Padilla was born as Daniel John Ford Padilla on 26 April 1995 in Manila, Philippines. When he joined Star Magic, he simply used the name Daniel Padilla. He is the son of actors Rommel Padilla and actress-singer Carla Ford (screen name: Karla Estrada), the nephew of action star Robin Padilla and Rustom Padilla, better known as "BB Gandanghari". His mother raised Padilla as a single parent. Padilla has seven half-siblings from his father's side, including Matt Raprap Padilla, RJ Padilla, Roanna Padilla, and Red Padilla, and three younger half-siblings from his mother's side, JC Padilla, Margaret Planas, and Carmella Ford. Padilla met his siblings from his father's side in 2011 when he turned sixteen.
Padilla lived for a year in Tacloban and studied there (grade 4). In 2014 he registered as an AMA Education System's student. Due to the tight schedule, he reportedly took the home study program of Angelicum College years back. Padilla finally shared his plans to go back to school after his mother, Karla Estrada, announced on Magandang Buhay that she wants all her children to finish their studies.
Padilla was discovered by the late talent manager Douglas Quijano and pushed him to audition on Star Magic. He was introduced to the media as a member of the Star Magic Circle 2013. At a press conference in 2013, Padilla said he never imagined ending up in entertainment, but he thinks that he is in show business for a more important reason since his family went through financial difficulties.
Padilla's first acting job was in 2010, in a minor role in Gimik 2010, a remake of the hit 1990s Filipino youth-oriented show, in which he was paired with Julia Montes. He cast as Patrick Rivero in next youth-oriented show, Growing Up, where he first worked with co-star Kathryn Bernardo, replaced Albie Casiño (who was Bernardo's co-star in Mara Clara). He along with Bernardo paired again in the soap opera Princess and I (2012-2013), which immediately became one of the top prime time shows on ABS-CBN. The show also marked the birth of his love team with Bernardo as KathNiel.
His film debut came in 2012 when he was selected to join Star Magic's 20th anniversary ensemble cast movie as Billy Fernandez in 24/7 In Love (2012) with co-star Bernardo. Their draw was further steeled in support roles for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) blockbuster entry titled Sisterakas (2012).
Star Music released Padilla's self-titled debut album, Daniel Padilla on 28 May 2012. The first commercial and digital single released from the album was ‘’Hinahanap-Hanap Kita’’ on 20 April 2012. The album sold more than 10,000 copies in less than a week. The album peaked at the No. 1 on the Odyssey Music & Video's nationwide sales reports (overall). It went on to sell more than 30,000+ copies and was certified double platinum on 14 March 2013.
In January 2013, Padilla interpreted a hit song for Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs (2013), "Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat". The music video hit No. 1 on the 2013 Pinoy MYX Year-End Countdown, and listed among the top three Filipino Trending Music Videos of 2013. "Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat" won special awards at the Himig Handog finale night, including MOR Listener's Choice, Tambayan 101.9 Listener's Choice, Star Records CD Buyer's Choice, and MYX Choice for Best Video.
On 18 March 2013, Padilla released "Kamusta Ka" as the lead single for his first full-length-studio album, DJP. It was first released in My Music Store Philippines, and released digitally on 11 April, while the physical album was officially released on 16 April. DJP peaked at number 1 on Odyssey Music & Video’s nationwide sales reports (overall). DJP album went platinum in less than 24 hours, but listed on PARI, 25 September 2013 and went double platinum the next day. Padilla held his first headlining concert, "Daniel: Live!" on 30 April 2013 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This is the first concert to streamed live via Sky Cable’s pay per view services in Philippines.
In 2013 he took on the role of Joaquin and Ryan Manansala on his second prime time soap with Bernardo, Got To Believe. The series finale, which was dubbed "Best Ending Ever," not only dominated Twitter but also the ratings, with 38.6% holds the record as the highest rating final episode in 2014." Padilla had finally made a name in the movies with Must Be... Love. In the same year Padilla also starred in his first horror film through his second MMFF entry, Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay (2013). Pagpag was named the highest grossing horror movie in the festival's history. Both film made into the Top 10 List of highest-grossing Filipino films in 2013.
