Will.i.am has confirmed rumors that Fergie has left the Black Eyed Peas.
Fergie, who joined the group as a lead vocalist in 2002 and helped it become one of the most famous pop and hip-hop bands in the world, has not commented. She has not recorded new music with the Black Eyed Peas in more than five years, opting to concentrate on her solo career, and last performed with the group at the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The English-language UAE entertainment news magazine Ahlan! reported Thursday that Black Eyed Peas members will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap spoke to the outlet recently, ahead of their concert at the opening ceremony of the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff. The magazine said that Fergie has left the band and that will.i.am explained the "situation" like this:
"Since the beginning of Black Eyed Peas, we've always had amazing vocalists that appeared on the mic with us. People like Macy Gray, Esthero, Debi Nova, Fergie. On Elephunk, there were several females that appeared on that album," will.i.am said. "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."
A source told E! News exclusively that "Fergie has been phasing herself out" of the group for a while and is "just interested in working on her solo music."
"Fergie reuniting with the Peas is pretty unlikely," the source added.
Fergie and will.i.am appeared to be on good terms and in good spirits when they were last photographed together last September, during London Fashion Week.
Will.i.am was asked by Ahlan! about replacing the singer.
"As for replacing, what people know The Black Eyed Peas to be, 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 project, Masters of the Sun."
He is referring to Black Eyed Peas Present: Masters of the Sun—The Zombie Chronicles, a zombie alien invasion hip-hop graphic novel he co-created that will be released by Marvel in July.
Will.i.am also responded to rumors that Nicole Scherzinger will replace Fergie, saying, "Nicole is on the new BEP project as well. I don't want to go into details how she's involved yet."