Black Eyed Peas Bio
With several Grammy nominations and wins, record-breaking, chart-topping hits and a worldwide fan base, you can easily call the Black Eyed Peas mega pop stars - but how did they get so big? Find out in Kidzworld's BEP bio!
A Tribe Beyond A Nation
Today's Black Eyed Peas is made up of rapper/musician Will.I.Am, Jaime Gomez, rappers Apl.de.Ap and Taboo and sultry singer Fergie, but they didn’t start out that way. Back when they were in eighth grade William Adams (Will.I.Am) and Allan Pineda (Apl.de.Ap) met each other and started rapping in Los Angeles. Fresh out of high school and after just a few years of performing they got signed to Ruthless Records, adding another member, their friend Dante Santiago, and formed the band the Atban Clan (Atban stood for A Tribe Beyond A Nation).
Unfortunately before they could release their first album the owner of the record company, Eazy-E, died. But that didn’t stop the band from continuing to perform, adding Taboo as a member, changing their name to the Black Eyed Pods (and later, Black Eyed Peas). They even went so far as changing their style to be different than the LA gangsta-rap scene by playing with a live band and wearing more eye-catching outfits - something fans can still see in their live shows and videos now!
The Black Eyed Peas were on their way to being a worldwide sensation, but they were still missing something: their lead female singer Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson! Originally they offered the spot to Nicole Scherzinger (from the Pussycat dolls), but she couldn’t accept because of her contract in another singing group, Eden’s Crush. Finding Fergie was the last touch for creating their polished pop-rap sound, and working on their album Elephunk, which featured the breakout hit “Where is the Love” - the biggest selling single of 2003. It also had other feel-good dance hits like “Hey Mama,” and “Let’s Get it Started.”
Fergie told reporters: "I first went to see the Black Eyed Peas in 1998 at a place called the El Rey Theatre in LA. Because they were hip hop-yet-abstract and their style was eclectic and theatrical, there was something about them I knew I could gel with. So years later, when my group Wild Orchid and the Peas happened to be on a radio show at the same time, I went up to Will.I.Am, got on my hustle, and told him I'd been wanting to work with him forever! We exchanged numbers, and it was when they needed a singer for their song 'Shut Up!' that we actually started working together."
Listen to I Gotta Feelin' from The E.N.D.:
The Energy Never Dies
The Black Eyed Peas didn’t stop at just making one hit records, they went on to record Monkey Business, which had the unforgettable song "My Humps" on it. It skyrocketed on the charts - no surprise there! The band was unstoppable, touring the world and getting new influences from all over, like Australia!
Will.I.Am told reporters that their next album The E.N.D. (The End Never Dies), released in 2009, was influenced by Aussie band The Presets: "The energy on the Presets' small little stage was crazy energy. That song My People - that [stuff] is wild. That's the reason why this record sounds the way it does - my three months in Australia."
And the success of Boom Boom Pow (which broke all their other records) proved it! Since gaining so much popularity, firecracker Fergie has gone on to record her own solo albums as well, but hopefully the Black Eyed Peas will never die – they’re rumored to be working on their next album right now!