In 2014 Padilla once again interpreted a song for the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs (2014), "Simpleng Tulad Mo". He was one of the youngest interpreters in the competition. The music video debut at number 2 and the next week hit No.1 for five weeks. "Simpleng Tulad Mo" listed as the Top 10 Most Streamed OPM Artists of the year in Philippinese Spotify. Padilla and Yeng Constantino held a multi-national tour, Daniel Padilla Rocks with Yeng Constantino. It kicked off in Dubai on 10 April 2014, continued to London and Rome, and ended in Milan on 20 April 2014, with four legs and shows in total. While the second studio album, I Heart You released on 14 April 2014. The digital album peaked at No. 1 on the iTunes Philippines chart, the physical album reached the No. 1 spot on Odyssey Music & Video’s nationwide sales reports. The album also reported beat One Direction and Mariah Carey in Astrovision/Astroplus Top-Selling Albums. Less than a month after its release, I Heart You achieved platinum record status in less than a month and was certified double platinum on 8 May 2015.
Daniel Padilla marked his 19th birthday with a second sold-out concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night, 30 April 2014. "DOS" was another record-breaking event at the Araneta Coliseum. Those who couldn’t go to Araneta were able to watch it lived on SkyCable Pay-Per-View. The concert also featured his own band Parking 5 before disband on July 2014. As one of the network's and Star Magic's most sought talents, Padilla has been tapped to become the face of a number of ABS-CBN Mobile campaigns. He recorder single, "Unlimited And Free" as the theme song of ABS-CBN Mobile in 2014. On 1 December 2014 Daniel Padilla were given his own stars on the country's version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Eastwood Walk of Fame, located at Eastwood City, Quezon City. In the same month, Padilla listed as the Top 10 most streamed OPM artists on Spotify's Year in Music.
In 2014 alone, Padilla made three films: the action film Sa Ngalan ng Ama Ina at mga Anak with the Padilla clan, his first historical, action drama; his third MMFF entry Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo; and the box office success, She's Dating the Gangster, with his co-star Bernardo. The Cathy Garcia-Molina film had Daniel acting as the hippie Kenji and Kenneth Delos Reyes from the Wattpad inspired film that ended with a gross of ₱296 million and made it onto the List of 2014 box office number-one films in the Philippines.
Padilla, along with Bernardo, dubbed as "KathNiel", visited Dubai to hold a concert titled "Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo Live in Dubai" on 1 January 2015. In February, Padilla was named Nickelodeon's Global Slime Star at the 2015 Kids' Choice Awards, making him the first Pinoy to receive such an award. Padilla was unable to attend the awards night as he was in the midst of the "One Magical Night" US tour. The announcement of the win was made through the official Nickelodeon Facebook fan page, with a video of him getting slimed. He was also in the Favorite Asian Act category but lost to Indonesia’s group JKT48. Padilla's film with Bernardo in 2015 titled Crazy Beautiful You set three records, with P32 million, making it the first Filipino movie to register such a huge box office gross on its first day of showing. Not only did the film pass the P300million mark, but it also made history as the second film to earn $2 million in international screenings and listed in to the Top ten grossing films of 2015 .
Daniel Padilla returned to prime time on 25 May 2015 for the remake of the 90s soap Pangako Sa 'Yo as Angelo Buenavista. Since it premiered in 2015, Pangako Sa 'Yo has consistently recorded high ratings and beat its rival program, according to data from Kantar Media. The finale episode raked in a 44.5% rating. The show also top ABS-CBN top selling international distribution program.
His third studio album I Feel Good premiered worldwide on international music streaming service Spotify on 7 June 2015 before officially being released on 13 June. Padilla personally hand picked most of its songs, which he says is his favorite of his albums. I Feel Good has 13 tracks, with first single "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and promo single, Stevie Wonder's "Isn’t She Lovely," "Knocks Me Off My Feet," and "Ikaw Ang Aking Mahal". The I Feel Good album reached gold status in less than a week. The album peaked at number one on Odyssey Music & Video’s nationwide sales reports. T
Padilla held his third major concert, "Most Wanted" on 13 June 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena. He sang 14 songs in total, including songs from his latest album I Feel Good. The concert not just streamed live via Sky Cable's pay per view services but also streamed live in the cinemas of malls in Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Cabanatuan, Pampanga, and Legazpi. The Most Wanted concert also could be played during a limited period from ABS-CBNmobile-powered mobile devices. In the same year Padilla along with co-actor Bernardo released a Christmas album, Christmas Love Duets. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Odyssey Music & Video's nationwide sales reports (overall) The title track, "Perfect Christmas", earned a nomination at the 29th Awit Awards for Best Christmas Recording.
