His quest to become the "first Latin soul sensation" and "a serious artist with the platinum touch" began when Lil Eddie thumbed through his parents' hip R&B collection as a child. Born in Brooklyn as Edwin Serrano, life was filled with his parents' Puerto Rican culture and things were generally happy until he turned seven. A fire rendered his family homeless, sleeping in their cars, and on the streets until they were able to find a home in Spanish Harlem. The neighborhood was rough, but Lil Eddie was driven to rise above. Auditioning his version of Boyz II Men's "Water Runs Dry" won the young singer a spot in the New York Boys Choir in Manhattan, the same choir that gave Marc Anthony his musical start. Seeing how his talent could move people, Lil Eddie now had confidence on his side, the kind of confidence that had him graduating with honors from New York's Public School Repertory Company in Times Square and coming home to find four musical scholarships in his mailbox. He earned second place in the BMG Writer's Award competition in 2002 for his song "Can't Believe" and won the Apollo Theater's amateur night contest nine weeks in a row. He eventually hooked up with Bad Boy Records artist Mario Winans, adding melodies and lyrics to Winans' beats. P. Diddy's "I'm Looking at You" and Carl Thomas' "She Is" were hits with the Lil Eddie touch, but working in the background wasn't enough. When Winans started his Yellow City label, he looked to Lil Eddie to become his first signing. The singer jumped at the chance, and the duo got to work. The result, Nobody's Fool, hit the streets in September of 2004.