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Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas from left to right: will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo and Apl.De.Ap c. 2009
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Hip-hop, electro-hop, pop, dance
Years active 1995–present
Labels Interscope, A&M
Associated acts Atban Klann, Cheryl Cole, Esthero, Dante Santiago, Sergio Mendes, The Pussycat Dolls, Macy Gray, Kid Cudi, Meanz of Operation, David Guetta, Wild Orchid, Stefanie Ridel, Renee Sands
Website www.blackeyedpeas.com
Members
will.i.am (1995-Present)
apl.de.ap (1995-Present)
Taboo (1995-Present)
Fergie (2001-Present)
Former members
DJ Motiv8 (1995)
Dante Santiago (1995)
Kim Hill (1995-2000)
Sierra Swan (1998)

The Black Eyed Peas is a hip hop group that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1995. The group is composed of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Will.I.Am and vocalists Apl.De.Ap, Taboo, and Fergie. Since their album Elephunk in 2003, the group's hip hop/dance-oriented style has sold an estimated 25 million albums worldwide and 31 million singles. They scored their first worldwide hit with "Where Is the Love?" in 2003, which topped over ten charts worldwide. Another single was the European hit "Shut Up". Their next album Monkey Business was another worldwide hit, certified 3x Platinum in the U.S., spawning two hit singles "My Humps"and "Don't Phunk With My Heart".

In 2009, the group became one of only eleven artists to have ever held the number one and two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time with their singles "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling", from the album The E.N.D., and the singles also topped the chart for an unprecedented 26 consecutive weeks combined in 2009. The album later produced a third Hot 100 number one with "Imma Be", making them one of the few groups to ever place three number ones on the chart from the same album. The album also includes singles such as "Meet Me Halfway" and "Rock That Body".

Before the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am and apl.de.ap were in a group called The Atban Klann signed to Eazy E's Ruthless Records. The Peas were ranked 12th at the Billboard's Decade-End Chart Artist of the Decade and 7th in Hot 100 Artists of the Decade.

Contents

Career

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1995-2000: Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap

In 1995, former Atban Klann members will.i.am and apl.de.ap, with new member Taboo formed The Black Eyed Peas and signed to Interscope Records. Kim Hill was also a member, however for unknown reasons she did not appear on album art or single art. She was featured on most of their songs on their debut album, 1998's, "Behind the Front". It became somewhat successful, however the peas became interested in a more dance style, and Hill left the group in 2000. The Black Eyed Peas then released their sophomore album, "Bridging the Gap", in which Hill was only on one track and was credited as a featured singer.

2001–04: Elephunk

The Black Eyed Peas signing autographs before a concert at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Their third album, Elephunk, began development on November 2, 2001 but was released in 2003. It was the group's first album to feature the vocals of Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson and she became the replacement for former member Kim Hill. Originally, Nicole Scherzinger (lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls) was approached to join the Peas. She was forced to decline because she was a member of Eden's Crush and was under contract. Dante Santiago then introduced Will to Fergie, who joined the band in 2003. In a positive review of the Black Eyed Peas' style, Rolling Stone noted that since 2003, when the group "hired a blond bombshell named Stacy 'Fergie' Ferguson and gave up their pursuit of backpack-rapper cred, they have made a kind of spiritual practice of recording dumb songs — a total aesthetic commitment that extends from their garish wardrobes to their United Colors of Benetton worldview."[1]

From Elephunk came "Where is the Love?", which became Black Eyed Peas' first major hit, peaking at #8 on the U.S. Hot 100, but topping the charts in several other countries, including six weeks at #1 in the UK, where it became the biggest-selling single of 2003. The single had similar results in Australia, staying at #1 for six weeks also. In an interview with TalkofFame.com, Taboo shared that Justin Timberlake’s split with Britney Spears impacted the recording of "Where Is The Love?".[2]

The album subsequently spawned "Shut Up", which peaked at #2 in the UK and topped the charts in many success and went Gold and Platinum in the U.S., UK, Germany, and other European markets.

The third single from the album, although significantly restyled from the original Elephunk version, "Hey Mama" hit the top 5 in Australia and the top 10 in the UK, Germany and other European countries and reached #23 in the U.S. The song received even more exposure in 2003 when it was featured in the first "silhouette" television commercial for the iPod.

In 2004, The Black Eyed Peas embarked on the Elephunk Tour, hitting many countries, including several countries of Africa and Europe.

