The Black Eyed Peas are revealing why Fergie stepped away from the music group in 2017, after over 10 years of working together.
In a new interview with Billboard magazine, Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap and Taboo stated that their former bandmate left the group out of a desire to devote herself to being a "great mom." Will.i.am explained, "We love her, and she's focusing on being a mom. That's a hard job, and that's what she really wants to do and we're here for her... It's really the way Fergie designed it, so we're respecting her design. We love Fergie, and we don't want anything but awesomeness for her."
Apl.de.ap added, "But unfortunately our schedule is displaced by [her] wanting to be a great mom, and she wants to focus on that."
Moreover, the group shared that her departure was ultimately for the best as it allowed them to introduce singer J. Rey Soul to the world. "I feel we're giving birth to a new artist, J.Rey Soul. I really want to give her ultimate praise and respect. What the fellows said—Ferg, she's doing the mom thing—but we have an amazing artist we're developing," Taboo said.
J. Rey semi-officially joined the group in 2018 after winning the Philippines' version of The Voice.
As for Fergie, it's been over two years since the band confirmed her departure. In that time she released her solo album Double Dutchess, which Will.i.am helped produce, and launched her record label Dutchess Music.
In addition, the songstress divorced from husband Josh Duhamel in September 2017. They finalized their split in Nov. 2019 and have since been co-parenting their son Axl Duhamel together.
A source previously shared, "Fergie and Josh have been in the best place since announcing their split. They get along much better now that they are apart than when they were together, and have also mastered co-parenting."