updated 02/06/2009 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/06/2009 AT 11:20 AM ET
With bandmate apl.de.ap still reeling from the murder of his half-brother, Joven Pineda Deala, 21, in the Philippines on Tuesday, the Black Eyed Peas are rallying around him.
“[We’re] being there for him, just being his brother – Fergie, she’s not his brother but a sister – and guiding him emotionally,” will.i.am said Thursday night at the 5th Annual Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation Benefit Concert Presented by Adobe Youth Voices in L.A.
“It’s tough, it’s scary,” added will.i.am, 33, noting that the band is “also providing moral support to him and his family.”
Peas’ keyboardist Taboo, also 33, said the band was also devastated.
“I’m getting choked up, because I had never seen our best friend in that state of pain,” he said. “And it really messed me up.”
Despite the agonizing loss, apl, 34 [real name: Allan Pineda Lindo], was back onstage to rock out with his band, singing and popping back flips as Fergie shouted, “Work it out, work it out!”
“Apl is such a family guy,” said Fergie, 33, offstage, adding that apl’s recent loss was particularly cruel in light of his brother Arnel’s suicide several years ago. “He had to leave his family at 14. To lose a brother and then lose a second brother – how much more does this guy have to go through?”
The death also gives the group an opportunity to take the Peapod Foundation, which uses music to encourage social change, and bolster their efforts in the Philippines.
“It really gives us more of a purpose, not just domestically but internationally,” said will.i.am. “It’s really important for us to go back to the Philippines and to take these kids off the street that are involved in crime and stuff like that.”