The Black Eyed Peas are an American hip hop group, consisting of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and singer Fergie. Originally an alternative hip hop group, they subsequently added R&B, pop and EDM/dance influences. Although the group was founded in Los Angeles in 1995, it was not until the release of their third album Elephunk in 2003 that they found widespread acclaim and achieved high record sales. Since that time, the group has sold an estimated 56 million records worldwide. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the Black Eyed Peas were the second-best-selling artist/group of all time for downloaded tracks, with over 42 million sales as of the end of 2011.
Their first major hit was the 2003 single “Where Is the Love?” from Elephunk, which topped the charts in 13 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it spent seven weeks at number one and went on to become Britain’s biggest selling single of 2003. Another European hit single from the album was “Shut Up”. Their fourth album, Monkey Business, was an even bigger worldwide success, certified 4× Platinum in the U.S., and spawning four singles, “Don’t Phunk with My Heart”, “Don’t Lie”, “My Humps” and “Pump It”. In 2009, the group became one of only 11 artists to have simultaneously held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, with their singles “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”, which topped the chart for an unprecedented 26 consecutive weeks. This album The E.N.D. later produced a third Hot 100 number-one placement with “Imma Be”, making the group one of few to ever place three number one singles on the chart from the same album, before being followed with “Rock That Body” and “Meet Me Halfway”, which peaked in the Top 10 of the Hot 100. “I Gotta Feeling” became the first single to sell more than one million downloads in the United Kingdom.
The Black Eyed Peas were ranked 12th on Billboard‘s Decade-End Chart Artist of the Decade, and 7th in the Hot 100 Artists of the Decade. At the 52nd Grammy Awards ceremony, held in January 2010, they won three awards out of six nominations. In November 2010, they released the album The Beginning. In February 2011, the group performed at the Super Bowl XLV halftime show. The album’s first two singles, “The Time (Dirty Bit)” and “Just Can’t Get Enough”, became international hits and topped the charts in many countries. The single “Don’t Stop the Party” became an international hit too.
1988–2000: Atban Klann, Behind the Front, and Bridging the Gap
The Black Eyed Peas date back to 1988, when eighth-graders William Adams (will.i.am) and Allan Pineda (apl.de.ap) met and began rapping and performing together around Los Angeles. The pair signed to Ruthless Records (run by Eazy-E) in 1992, catching the attention of Eazy-E manager Jerry Heller’s nephew. Along with another friend of theirs, Dante Santiago, they called their trio Atban Klann (ATBAN: A Tribe Beyond a Nation). Will 1X (aka will.i.am), apl.de.ap, Mookie Mook, DJ Motiv8 (aka Monroe Walker), and Dante Santiago formed Atban Klann. Their debut album, Grass Roots, was never released due to Ruthless records founder Eazy-E’s death.
After Eazy-E died in 1995, Atban Klann reformed and changed their name to Black Eyed Pods, and then Black Eyed Peas. Dante Santiago was replaced with Jaime Gomez (Taboo), and Kim Hill became a steady background singer. Unlike the “Gangsta Rap” sounds of Los Angeles-based hip-hop acts at the time, the trio performed with a live band and adopted a conscious musical and appearance style. After being signed to Interscope Records and releasing their debut, Behind the Front (1998) the group (and their accompanying live band) earned critical acclaim. One of the singles from the album was “Joints & Jam”, and was featured on the Bulworth soundtrack. Their second album, Bridging the Gap (2000), produced the singles “Weekends” featuring Esthero and “Request + Line” featuring R&B singer Macy Gray.
Their third album Elephunk began development on November 2, 2001, but was not released until 2003. It was the first album to feature the vocals of current member Fergie. Nicole Scherzinger was originally approached to join the Peas, but was forced to decline because she was a member of Eden’s Crush and was under contract. Fergie joined the group in 2002, introduced to will.i.am. by Dante Santiago. Elephunk is also the first album that indicated and demonstrated the new, polished pop sound designed to attract mass audiences. In a positive review of The Black Eyed Peas’ new-found style, Rolling Stone noted that since 2002, 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 futuristic songs – a total aesthetic commitment that extends from their garish wardrobes to their United Colors of Benetton worldview.”
From Elephunk came “Where Is the Love?”, which became The Black Eyed Peas’ first major hit, peaking at No.8 on the U.S. Hot 100, but topping the charts in several other countries, including seven weeks at No.1 in the United Kingdom, where it became the biggest-selling single of 2003. The single had similar results in Australia, staying at No.1 for six weeks. In an interview with TalkofFame.com, Taboo shared that Justin Timberlake’s split with Britney Spears impacted the recording of “Where Is The Love?”. The album subsequently spawned “Shut Up”, which peaked at No.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 No.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. Their fourth single from the album was titled “Let’s Get It Started”. Let’s Get It Started” won a 2005 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and also received two nominations for Record of the Year and Best Rap Song. In 2004, The Black Eyed Peas embarked on the Elephunk Tour, hitting many countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Read More CLICK HERE