Padilla, along with over 50 Filipino performers from the Philippines and the US, performed at "ASAP Live in New York" at Barclays Center. During the show Padilla with Bernardo promoted their upcoming movie Barcelona: A Love Untold. The movie officially released on 14 September. It was the first movie in which Padilla along with Bernardo acted as adults, leaving their teen idol status. Padilla starred as Ely Antonio, which earned him compliments from award-winning director Olivia Lamasan and critics. George Vail Kabrisante of The Manila Times even said that Padilla is one of the worthies to earn 2017 best actor awards. The movie grossed total ₱240,000,000 (locally), making it the second of the Top 10 Grossing Philippine Films of 2016.
On 27 November 2016 Star Music head Roxy Liquigan confirmed Padilla's fourth major concert dubbed "DJ’s Classic Back at Araneta". It was supposed to be staged at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on 5 February 2017. But due to his busy schedule, the concert has been reset to October 2017. Padilla released his first compilation album, titled DJ Greatest Hits, on 19 December 2016. The album consists of eighteen songs; including sixteen of his all-time hits since the start of his music career, as well as two additional new songs, "Reyna Ng Puso Ko" and "Bastaw Ikaw". In January 2017, Padilla listed among the 25 most influential artists under the age of 25 who are dominating the music industry in the Philippines.
Daniel Padilla played role as Jose Ibarra "Dos" Gonzales Jr. in his romantic-comedy film Can't Help Falling in Love. He received complimented from critics for the role. The film producer, John Leo Garcia expressed his proud to Padilla as written on his Instagram's caption, "...we are happy and proud of what you have become. I am sure you'll get a long way."
ABS-CBN released first trailer of Padilla and Bernardo's upcoming Philippine horror-action fantasy drama television series sequel to the 2010 fantasy drama Imortal, La Luna Sang Re (Spanish for The Blood Moon) in 2016.
Unarguably the most popular to emerge from the Padilla showbiz clan's third generation, Padilla is aware that he has inherited the trademark bad boy swagger of his elders. However, while he may look the part of a heartthrob oozing with self-confidence, Daniel has said he's not the arrogant teen others perceive him to be. People see the vibe Padilla gives like his uncle, Robin Padilla. Though flattered, he has said that he also wants to be known for being simply himself. Mariah Carey, during her Manila leg of the "Me. I Am" tour, commented on Padilla, "Everyone was talking about this singer named Daniel Padilla, so I went to his concert and let me tell you, that boy is fine."
Padilla has been labelled as Philippine showbiz's "Teen King". Rito P. Asilo of Philippine Daily Inquirer stated, "If Daniel sustains this upward thespic trajectory, it’ll be harder to imagine other Teen King wannabes being able to snatch his crown anytime soon. "Padilla seems to be getting more and more good looking as a leading man as the years go by." This is the observation of most writers at the 25th anniversary thanksgiving party of Star Magic in February 2017. Mario Bautista of Asian Journal further said, "His star wattage is getting brighter and his natural charisma, more and more appealing to fans."
Padilla's longtime stylist is Ton Lao, a pioneer of menswear styling in the Philippines. He cited Johnny Depp as a style icon. But some people have criticised his fashion, because they felt that such remarks [tongue-in-cheek fashion], were careless for someone who is idolised by so many impressionable young people.
Padilla once made the rounds in social media when he cursed and allegedly walked out at a free concert in Ilagan City after a group of alleged hecklers flashed him the middle finger, while performing on stage. However, he did not walk out, and immediately apologized when he went back to perform. Padilla is also admired for displaying remarkable maturity at such a young age. For example, he turned down an offer to play in the developmental league of the Philippine Basketball Association because he felt that his inclusion was merely based on his popularity as an actor. However, D-League director Eric Castro said he was eligible to join the league because he is a student of AMA.
Padilla opened a Twitter account in July 2011, and is frequently a trending topic on Twitter, because his fans frequently discuss him on the network. He was named among the top ten most followed Twitter accounts in the Philippines in 2016, with 5,4 million followers.
