Singer, actress. Born Stacy Ferguson on March 27, 1975, in Hacienda Heights, California (some sources say Whittier, California). While today she is widely known as a successful solo artist and member of the popular hip-hop rock group the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie started out as an actress. She appeared in commercials and did voice work before joining the cast of Kids Incorporated in 1984.
The show featured the members of fictional musical group called Kids Incorporated and gave Fergie a chance to demonstrate her singing ability. It first ran in syndication before being acquired later by the Disney Channel. Along with Fergie, the program showcased other upcoming performers, such as Jennifer Love Hewitt and Eric Balfour. She stayed with the show for six seasons.
In the 1990s, Fergie joined forces with Stefanie Ridel and former Kids Incorporated cast member Renee Sands (also known as Renee Sandstrom) to form the pop group Wild Orchid. They released their first self-titled album in 1996, which spawned the modest hits “At Night I Pray,”“Talk to Me,” and “Supernatural.” Their 1998 follow-up album, Oxygen, did not fair as well as their initial effort.
With her musical career failing take off, Fergie began partying a lot and eventually developed an addiction to crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth. She eventually decided to end her hard-partying ways, kicking her drug habit in 2002. In a later interview with Time magazine, Fergie said that crystal meth “was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with.”
As she worked on getting her life back together, Fergie joined the Black Eyed Peas, an emerging hip-hop group with a popular following. Her first album with the group was 2003’s Elephunk, which became a huge smash driven by several successful singles, including “Where Is The Love” (which also featured vocals by Justin Timberlake) and “Hey Mama.” The group won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song “Let’s Get It Started”—another hit from Elephunk.
The band, which also includes apl.de.ap, will.i.am, and Taboo, have been on the fast track to international success since that career breakthrough. The 2005 follow-up album, Monkey Business, reached the top of the rap, R&B, and hip-hop charts and made it to number two on the Billboard 200. Showing the diverse nature of their music, the group won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” in 2005 and the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance for “My Humps” in 2006.
Also in 2006, Fergie fulfilled a dream she had since her Wild Orchid days—making her own solo album. With The Dutchess, she reached the top of the charts with such hits as “London Bridge,” “Glamorous,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Fergie shows off her ability to handle diverse styles and moods on the recording, from emotional ballads to hip-hop infused dance tracks to songs with reggae-flavored undertones.
In addition to her music, Fergie has recognized for her good looks. She was selected as one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 2004. In 2007, Fergie was featured in a series of advertisements for Candies, a shoes, clothing, and accessories company. A big fan of fashion, Fergie has done more than just model. She also inked a deal to design two handbag collections for Kipling North America. Returning to acting roots, she has taken on small roles in such films as Poseidon (2006) and Grindhouse (2007).