Paul Joshua "Sonny" Sandoval (born May 16, 1974) is an American singer and rapper. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band P.O.D.. Sandoval was born in San Diego, California to a Guamanian-Hawaiian mother and a Mexican-Italian father. He grew up in a Chicano barrio of San Diego, and joined a gang at age thirteen. He drank and used marijuana frequently during his teenage years. However, in 1992, when he was eighteen, Sandoval's mother died of leukemia at the age of 37. Sonny was greatly influenced by the death of his mother, who was a devout Christian.