Padilla, along with his co-actor Bernardo, dominated the Push Awards, where the most influential stars online were recognized by ABS-CBN entertainment website PUSH.com.ph.
Daniel Padilla and two other Filipina singers were appointed by Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) as OPM junior ambassadors on 7 June 2013 at the Pagcor Grand Theater during the finals night of the "[email protected] 3: The Search for the Next Total OPM Performer". The mission is to encourage the youth to support and promote Original Pilipino Music. He is also brand ambassador of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). On July 2017 Padilla along with Bernardo appointed as Cybersmile ambassador to fight against cyberbullying.
There was an abundance of providing assistance to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, known as the Yolanda typhoon. Padilla was one of the artists who sent donations and gave a free concert at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on 7 November 2014 for the families of those who had been killed. Padilla along with his mother were given a special award, the Bayani ng Haiyan ("Hero of Haiyan"), from the Haiyan Disaster Governance Initiative headed by film producer-actor Carlo Maceda, which stands as the communications director of the organization. In the same month Padilla was involved in another charity event. He led the star-studded basketball exhibition "Hoops for Hope" charity game at the court of the Mall of Asia Arena on 16 November 2014. The charity game aimed to help the children of World Vision Philippines and the Child Haus Foundation.
In 2013, Padilla was listed in the top 12 biggest Filipino celebrity endorsers. He is the first celebrity face of KFC in the Philippines. Padilla also selected as the brand ambassador of local fashion brand Bench, as well as Pepsi, Nescafe, Honda, and Oishi. In 2015 Padilla was selected as the High Sierra endorser.
Padilla earned numerous awards and nominations in television, film and music sections. Daniel Padilla won the 26th Awit Awards for Best Selling Album of the Year. Padilla won the 2013 Myx Music Awards Favorite New Artist, and the second single from his album, "Prinsesa" (original: "The Teeth"), earned a nomination for Favorite Remake.
DJP won three awards at three different awards ceremonies including the 27th Awit Awards, PMPC Star Awards for Music and MOR Pinoy Music Awards for Best Selling Album of the year, Pop Album of the Year and Album of the Year respectively. The show earned him 2013 ASAP Pop Viewers Choice Awards for Top Kapamilya TV Character.
In November 2013 Padilla was nominated in the 2013 World Music Awards for World's Best Male Artist, World's Best Live Act, and World's Best Entertainer of the Year. Must Be Love... earned Padilla a 2012 FAMAS Awards for German Moreno Youth Achievement Award and a nomination at the PMPC Star Awards for New Movie Actor of the Year. Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay earned him a 2013 Metro Manila Film Festival for Mavshack Male Star of the Night and a nomination in the Best Actor category. He was also nominated at the 2014 FAMAS Awards for Best Actor and the 2013 Young Critics Circle for Best Performance. The film also earned him his first Prince of Philippine Movies award at the 2014 GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards.
His hit song "Simpleng Tulad Mo" won the 2015 MYX Music Award for Favorite Song.
I Heart You earned him awards and a nomination at the 2015 PMPC Star Awards, Myx Music Awards, MOR Pinoy Music Awards and ASAP Pop Viewers Choice Awards. His hit song "Simpleng Tulad Mo" has won Myx Music Awards for Favorite Song.
She is Dating The Gangster and Got To Believe earned Padilla his first GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards for Teen King of Philippine Movies & TV, 2015 PEP List Awards for Movie Star of the Year and for the second time being nominated at the 2015 FAMAS Awards Crazy Beautiful You earned him his second 2016 GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards for Prince of Philippine Movies. Along with Bernardo Padilla won the 2016 PMPC Star Award for Movie Love Team of the Year. He once again won PEP List Awards for Movie Star of the Year and once again, received nomination at the 2016 FAMAS Awards.
During Pangako Sa' Yo's run, Padilla received numerous awards, such as Vietnam's Face of the Year Awards, LionHearTV’s RAWR Awards, PUSH Awards, ASAP Pop Teen Choice Awards, and ALTA Awards. He also earned his first nomination at the PMPC Star Awards for Best Drama Actor. On July, Padilla for the first time land the No. 1 spot in the annual list "YES! 100 Most Beautiful Stars".
Daniel Padilla is the first Pinoy artist to win Kids' Choice Awards for Global Slime Star.