Black Eyed Peas Explain Why Fergie Is No Longer Involved with the Group: 'She's Being a Mom'
The Black Eyes Peas are supporting Fergie in her decision to focus on being a mom to 6-year-old son Axl as her former bandmates work on their latest album, Translation.
In a new profile for Billboard, Will.i.am, Taboo and Apl.de.ap sit down to discuss the album with their new band member, J. Rey Soul and explain that Fergie was unable to join the group for the project as she is busy taking care of her son.
"Fergie is our sister. So even with these small connections, she's always going to be our sister. But unfortunately, our schedule is displaced by [her] wanting to be a great mom, and she wants to focus on that," Apl.de.ap told the outlet. "We support her 100%."
Will.i.am agreed, telling Billboard that the 45-year-old singer hasn't heard the new album yet but they "hope she likes it."
"We try to keep in touch. We reach out every once in a while and say our hellos and happy birthdays and Merry Christmas and Happy Easter," he explained.
"She knows where we’re at! We're at the studio. And we love her, and she's focusing on being a mom. That's a hard job, and that's what she really wanted to do and we're here for her, and she knows how to contact us for a retreat or a breakaway, the rapper, 45, added.
"It's really the way Fergie designed it, so we’re respecting her design. We love Fergie, and we don't want anything but awesomeness for her."
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Taboo also gave a shout-out to their new member, J. Rey Soul (born Jessica Reynoso), who is working on the new album with them.
"Ferg, she's doing the mom thing — but we have an amazing artist we're developing," he said.
"I want to say how proud I am of J.Rey Soul as well because I know people are probably wondering who this artist is. The question always is 'How's Fergie doing?' and I get that. [But] I also want to say our album will be coming out on the 19th and the following week will be June 24, and that will be my six years of being cancer-free," the 44-year-old rapper continued.
He added. "We've come a long way since that time period and we've worked really hard to get to where we're at. We've reflected, we've done everything possible to keep motivated, keep ourselves never looking back but always looking forward and staying positive and optimistic, and I feel we're giving birth to a new artist, J.Rey Soul. I really want to give her ultimate praise and respect."
In May, the "Mamacita" singer spoke to Billboard about the new album, expressing her excitement for the "uplifting" tracks.
"It's gonna be great," J.Rey Soul said. "It's very Afrobeat, Latin vibe, dance — just very uplifting music, which is what we need right now at this time of our life, you know?"
Meanwhile, Fergie has also been embracing single motherhood as she and ex-husband Josh Duhamel finalized their divorce in November, two years after their initial split.
Translation is available to stream now.