#36 TOP FEMALE RAPPER
Active: 1984 to Present
Stacy Ann “Fergie” Ferguson (born March 27, 1975) is an American singer, songwriter, fashion designer, television host, and actress. She is the female vocalist for the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas, with whom she has achieved chart success worldwide. Her debut solo album,The Dutchess (2006), spawned five Billboard Hot 100 top five singles, three of which went to number one.
Ferguson was a member of the children’s television series Kids Incorporated and the girl group Wild Orchid. In 2001, she left the group and in the subsequent year began to team up with The Black Eyed Peas. With The Black Eyed Peas, she enjoyed a series of hits and albums before she released her solo debut album in September 2006 to success. The Black Eyed Peas enjoyed further success with the release of their third album with Ferguson, The E.N.D. (2009); they attained their first string of Billboard Hot 100 number one songs.
She began touring in 2009/2010 with her group and she launched her debut fragrance,Out Spoken, under Avon in May 2010 and has since released three more fragrances.
She continued success with The Black Eyed Peas and they released the album The Beginning (2010), which featured three singles, including two number one songs.
As Ferguson’s five solo singles and six singles with The Black Eyed Peas have reached two million downloads in the United States, Ferguson was the artist with the most two-million sellers by the beginning of 2011.
Ferguson was born in Hacienda Heights, California, the daughter of devout Roman Catholic school teachers Theresa Ann (née Gore) and Jon Patrick Ferguson.
Her ancestry includes Irish, Scottish,English, Mexican (from a great-grandmother) and Native American.
She was raised Roman Catholic and attended Mesa Robles Middle School and Glen A. Wilson High School. She was a cheerleader, straight-A student and spelling beechampion, as well as a Girl Scout.
1984–89: Kids Incorporated and Peanuts
Ferguson studied dance and began to do voiceover work; she provided the voice for Sally in two made-for-television Peanuts cartoons, It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984) and Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown (1985), as well as on four episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.
From 1984 to 1989, she starred on the TV show Kids Incorporated and was the longest running cast member; she starred in the first six seasons of nine total.
1992–2002: Wild Orchid
Ferguson was a member of the female trio Wild Orchid, which she fronted with Stefanie Ridel and fellow Kids Incorporated star Renee Sandstrom.
By 1992, the girls began meeting with record labels, but they still could not get a recording contract. They eventually signed a music publishing deal with Sony Publishing before signing a record contract with RCA Records in 1994.
In April 2007, she gave an interview in which she admitted that she went on a sex and drugs spree when she turned eighteen, saying: “I have had lesbian experiences in the past. I won’t say how many men I’ve had sex with—but I am a very sexual person.”
Wild Orchid’s first single, “At Night I Pray”, debuted on the Billboard charts in September 1996. In March 1997, the band released their self-titled debut album, which debuted at number one. In September 1998, they released their second album, Oxygen, which was a commercial failure, only selling 200,000 copies worldwide. From June 16 to August 28, 1999, they opened for Cher’s Do You Believe? Tour alongside Cyndi Lauper, which took them to 52 cities across the United States and Canada.
After completing a third album, their record label declined to release it and Ferguson left the group in September 2001. In 2006, Ferguson told Entertainment Weekly that both frustrations with the band’s image and personal drug problems led her to leave Wild Orchid.
2003–08: Success with The Black Eyed Peas and The Dutchess
The Black Eyed Peas were recording their third album,Elephunk (2003), when will.i.am invited Ferguson to try out for a song called “Shut Up”. She got the gig and instantly bonded with the trio, going on to record five additional songs on the album. The following spring, shortly before Elephunk came out,Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine offered Ferguson a permanent spot to take over vocal duties and fill the void left by background singer Kim Hill’s departure in 2000.
From Elephunk came “Where is the Love?”, which became The Black Eyed Peas’ first major hit: it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in several other countries. The album subsequently spawned “Shut Up”, which topped the charts in many markets. The third single from the album, “Hey Mama”, reached the top 10 in several European countries and later peaked at number twenty-three in the United States.
In 2004, The Black Eyed Peas embarked on the worldwide Elephunk Tour. Their next album, Monkey Business, was released in June 2005. Monkey Business debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. The album’s first single, “Don’t Phunk with My Heart”, reached number three in the United States and earned them a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. “Don’t Lie”, the second single from the album, saw success on theBillboard Hot 100 and reached number fourteen. “My Humps”, another song from the album, immediately achieved commercial success in the United States and reached number three on the Hot 100 and number one in Australia. In autumn 2005, The Black Eyed Peas toured with Gwen Stefani, as supporting act.
In December 2005, they embarked on the “European Tour”. In March 2006, The Black Eyed Peas toured again, as the featured headliner for the Honda Civic Tour.