2005–07: Monkey Business

The Black Eyed Peas performing on August 24, 2006

Their next album, Monkey Business, was released on June 7, 2005. Much of the pre-production writing was performed on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus while on Black Eyed Peas/N*E*R*D tour of 2004. The album's first single, "Don't Phunk with My Heart", was a hit in the U.S., reaching number three on the U.S. Hot 100. The spot the song reached was the highest peak yet of their career in the U.S. (this was later broken when "Boom Boom Pow" peaked at the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100) and earned them another Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The song reached three in the UK, and five in Canada, and stayed at number one for three weeks in Australia. Some radio stations, skittish about complaints of obscenity, played an alternative version, "Don't Mess with My Heart". "Don't Lie", the second single from the album, saw success on the U.S. Hot 100, reaching #14, although becoming somewhat more successful in the UK and Australia, reaching a peak of #6 in both countries. "My Humps", another song from the album, immediately achieved commercial success in the U.S. and fairly substantial radio play despite the sexually suggestive lyrics, reaching number three on the U.S. Hot 100 and number one in Australia, making it their fourth Australian number one single. However, many mocked the song for its poor lyrical content; John Bush, writing for Allmusic, described it as "one of the most embarrassing rap performances of the new millennium".[3] Despite this, the album Monkey Business debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, selling over 295,000 copies in its first week and was later certified triple platinum by the RIAA. Their next and last commercially-released single from the album was "Pump It", which borrows much of its sound from "Misirlou", specifically Dick Dale's version, it peaked at number 8 in Australia.

As well as being a hip-hop album, Monkey Business features some acoustic guitar playing from Jack Johnson in the single "Gone Going".

In September 2005, Black Eyed Peas released an iTunes Originals playlist of their greatest hits, as well as some that were re-recorded especially for purchase through iTunes. The playlist includes popular songs such as "Don't Lie", "Shut Up", and a new version of "Where Is the Love?" It has small stories containing info and commentary about the songs and how the group first met.

On November 27, 2005, Black Eyed Peas performed at the half-time show at the Canadian Football League's 93rd Grey Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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In autumn 2005, The Black Eyed Peas set off to tour with Gwen Stefani, as supporting act. In December 2005, they embarked on the "European Tour", which toured multiple countries in Europe.

The European leg which opened in Tel Aviv, Israel, continued to Ireland, the UK, Italy and Germany. After heading to Europe and Asia, they toured the U.S. again, and South America. Black Eyed Peas have starred in a series of web shorts for Snickers called Instant Def, appearing as a group of hip-hop superheroes.

On December 31, 2006, Black Eyed Peas performed at the last stop on the Monkey Business tour, at Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for more than 1 million people, being their biggest concert ever. Black Eyed Peas performed at the UK leg of Live Earth on July 7, 2007 at Wembley Stadium, London. will.i.am performed a new song, "Help Us Out", at the event, which is now on his album, Songs About Girls, as "S.O.S. (Mother Nature)".

Their headlined the main Ocean Stage at the Summer Sonic Festival in Tokyo, Japan on August 11, and Osaka, Japan on August 12, 2007. The act consisted of the band performing their hits, as well as Fergie singing solo tracks from The Dutchess. Will.i.am sang songs from his upcoming album. On December 10, 2005, the Peas cover of the John Lennon classic "Power to the People", which was mostly recorded on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, was released by Amnesty International as part of the Make Some Noise campaign to celebrate human rights. The song was later released on the 2007 John Lennon tribute album, Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. The same day, Black Eyed Peas performed their version live on the UK television program The Record of the Year together with John Legend and Mary J. Blige.

On March 21, 2006, Black Eyed Peas released a remix album, entitled Renegotiations: The Remixes to iTunes. It features remixed versions of "Ba Bump", "My Style", "Feel It", "Disco Club", "They Don't Want Music", "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity", and the standard version and video of "Like That". The following week, it was released on CD without the music video. Participants on the EP included DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Large Professor.

Already having produced the bulk of the Peas' albums, will.i.am has begun his solo career in earnest by producing and collaborating with a variety of musicians, most notably Michael Jackson and also including U2, Sergio Mendes, Carlos Santana, Too Short, Kelis, Cheryl Cole, John Legend, RBD, Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, Nas and Bone Thugs and Harmony.

In March 2006, Black Eyed Peas hit the road again as the featured headliner for the 6th Annual Honda Civic Tour with supporting bands Flipsyde and The Pussycat Dolls. They again brought the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus on the tour with them to craft new songs for Fergie's solo debut album. In 2006, they went on tour with The Pussycat Dolls.[4][5]

In 2007, Black Eyed Peas embarked on the Black Blue & You World Tour, visiting more than 20 countries, including Macau, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Hungary, South Africa, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Singapore, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia, Nigeria, Mexico, Thailand, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Argentina, Philippines, El Salvador and Brazil. This tour was presented by Pepsi, in conjunction with the new 'Pepsi More' advertising campaign, featuring Black Eyed Peas. In fact, "More" was a promotional single made just for the new Pepsi spot.

