September 22, 2017 02:45 PM

Fergie’s solo debut, The Dutchess, bore five Top 5 singles, each of remarkably varied musical composition, from the electro-meets-hip-hop “Fergalicious” to the club-banging “London Bridge” and even the power pop-rock ballad “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” It also, remarkably, released a full 11 years ago — and Fergie, 42, is following that set up this week with Double Dutchess, out Friday.

Speaking to EW, the singer-rapper was frank about the cause of delay: her role as a mother to Axl Jack, her 4-year-old son with Josh Duhamel, her husband of eight years from whom she recently separated.

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“I’m not going to sacrifice time with my child,” she said. “That’s just not going to happen. They can keep banging on my door [to release an album], but I’m like, “I’m with Axl. I’m off the grid! Bye!”

Recording her second LP required a total reorganization, she explained. “It’s totally different,” she said, “even the hours in the studio are different. Everything has to be so masterfully scheduled that it’s crazy.”

But not all adjustments to the workflow that have come via motherhood have been a struggle.

“Getting pregnant reset me,” she continued. “I just got on my game. People wanted me to release it and I was like, ‘It’s good, but I want it to be great.’”

It also inspired her to extend her creative reach. “I’ve never taken this much responsibility,” she said. “I’m executive-producing [the album] and I kept wanting to make it better and better. I wanted to strive for greatness.”

Fergie’s Double Dutchess arrives Friday. It is accompanied by a full visual experience, which Fergie has dubbed Seeing Double.

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