The Four's Fergie Talks About Her Mexican Heritage, Diversity and How We Sideline Moms
PEOPLE CHICA caught up with Fergie about her hosting gig on The Four, diversity and how motherhood often overrides all the other identities a woman has.
Stacy Ann Ferguson, a.k.a. Fergie, is the charismatic host of Fox’s new reality TV competition, The Four, which premiered Jan. 4. Alongside judges Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor and Republic Records president Charlie Walk, the Black Eyed Peas’s singer introduces contestants who compete against one of four pre-selected artists for a chance to win a record deal and a partnership with iHeartRadio.
While the show eliminated Fergie favorite, Elanese, a fierce Latina who performed Demi Lovato and Luis Fonis’s Spanish-language hit “Échame La Culpa” in the first episode, the “Big Girls Don’t Cry” singer tells PEOPLE CHICA she’s not ready to let Elanese go, suggesting she’ll sign the rising star after her Fox contract expires: “Guess what? I got a label called Dutchess Music,” she hinted.
The mom to Axl Jack Duhamel, 4, with ex Josh Duhamel, also chatted with us about her Latina roots, the importance of diversity and how motherhood often overshadows all the other identities women have.
PEOPLE CHICA: Why did you sign on to host the The Four?
Fergie: It came at a perfect time for me. What I loved about it is that I’ve known all the people on the panel throughout my career from different times. So I knew they would be fun. I also love the diversity music-wise on the show because I’ve always been such a huge fan of hip-hop, not only the culture but the music and the fact that we can bring MC’s onto this show, onto primetime. The thought of that really excited me, especially having the credibility there, of Diddy and [DJ] Khaled in that genre.
PC: There’s not only diversity in terms of musical genres, but there’s also a wide array of contestants from different cultures and ethnicities and generational diversity, too.
F: I love it because I was born to perform, sing, dance. It’s just in my blood. It’s who I am. So I think it’s a bit prehistoric that when you become a mom, people expect you then to just [say] “Okay! Forget who you are as a person, you’re just a mom now!” People like Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Pink and Beyoncé are showing that you can get older and be fabulous in your 40s. I love to dance and sing still. Becoming a mom adds to that. You have this new special soul in your life to nurture, bring in and be part of that. It’s great we have diversity in all the ages because it shows that music is timeless. A great song is a great song forever. A great artist or band are who they are forever.
PC: Has motherhood connected you to your heritage differently?
F: Absolutely. It’ll be fun for Axl when he gets older and he understands things. I’m really just a mixed mutt. Our great, great grandmother was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and [then there’s] all the Scottish and Irish parts. The mix of that will be fun for him to understand, and I can show him the world and show him all the different parts of his bloodline.
PC: What do you foresee for the show?
F: I really hope Elanese comes back. I read her bio and her story reminded me of mine — how her mom would take her to auditions — and it was clear that this is what she wants to do. I also love that she sings in Spanish. It’s such a beautiful language and I just feel like the world could use that. An artist like her, who can speak in both languages, I think the world needs more of that to be more accepting and more diversified. And I think she’s beautiful. She was very confident and I love how she wasn’t afraid to stand up to Zhavia. [Zhavia unseated Elanese and was then eliminated the following week].
PC: You seem so energized and inspired by the young talent on the show.
F: I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness. At the same time, I feel pride for them because this is their moment. This is their first or second shot and I remember what it was like to be there. Elanese reminded me of me, like with my mom taking me to auditions and making it work, making it happen, singing at malls wherever I could. So it does, it inspires me. I love seeing the spirit, that hunger and ambition. That inspires me to keep thriving. I love being around positive vibes and people who love the art of music and performing. This show, it’s passionate. Diddy likes to call it “disruptive,” but it’s passionate. I’m up there, not knowing what’s going to happen. So, I’ve definitely inspired by them musically for what I’m going to do next. It’s all a cycle.
The Four airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.