will.i.am reunited with teacher who changed his life
- Photo: AR4/WENN1 of 9
- Photo: ETonline2 of 9
- Photo: Photofab/StarTraks3 of 9
- Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage4 of 9
- Photo: John Hillcoat/Capital Pictures/Retna Ltd.5 of 9
- Photo: ZJJ/LNG/WENN6 of 9
- Photo: NC1/TWT/WENN7 of 9
- Photo: LTA/WENN8 of 9
Will.i.am choked back tears on TV on Thursday as he was reunited with the high school teacher who encouraged him to pursue his musical dreams.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman was a guest on Katie Couric's daytime talk show to promote Ekocycle, his new recycling initiative with beverage giant Coca-Cola, and he opened up about a former health teacher, Ms. Montez, who "changed his life" by giving him the attention and encouragement he needed to launch a career in the spotlight.
Montez was then brought out onstage and will.i.am fought back tears as she praised him for his charity work.
She told the audience, "My best memories of Will is he was just ... he feels like family to me, even after all this time, to me, he just feels like family. I'm proud of everything (he's done), but he's so philanthropic, I just respect that so much."
will.i.am returned the favor by thanking Montez for helping him overcome his childhood shyness and show off his musical talents, because her kindness helped him avoid a life of trouble on the streets of his native East Los Angeles.
He said, "Encouraging a kid, especially when they come from nothing, it goes a long way. You don't know where I would have been if it wasn't for people like Ms. Montez (sic)."
RELATED: Surprising Celebrity Couples
From Nicole Richie to Miley Cyrus, check out these embarrassing celebrity bikini malfunctions!Watch Video »
Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, and Christina Hendricks all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Find out all about Taylor Swift's cute date night and more on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
David Beckham takes off his shirt for his fans at an LA Galaxy game.Watch Video »
Sofia Vergara poses in a revealing neon bikini while her "Modern Family" castmates hit the beach in Australia on Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
See the latest celeb wardrobe malfunctions.Watch Video »