The Black Eyed Peas and Fergie have officially parted ways. Although rumors of a split have persisted in recent years, will.i.am finally confirmed her departure during an interview with Ahlan! yesterday (June 1).
“Since the beginning of Black Eyed Peas, we’ve always had amazing vocalists that appeared on the mic with us,” he explained. “People like Macy Gray, Esthero, Debi Nova, Fergie. On Elephunk, there were several females that appeared on that album. Obviously Fergie was the featured female, but on songs like ‘Let’s Get it Started,’ it’s Noelle [Scaggs], and then Fergie, songs like ‘Latin Girls,’ it’s Debi Nova, and ‘Request Line,’ it’s Macy Gray. We’ll always work with good females.”
Although Fergie has left the group, no one is taking her place, according to will. “Nobody is replacing Fergie,” he said. “She’s working on her solo project at the moment, we’re on this brand-new experience, celebrating 20 years of Black Eyed Peas putting out music. We worked on a bunch of songs on her solo record, we’re proud that she has her label, but Black Eyed Peas are pushing it forward in terms of content, technology and experiences on our new [graphic novel] project, Masters of the Sun — The Zombie Chronicles.”
So what about rumors that Nicole Scherzinger is taking The Dutchess’ spot? “Nicole is on the new BEP project as well,” will said. “I don’t want to go into details how she’s involved yet.”
An insider confirmed that Fergie has been “phasing herself out” of BEP for quite some time to focus on her solo career, according to E! News. The source added: “Fergie reuniting with the Peas is pretty unlikely.”
The group seemed to be united just last year. In late August, they teamed up for the all-star remake of “Where’s the Love?” Fergie joined will.i.am, Taboo, and apl.de.ap in the video.
But the departure comes on the heels of last week’s bombshell that Fergie was starting her own imprint, Dutchess Music, after leaving will.i.am Music Group under Interscope Records. Double Dutchess, her first album in 11 years, is due this summer.
The Black Eyed Peas launched their career as a trio with 1998’s Behind the Front and 2000’s Bridging the Gap. Fergie joined the group on Elephunk, which is heralded as the band’s breakout album in the pop world.
Fergie’s contributions continued on the immensely popular Monkey Business in 2005, The E.N.D. in 2009, and The Beginning in 2010. As a quartet, they dropped their most successful singles, including “I Gotta Feeling,” “Boom Boom Pow,” and “Imma Be.” The group has not released a new album since 2010.