Stacy Ann Ferguson (born March 27, 1975), better known by her stage name Fergie, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, fashion designer and actress. She was a member of the children's television series Kids Incorporated, and the girl group Wild Orchid. She is the female vocalist for the hip hop group the The Black Eyed Peas with whom she has attained much charting success worldwide. Her own debut album spawned four Billboard Hot 100 top five singles, three of which went to number one.
Having left Wild Orchid in 2001, Ferguson joined The Black Eyed Peas. With The Black Eyed Peas, she enjoyed a series of hits and albums before releasing her debut album, The Dutchess, in September 2006 to similar success. Ferguson married actor Josh Duhamel in early 2009 after five years of dating. The Black Eyed Peas would enjoy further success with the release of their third album with Ferguson, they attained their first string of Billboard Hot 100 number one songs.
1975–1990: Childhood and youthFerguson was born in Hacienda Heights, California, the daughter of devout Roman Catholic school teachers Terri Jackson (née Gore) and Patrick Ferguson. She is of Irish, Scottish, Mexican (from a great-grandmother), and Native American descent. She was raised Roman Catholic and attended Mesa Robles Middle School and Glen A. Wilson High School. She studied dance and began to do voiceover work, providing 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. All that time, she was a cheerleader, straight-A student, and spelling bee champion, as well as a Girl Scout.
1991–2001: Beginnings with 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."
Their first single, "At Night I Pray", debuted on the Billboard charts in Fall 1996. In March 1997, Wild Orchid released their self-titled debut album. In September 1998, they released their second album, Oxygen. From June 16 to August 28, 1999, they opened for Cher's "Believe Farewell Tour" alongside Cyndi Lauper, which took them to 52 cities across the USA and Canada. After completing a third album, their record label declined to release it and Ferguson left the group in September 2001. In a 2006 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ferguson revealed that both frustrations with the band's image and personal drug problems led her to leave Wild Orchid.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. At some point prior to 2001, Ferguson dated pop star Justin Timberlake.
2002–06: Success with The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas were recording their third album, 2003's Elephunk, 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. On February 7, 2003, it was announced that Ferguson had signed a one-album solo deal with Interscope Records, however instead of working on the album she began focusing more on Black Eyed Peas work.
From Elephunk came "Where is the Love?", which became The Black Eyed Peas' first major hit, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, but topping 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" hit top 10 in many European countries and later reached number twenty-three in the US. In 2004, The Black Eyed Peas embarked on the worldwide Elephunk Tour.
Ferguson and actor Josh Duhamel met and began dating in September 2004 when she and her band appeared on Duhamel's show Las Vegas.
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 US 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 the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number fourteen. "My Humps", another song from the album, immediately achieved commercial success in the US, reaching number three on the Hot 100 and number one in Australia. In autumn 2005, The Black Eyed Peas set off to tour with Gwen Stefani, as supporting act. In December 2005, they embarked on the "European Tour". In March 2006, The Black Eyed Peas hit the road again as the featured headliner for the Honda Civic Tour.
2006–08: Solo success and continued acting career
Ferguson's debut solo album, The Dutchess, was released in September 2006. The Dutchess spawned six hits for Ferguson, beginning with "London Bridge", "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, her song "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, visiting more than 20 countries.
Ferguson finally returned to acting in 2006, appearing as a lounge singer in the Poseidon remake and later had supporting roles in 2007's Grindhouse and the 2009 musical film Nine filmed in 2008.
2009–present: Marriage and continued success with The Black Eyed Peas
Ferguson and Josh Duhamel married in a Catholic ceremony on January 10, 2009, after five years of dating. Ferguson and Duhamel live in Brentwood, California and are planning to have a baby in 2010.
The Black Eyed Peas released "Boom Boom Pow" from the album The E.N.D. in late March 2009, it went to number one in the US, making it 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, moving from number 2 behind "Boom Boom Pow" to the top spot on July 11, and staying 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 UK and Australia. It also peaked at seven on the Billboard Hot 100. "Imma Be" was released as the fourth single, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. "Rock That Body" was then released as the fifth single, and has reached number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.