2008–2010: The E.N.D. and World Tour

The group's fifth studio album, The E.N.D. ("The Energy Never Dies"), was released on June 9, 2009. "Boom Boom Pow" was sent to U.S. radio on March 10, 2009 and was released on March 30, 2009 on iTunes. It became the group's first song from this album to reach #1, where it remained for 12 weeks, on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 1 in Australia, in Canada, and in the UK. The album has a more electro-hop beat rather than the usual hip hop/R&B feeling of their previous albums. The album entered the number one position on the Billboard 200 for the publication's week ending June 27, 2009, selling 304,000 copies during the week ending June 14, 2009.

The first promo single, "Imma Be", was released for download on iTunes on May 19 in the U.S., entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number 50 on the week ending June 6, 2009.

Band member Taboo told iProng Magazine that The E.N.D. may be the last Black Eyed Peas album released in physical form, in favor of digital-only album releases in the future. "Possibly, this is the last physical CD for any group, let alone a Black Eyed Peas CD. Because four years from now, we don’t know what it could be," he explained. "It's one thing to just have a CD and need to live with that CD, but what if you were able to take those fifteen songs, and then you got ten songs the next month that you couldn’t have on the CD? And then we just keep on giving you new material and keeping it fresh and reinventing the song."[6]

The second promo single "Alive" was released for download on May 26 via Sendle.com, an online social network.

After the release of The E.N.D., the Black Eyed Peas released "I Gotta Feeling. It was produced by David Guetta, as the second official single from the album. "I Gotta Feeling" climbed to number one on the U.S. iTunes chart replacing "Boom Boom Pow" which dropped to number two. The single charted at number three and then went to number one on the UK Singles Chart. It debuted at number 2 on the Hot 100 behind "Boom Boom Pow" and later surpassed it, taking the number 1 spot.[7] The Black Eyed Peas joined a very elite group of artists who have held the No.1 and 2 Spot on the Hot 100 simultaneously. From 18 April 2009, when "Boom Boom Pow" reached #1, through 10 October 2009, the last week "I Gotta Feeling" was at #1, the group was on top of the chart for 26 weeks, more consecutive weeks than any other artist.[8]

On Wednesday, June 17, 2009 the Black Eyed Peas performed on the pre-recorded show Alan Carr: Chatty Man. The band was interviewed and performed their single "I Gotta Feeling".[9] On July 8, 2009, they made an appearance at the Isle of MTV in Malta.[10]

On July 30, Billboard announced that the Black Eyed Peas set a record for the longest successive No. 1 chart run by a duo or group in the Billboard Hot 100's history. "I Gotta Feeling" hit its fifth consecutive week at No. 1, following 12 weeks at the top by the Peas' "Boom Boom Pow". Boyz II Men reigned on the chart for two 16-week runs in the mid-'90s.[11]

Following its release, will.i.am remarked that the album had been inspired by a trip to Australia, specifically the sound of The Presets' My People. "The energy on the Presets' small little stage was crazy energy. That song My People - that shit is wild," will.i.am said, "That's the reason why this record sounds the way it does - my three months in Australia." [12]

On September 8, 2009, the group performed live for Oprah Winfrey's 24th Season Kickoff Party, on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. An estimated 21,000 dancers in the streets performed a flash mob to the live performance of "I Gotta Feeling".[13] In September 2009, the group embarked on The E.N.D. World Tour, with dates announced in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. The tour is expected to last well into 2010.

Released for download in the U.S. on June 2, "Meet Me Halfway" was announced as the third single from the album. The music video premiered on iTunes on October 13. The single reached number one in the UK and Australia, making it their third chart topper from The E.N.D. in both countries. It also peaked at seven on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making it the groups third top-10 single from The E.N.D.

The group performed at the American Music Awards with the songs Meet Me Halfway and Boom Boom Pow. They also won 2 out of 3 categories in which they were nominated; Favorite Rock/Pop Group & Favorite R&B/Soul Group. They lost their last category, Best R&B/Soul Album (The E.N.D), to Michael Jackson.

William announced Missing You as the band's fourth single from the album although it is now confirmed that another promotional single was chosen as their fourth single Imma Be. During its promotional release, the song has peaked position #50 in the Hot 100 billboard chart. It was officially released on December 15, 2009. It has currently peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 Billboard chart. Rock That Body was chosen as the fourth single in the UK, Canada and Australia. It will also be the fifth single in the U.S.

The Black Eyed Peas started 2010 performing Rock That Body, Imma Be, Boom Boom Pow and other hits from The E.N.D in a New Year's Eve party and caused an increase in downloads of those songs. They also performed at the Grammys a mash-up of Imma Be/I Gotta Feeling. In the same night, they won 3 out of the 6 awards they were nominated for including Best Pop Vocal Album for The E.N.D, Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group for I Gotta Feeling and Best Short Form Video for Boom Boom Pow. In February 2010 Imma Be became the Black Eyed Peas 4th consecutive top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 from there multi-platnium selling album The E.N.D. It has so far reached a peak of #1. Heavy airplay in Canada caused Imma Be to reach number 5 on the Canadian Hot 100, their 4th consecutive top 5 hit from the album.