Ferguson’s debut solo album, The Dutchess, was released in September 2006. The Dutchess spawned six hits for Ferguson, which began with “London Bridge”, then “Fergalicious”, “Glamorous”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Clumsy” and “Finally”. Ferguson scored her fifth consecutive Top 5 hit from The Dutchess after “Clumsy” reached a peak position of number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
On November 18, 2007, Ferguson won the Pop or Rock “Favorite Female Artist” at the American Music Awards.
In addition, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” also earned Ferguson a Grammy nomination for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance”.
In December 2007, Blender picked Ferguson as their woman of the year.
In 2007, The Black Eyed Peas embarked on the Black Blue & You World Tour and visited more than 20 countries. Ferguson returned to acting in 2006, appearing as a lounge singer in the Poseidon remake. She later had supporting roles in 2007’s Grindhouse and the 2009 musical film Nine.
Ferguson and other members of the cast of Nine received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination for their performance in that film. On December 31, 2006, Ferguson began hosting Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on ABC for the pre-taped Hollywood segments after the New Year Ball came down in Times Square.
2009–11: Continued success with The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas released “Boom Boom Pow” as the lead single from their fifth album, The E.N.D., in March 2009. It went to number one in the United States and became the group’s first chart topper. They subsequently released a second single from the album, “I Gotta Feeling”, which proved an even greater success than the first: it moved from number two behind “Boom Boom Pow” to the top spot in July, and stayed for 14 straight weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the longest stay at the top of 2009.
The two hit singles back to back kept The Black Eyed Peas on the top for 26 consecutive weeks, from April 18 through October 16. “Meet Me Halfway” was released as the third single from the album in September 2009. The single reached number one in the United Kingdom and Australia. It also peaked at seven on the Billboard Hot 100. In October 2009, Ferguson became a part owner of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins.”Imma Be” was released as the fourth single; it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. “Rock That Body” was then released as the fifth single and reached number nine on the US charts.
She launched her debut fragrance,Outspoken, under Avon in May 2010. With Avon she would later release Outspoken Intense in 2011, Viva in 2012 and Outspoken Fresh in 2013. The Black Eyed Peas’ sixth album, The Beginning, was released on November 30, 2010, and is their fourth studio album to feature her as a member.
The first single from the album, “The Time (Dirty Bit)”, topped the charts in various countries. In January 2011, she began appearing in Dr Pepper Cherry commercials.
The second single from The Beginning was “Just Can’t Get Enough”, which also topped the chart in various countries and also on the UK Dance Chart. “Don’t Stop the Party” was the third single from the album. On September 3, 2011, the group performed a concert in Minot, North Dakota to benefit the victims of the 2011 Souris River flood that damaged over 4,000 homes and displaced over 12,000 people in Minot and along the Souris River. On September 22, Ferguson visited Madame Tussauds for the unveiling of her wax figure in Las Vegas, Nevada.
2012–present: Second studio album
In December 2012, Ferguson confirmed that she had begun writing her second solo studio album. In April 2013, Ferguson received the “Always Next, Forever Now” award from LOGO TV in honor of her work in the LGBT community. Ferguson has filed a claim at the Los Angeles County Superior Court to legally change her name to Fergie Duhamel and take the last name of her husband Josh Duhamel. Her lawyer claims that she is doing so to “conform to the first name which she is commonly and professionally known as, and has been for many years.”
On January 6, 2014, it was re-confirmed that Ferguson was beginning the process of her second studio album. She stated in an interview with radio host Ryan Seacrest that will.i.am will be handling the production; the album is expected to be released solely by Interscope Records in late 2014.
In September 2014, it was announced that Ferguson’s second studio album has been slated for a 2015 release. Mike Will Made It has been expected to be involved with Ferguson’s second album.
A new single from Ferguson, titled “L.A. Love (La La)”, was released to contemporary hit radio on September 30, 2014.
Ferguson began dating actor Josh Duhamel in September 2004, after she met him when she and the Black Eyed Peas filmed a cameo for an episode of Duhamel’s show Las Vegas. Ferguson and Duhamel became engaged in December 2007; they married in a Catholic ceremony on January 10, 2009. They have one son, Axl Jack Duhamel, born August 29, 2013. Both Duhamel and Ferguson are Catholic and attend church.
In May 2009, Ferguson officially came out as bisexual in The Sun. She later reconfirmed this during an interview with The Advocate.
While performing with Wild Orchid, Ferguson developed an addiction to crystal methamphetamine which followed her after she left the group in 2001. In September 2006, Ferguson talked with Time magazine about quitting her crystal meth addiction. “It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with,” she says. “It’s the drug that’s addicting. But it’s why you start doing it in the first place that’s interesting. A lot of it was being a child actor; I learned to suppress feelings.” Ferguson has stated in several interviews that she is an avid user of hypnotherapy, which she used to overcome her crystal meth addiction and to relax.