impulsive decisions we make in the name of love or the pain we endure when love doesn’t turn out as expected, the concept of a “foolish heart” captures the essence of both the beauty and the challenges of love.

6. She’s Mine

“She’s Mine” is another song by Steve Perry from his debut solo album “Street Talk,” released in 1984. It’s a romantic rock ballad where Perry expresses his devotion and admiration for his love interest. The song showcases Perry’s powerful vocals and his ability to convey emotion through his singing. “She’s Mine” was well-received by fans and further solidified Perry’s reputation as a talented solo artist following his departure from the band Journey.

7. Strung Out

“Strung Out” is a track from Steve Perry’s debut solo album “Street Talk,” released in 1984. It’s a lively, upbeat rock song with catchy hooks and energetic instrumentation. In “Strung Out,” Perry sings about the intoxicating feeling of being in love and the emotional highs that come with it. The song features Perry’s trademark soaring vocals and showcases his ability to blend rock sensibilities with pop melodies. “Strung Out” was well-received by fans and remains a favorite among Steve Perry enthusiasts.

8. You Should Be Happy

“You Should Be Happy” is a song from Steve Perry’s album “For the Love of Strange Medicine,” released in 1994. The track reflects on the end of a relationship and the struggle to move on. Perry’s emotive vocals convey the pain and longing associated with letting go of someone you still care for. Despite the heartache expressed in the lyrics, the song has an uplifting quality, with a driving rhythm and soaring melodies. “You Should Be Happy” showcases Perry’s ability to blend rock and pop elements while delivering a poignant message about finding peace and acceptance after a breakup.

9. Running Alone

“Running Alone” is a song by Steve Perry from his album “For the Love of Strange Medicine,” released in 1994. The track is a poignant ballad that explores themes of loneliness and self-reflection. Perry’s soulful vocals convey a sense of longing and vulnerability as he sings about the experience of feeling isolated and disconnected from others. The song features lush instrumentation, including piano and strings, which add to its emotional depth. “Running Alone” showcases Perry’s ability to craft heartfelt, introspective songs that resonate with listeners on a personal level.

10. Against the Wall

“Against the Wall” is a track from Steve Perry’s album “For the Love of Strange Medicine,” released in 1994. The song is a rock ballad that explores themes of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. Perry’s powerful vocals drive the song forward, conveying a sense of determination and strength. The lyrics speak to overcoming challenges and refusing to be defeated, even when faced with obstacles. Musically, “Against the Wall” features a dynamic arrangement with driving guitar riffs and soaring melodies, showcasing Perry’s ability to blend rock and pop sensibilities.

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Edward Tomlin is a frequent contributor to Singers Room. Since 2005, Singersroom has been the voice of R&B around the world. Connect with us via social media below.

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don't stop believin journey lead singer


In a new interview with Steve King of the 105.3 The Bone radio station, JOURNEY keyboardist Jonathan Cain spoke about the band's current working relationship with its longtime vocalist Arnel Pineda . Pineda was a bar and club singer working in Manila, Philippines in 2007 when he got an e-mail from JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon who had seen videos of Pineda performing on YouTube and asked him to come to San Francisco and audition to become the band's new frontman.

"Yeah, Arnel 's 16 years celebrating — this is his 16th year [with JOURNEY ]," Cain said. "[It's] probably the longest tenure of any lead singer for the band. So, he's been crushing it for us. He's got his kids on the road with him this time, and he seems really content and happy. And we're really proud of everything he's done up to this point. And we see some years left. There's definitely still some gas in the tank. But we're very happy with Arnel . He's amazing."

Classic JOURNEY singer Steve Perry left the band in 1998 and was replaced by Steve Augeri . Jeff Scott Soto replaced Augeri in JOURNEY in December 2006 after Augeri began suffering throat problems on the road. But Soto lasted less than a year, and in December 2007, JOURNEY hired Pineda , who fronts the band to this day.

Back in August 2022, Schon was asked what it had been like to work with Pineda for the prior 15 years. He responded: " Arnel is just a gem. He's more amazing right now than he was when I first found him in Manila 15 years ago, when he was homeless and he was in dire straits. I was searching for the new singer for JOURNEY and I chose YouTube to look all over the world for the singer. When I heard his voice, I knew that he was it — with no other thought. It hit me emotionally in my heart. I went, 'That is the voice. He is the voice. I know he can do it.' And so I stuck to my guns, with a lot of resistance from many — from within the band and from management. They all thought I was crazy. I said, 'I know I'm right. So get him over here.' We got him over. And he proved that I was right again."

Neal continued: "The show we just played the other night, he sounded phenomenal through the whole show. We finally got his in-ears sorted out; we've got a great mixer in front now. It sounds like a record every night. And he's sounding phenomenal every night. And he's very excited about some of the new direction that we took that allows him to show how creative he can be without having to emulate our other albums, which is a requirement for any singer that would come into JOURNEY . It's either that or you throw away all your hits that you ever had. And what do you do? Start from ground zero again? It doesn't make sense.

"So I knew when I found Arnel that I had found a true chameleon like no other singer I've ever heard. He is amazing. I love him. He's a true warrior."

Born in the Philippines, Pineda has been fronting the legendary rockers since 2007. A vocal doppelganger for JOURNEY 's longtime vocalist Steve Perry , Arnel has helped put JOURNEY back in arenas once again. But some fans were not happy about the addition of Pineda , complaining about his ethnicity and dismissing his voice as a "copycat" of Perry .

Pineda and Perry finally crossed paths when JOURNEY and its former singer shared the stage at their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2017. While accepting the award, Steve spoke warmly about his former bandmates, as well as the man who replaced him. "I must give a shout-out to a man who sings his heart out every night, Arnel Pineda ," Perry said.

Although Pineda did not get inducted with his bandmates, he did get up and join them at the Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, singing "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Lights" .

Six years ago, Perry told SiriusXM that he didn't perform with JOURNEY at the Rock Hall ceremony because he is "not in the band. I haven't been in the band for quite some time," he explained. " Arnel 's been in the band for almost 10 years, I think. He's a sweet kid — he's a wonderful kid. He sings his heart out every night. It's his gig."

As for meeting Pineda before the induction, Perry said: "There was something endearing about the way he looked at me. He was meeting, like, a grandfather. [ Laughs ] He's got the gig. It's his gig. He's doing great."

Pineda has overcome a tremendous number of obstacles throughout his life, including the loss of his mother at a young age, homelessness and borderline starvation, making him an inspiration and providing hope for millions of people around the globe. Blessed with the ability to give back, Pineda mobilized his team to join the battle against poverty and its ensuing havoc on Philippine youth.

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