2010–present: New Studio Album

In February 2010, it was announced that The Black Eyed Peas had begun work on their next studio album. Apl.de.ap stated that it will be a "continuation" from The E.N.D. He also stated that it would be getting a Summer/June 2010 release implying that a single could be released any time soon, as early as April.[14][15]

It has been announced that they will play T in the Park festival in Scotland and Oxegen festival in Ireland in July 2010.[16]

Influences and musical techniques

Will.i.am mentions several artists who influenced the group's rapping, battle rapping, and production techniques in the book How to Rap, including Biggie, Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, Nas, Jay-Z, Jaz-O, Stetsasonic, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Geto Boys, 2 Live Crew, T.I., Missy Elliott, and Roxanne Shante.[17] He notes that he considers Debbie Harry (of the group Blondie) and Fab Five Freddy to be "the first will.i.am and Fergie",[17] referring to Fab Five Freddy's mention and appearance in the Blondie song, Rapture. Will.i.am mentions Chuck D and 2Pac as examples of two artists he may mix the styles of during battle rapping.[18] As a producer, will.i.am suggests that he only gives input if a song needs it,[19] he likes to come up with choruses before verses,[20] he comes up with rhythms first and words later,[21] and that the same amount of care goes into each song, regardless of the subject matter.[22]

Band members

Current members
Former members
  • Kim Hill – vocals (1995–2000)
  • Sierra Swan – vocals (1998)
  • Dante Santiago – vocals (1995)

Discography

Studio Albums

Tours

Grammy Awards

Category Song / Album / Video Year Result
Record of the Year "Where Is the Love?" 2004 Nominated
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
Record of the Year "Let's Get It Started" 2005 Nominated
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Won
Best Rap Song Nominated
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group "Don't Phunk with My Heart" 2006 Won
Best Rap Song Nominated
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group "Don't Lie" Nominated
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals "Gone Going" Nominated
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group "My Humps" 2007 Won
Album of the Year "The E.N.D." 2010 Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Album Won
Record of the Year "I Gotta Feeling" Nominated
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group Won
Best Dance Recording "Boom Boom Pow" Nominated
Best Short Form Music Video Won

Notes

  1. ^ ""The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)"". Rolling Stone. June 8, 2009. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/28503103/review/28565349/the_end_the_energy_never_dies. 
  2. ^ "Taboo Talks Justin Timberlake Rap Session". 2009. http://talkoffame.com/?p=770. Retrieved 2009. 
  3. ^ "Allmusic.com". http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:yfu06ja47180. 
  4. ^ Lamb, Billy (May 6, 2006). "Black Eyed Peas and Pussycat Dolls in Concert". About.com. http://top40.about.com/od/concertreviews/fr/beppcdconc.htm. 
  5. ^ "HondaCivicTour.com". http://www.HondaCivicTour.com. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  6. ^ "Black Eyed Peas interview". June 30, 2009. http://www.iprong.com/musicianinterviews/black-eyed-peas-interview/. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Black Eyed Peas E.N.D. Up At No. 1 On Billboard 200". June 17, 2009. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/black-eyed-peas-e-n-d-up-at-no-1-on-billboard-1003985032.story. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 
  8. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hot_100_number-one_singles_of_2009_(U.S.)
  9. ^ "Alan Carr: Chatty Man - Series 1 - Episode 3 - Alan Carr: Chatty Man". Channel 4. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/alan-carr-chatty-man/episode-guide/series-1/episode-3. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  10. ^ "Malta Special 2009". Isle of MTV. http://www.isleofmtv.com/en/index.html#/Artist09. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  11. ^ Up for DiscussionPost Comment (2009-07-30). "Black Eyed Peas Set Billboard Hot 100 Record". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/news/black-eyed-peas-set-billboard-hot-100-record-1003998841.story#/news/black-eyed-peas-set-billboard-hot-100-record-1003998841.story. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  12. ^ Adelaide Now (2009-07-01). "Peas Step Out Of Pod". http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,25719032-5018684,00.html. 
  13. ^ Video hosted by YouTube showing the 21,000 dancers.
  14. ^ http://www.blackeyedpeas.com/community/forum/793806
  15. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dZJc2-X7pc
  16. ^ http://www.oxegen.ie/2009/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=616&Itemid=58
  17. ^ a b Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. xi.
  18. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 29.
  19. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 231.
  20. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 190.
  21. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 113.
  22. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 20.
  23. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/warpedtour/3790004462/sizes/o/in/set-72157621821910353/

External links

Preceded by
The Tragically Hip
Grey Cup Halftime Show
2005
Succeeded by
Nelly Furtado

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