Black Eyed Peas - Biography

Black Eyed PeasBlack Eyed Peas are an American hip hop crew from Los Angeles, who have lately enjoyed massive international pop success. As Atban Klann, they signed to Ruthless Records (run by Eazy-E), but their album was never released because the positive and peaceful lyrics were too unusual for Ruthless.

 

The group is composed of Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie.

After Eazy-E died of AIDS in 1995 (see 1995 in music), Atban Klann reformed as the Black Eyed Peas and released a debut, Behind the Front (1998, 1998 in music) that earned the group (and their accompanying live band) critical acclaim. Their other album is 2000's Bridging the Gap. Their breakthrough album Elephunk was released in 2003, featuring a new female vocalist, called Fergie, born as Stacy Ferguson who used to be in a teen pop band named Wild Orchid. She is the replacement of background singer Kim Hill who departed the band during 2000.

From "Elephunk" came the anti-war anthem "Where Is The Love?", which became their first major hit, peaking at #8 on the US Hot 100, but topping the charts practically everywhere else, including six weeks at #1 in the UK where it became the biggest-selling single of 2003. The album subsequently spawned "Shut Up", which failed in the US but peaked at UK #2 (despite being referred to by one reviewer as "The single most vacuous, pointless, vile and generally loathsome song in a generation") and topped the charts in many other European countries including France and Germany. Indeed the band have enjoyed greater mainstream success in Europe than in the US with "Elephunk" going Top 10, gold and (sometimes multi-)platinum in the UK, Germany and many other European markets, yet ultimately failing to break the US Top 10, although it did go platinum there. The third single from the album, "Hey Mama" hit the Top 10 in the UK, Germany and several other European countries, and reached the Top 30 of the US Hot 100. However, there was substantial edits to parts of "Hey Mama" for the radio, single and video versions, including the line "we drop bombs like we in the Middle East".

During Black Eyed Peas' concert tour in Asia in 2004, Apl.de.ap's life story was featured in a weekly Filipino TV drama special called Maalaala Mo Kaya (Will You Remember), which explained his childhood with his poor family in Pampanga, Philippines, before sadly parting with them to live a better life in the US at the age of 14. The Apl Song, with the chorus written in Tagalog, from their album Elephunk, tells the story of Apl.de.ap. The Tagalog lyrics and backing melody were based on the song Balita, an original composition of the 1970s Filipino folk rock group Asin.

Black Eyed Peas Official Website

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