Through small-screen stardom, a turbulent phase with pop hopefuls Wild Orchid, and subsequent multi-platinum sales with arena fillers Black Eyed Peas, Fergie's career has been almost as circuitous as it has been successful, culminating with a frolicsome blockbuster solo debut. Like Martika, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Rahsaan Patterson, the singer and rapper born Stacy Ferguson got her first major break as a youngster on the television program Kids Incorporated. Featured on the show from 1984 through 1989, the Californian continued to take infrequent acting assignments afterward and joined a group that developed into Wild Orchid. Ferguson was with the group for three albums, the first of which placed three singles -- "Supernatural," "At Night I Pray," and "Talk to Me" -- on the Billboard Hot 100. Professional and personal issues motivated her to leave the group in 2001.
Ferguson rebounded two years later when she joined the Black Eyed Peas during that group's sessions for their 2003 pop breakthrough Elephunk. Dubbed Fergie, she was featured on each one of the album's hit singles, from "Where Is the Love?" through "Let's Get It Started." Monkey Business, the 2005 follow-up, became the Black Eyed Peas' second multi-platinum hit due in large part to Fergie's Mariah Carey/Missy Elliott-informed attack on singles such as "Don't Phunk with My Heart" and "My Humps." Fergie capitalized on the fame in 2006 with a solo debut, The Dutchess, the majority of which was made in collaboration with BEP partner will.i.am. A blockbuster, it quickly went multi-platinum, armed with a run of five singles -- "London Bridge," "Fergalicious," "Glamorous," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "Clumsy" -- that either topped or peaked within the Top Five of the Hot 100.
After an extended break, the Black Eyed Peas returned with The E.N.D. and The Beginning. Released in 2009 and 2010, these albums added to the group's pile of Billboard achievements and RIAA certifications with "Boom Boom Pow," "I Gotta Feeling," "Imma Be," and "The Time (Dirty Bit)" among their biggest hits. By the end of 2010, Fergie had also appeared on David Guetta and Chris Willis' "Gettin' Over You" and Kanye West's "All of the Lights." With Black Eyed Peas on hiatus, Fergie resumed solo work. After she contributed "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" to the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby, and released a string of singles highlighted by the platinum DJ Mustard production "L.A. Love (La La)," she completed her second solo album, Double Dutchess, released in 2017. ~ Andy Kellman
- Hacienda Heights, CA
- 27 March 1975