UPDATE: will.i.am clarified his comments about Fergie leaving Black Eyed Peas, saying in a tweet, "Lies...@Fergie is focusing on #DoubleDutchess & @BEP is doing #MastersOfTheSun...That doesn't mean @fergie is out of the group #BEP4ever."
It is a sad day for Black Eyed Peas fans — Will.i.am has confirmed that Fergie, the band’s lead vocalist since 2002, has officially left the group.
UAE news magazine Ahlan! broke the news after speaking to Will.i.am and fellow Black Eyes Peas Taboo and apl.de.ap.
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.”
He continued, “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."
Fergie hasn’t recorded any new music with the Peas in more than five years, but she did perform with them at Coachella in 2015.
Will.i.am insisted that nobody is replacing Fergie, saying, “As for replacing, what people know the Black Eyed Peas to be, nobody is replacing Fergie. 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.”