NEW YORK – Grammy-winning singer, record producer and philanthropist Allan Pineda Lindo, better known as apl.de.ap, received this year’s Apex for Youth Inspiration Award Wednesday night.
“To be recognized by Apex, that does similar work that I do which is helping the youth and giving opportunity to the kids in education, mentoring,” said apl.de.ap. “It gives me motivation to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Other honorees included Norman C.T. Liu, chairman of GE Capital Aviation Services and Hudson Yang, who plays young Eddie Huang in the hit TV series “Fresh Off the Boat.”
Fil-Am chef Dale Talde was also in attendance as gala honorary chair.
“It’s important to give back because someone paid it to us,” said Talde. “It’s our job to pay it forward to the next generation.”
The Filipino-American founder of the musical group Black Eyed peas established the Apl.de.ap Foundation in 2008 to promote and empower Filipino youth. The foundation has built 34 classrooms in the Philippines and has sponsored more than 20 scholars.
Apl, who was born into poverty in Angeles City, Pampanga in the Philippines, was adopted by an American sponsor who brought him to the US when he was 14, where he met Black Eyed Peas co-founder will.i.am. His adoptive father was roommates with will.i.am’s uncle.
“Will.i.am’s uncle’s sister, her name is Debra, she actually made will.i.am stay home from school for a couple of days,” said apl. “Hey William, you need to a stay home ‘cause your uncle got a new friend from the Philippines, he needed somebody to hang out with.”
Sharing the same interest in music and break dancing, will.i.am and apl.de.ap hit it off and became best friends, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Thankful for his success and recognitions with the Black Eyed Peas, apl is giving back.
“I’m just passionate in giving back ‘cause I was one of those kids that was given an opportunity to be able to pursue my dreams,” he said. “I’m just really thankful and to see other people that does the same thing, so I’m not alone.”
Apl.de.ap and will.i.am’s newest single featuring French Montana will be released next month.