Fergie fans waited 11 years for her new album to drop, but it was well worth it. More than a collection of pop bangers, Double Dutchess is a rallying cry for female empowerment. It’s a message that she held close to her heart while recording her solo comeback.
“From all the reactions to the album, it’s interesting how the songs that are more serious and more emotional and vulnerable are ones that are really connecting to people,” she told PEOPLE at the weekend re-launch of The Cove resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas, where she performed some of those emotional songs like “Save It Til Morning” and “A Little Work.”
“I released a lot of the faster ones first, but I guess the emotional ones are what people seem to be were craving from me. That, to me, means everything.”
Fergie, who split from husband Josh Duhamel after eight years of marriage in September, added that she turns to female singers herself when she’s going through difficult times in her life.
“I have my go-to songs by Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Alanis Morissette. Those are the ones that I go to and I play over and over again if I’m going through a breakup or if I’m going through a hard time and I need those strong, powerful, intense emotions. I need to hear somebody sing those words of exactly how I’m feeling to get through them,” she said. “If I can be that help to get anyone through the tough time they’re going through, that’s really the most that I can ask for as an artist. That to me is true success. For the rest of my life I will have touched somebody with that emotion, and that means so much to me.”
While recording her new record, the star was going through her own personal transformation and she said she found the process of making music cathartic.
“It’s therapeutic and I really want to feel something. Not just a little bit, I like to go big — go big or go home when it comes to emotion,” the 42-year-old shared. “Basically that goes into everything I do.”
One song in particular, she revealed, has been really speaking to fans: “A Little Work.”
The emotional ballad is a departure from the pop power anthems of her past, and she said the response has been heart-warming.
“That song has really been one that people are coming up to me and saying, ‘Look my friend’s house got destroyed and ‘A Little Work’ has really gotten us through it and helped us through it,'” she said. “That to me is everything. Thinking of all the natural disasters that have been happening and those first responders and victims of crisis and having to just triumph and overcome all of those hard times and painful moments.”