The Black Eyed Peas are known for dozens of hit songs, including “Boom Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Where Is the Love?” Since forming in 1995, the music group has seen some roster changes that have left significant marks on its history.
Here’s how the band rose to fame, singer-songwriter Nicole Scherzinger’s connection, and the story of Fergie‘s joining the group and ultimate departure.
The history of the Black Eyed Peas
Many people, even devoted Black Eyed Peas fans, might not know how long the group has been together. It was formed in 1995 in Los Angeles and started with will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Jaime Gomez, and Kim Hill. They released their first albums, Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap, in 1998 and 2000 but didn’t see as much success as they would from their 2003 album, Elephunk.
The group continued to create hit records, including Monkey Business in 2005, which included the controversial track “My Humps” and other well-received songs like “Don’t Lie” and “Pump It.” The E.N.D was released in 2009, which included “Boom Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Imma Be.” In fact, “I Gotta Feeling” remained on the charts for 56 weeks, Billboard reported.
Soon, the Peas released a sixth album, The Beginning, in 2010. But it didn’t see the same success their previous three had. The group stayed in the spotlight, however, performing during the 2011 Super Bowl halftime show. Not long after, they announced an indefinite hiatus and did not resume recording again until 2015.
Fergie left the group in 2017, and J. Rey Soul took her spot. The group has since released two other albums, Masters of the Sun and Translation. The Black Eyed Peas were one of the biggest groups of the 2000s, and those coming of age during those years remember it fondly.
Nicole Scherzinger auditioned with Fergie
After Kim Hill left the group, the Black Eyed Peas looked for a new female singer to deliver powerful vocals. According to Independent, will.i.am told fans that his original choice was Nicole Scherzinger, who eventually joined the Pussycat Dolls. Evidentially, will.i.am invited her to join BEP, but Scherzinger’s boyfriend didn’t want her to sign on. However, Mirror reported that Scherzinger declined the offer because she was in another professional contract.
It remains unclear which version is the true reason for Scherzinger’s decision to decline the offer to join the Black Eyed Peas. But either way, it paved the way for Fergie. And the band reached new heights after she signed on.
Fergie’s time with the group
Music artist Dante Santiago introduced Fergie to will.i.am, and she signed on with the Black Eyed Peas in 2002. Stacy Ferguson, AKA Fergie, was featured on Elephunk, which represented a noticeable shift in the quality of music BEP was recording and releasing. Their genre has shifted more toward hip-hop/pop, which appealed to a wider audience.
She has also dabbled in a solo music career with her releases The Dutchess and Double Dutchess in 2006 and 2017. Fergie was with the band during its peak but opted to leave the group in 2017 to focus on being a mom, CNN reported. Fergie and her now-ex-husband, actor Josh Duhamel, had Axl Jack in 2013.
Other Black Eyed Peas bandmates have also had commendable solo careers. Will.i.am released four albums and has appeared in several movies and TV series. Apl.de.ap has released his own share of singles, and J. Rey Soul stepped into the spotlight as a finalist on The Voice of the Philippines.
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