'Boom Boom Pow' blew up. Now the Black Eyed Peas are aiming at No. 1 with new album "The E.N.D."
After signing with Interscope, the trio released its critically acclaimed debut album, "Behind the Front," in 1998. Two years later came "Bridging the Gap" and the Macy Gray-assisted single "Request Line." Also featured on the album was the group's female singer Kim Hill, who left the group in 2000.
Three years later the Peas notched their first major breakthrough in 2003 with third album "Elephunk" and the anthem "Where Is the Love?" featuring Justin Timberlake. Providing backup accompaniment on the album was former Wild Orchid member Stacie "Fergie" Ferguson, who later became the fourth Black Eyed Pea. The foursome scored its biggest single at the time-the No. 3 Hot 100 hit "Don't Phunk With My Heart"-when fourth album "Monkey Business" was released in 2005.
Touring almost nonstop stateside and overseas between 2004 and 2007, the group spun off another hit ("My Humps") and picked up two Grammys for best rap performance by a duo or group ("Let's Get It Started" and "Don't Phunk With My Heart"). In between, Fergie released her 2006 multiplatinum solo debut, "The Dutchess," and got married. In addition to producing Fergie's debut, Will.i.am collaborated on projects by Sergio Mendes, Nelly Furtado and others as well as releasing his solo album. During that time, Taboo and apl.de.ap began recording their own solo albums, among other projects (see story, page 20).
But now everyone is back in the pod and ready to keep going for as long as they can. Playfully ribbing Fergie about how long she'll be performing "Boom Boom Pow," Taboo hobbles around the room and jokes, "We'll be touring on the moon while she's singing, 'I'm so 2000 and 80 . . . all my kids come on.' "
As the room erupts in laughter, Will.i.am has a final word for the naysayers: "What we've gone through to get here has been a great journey-some unique-ass shit. We haven't changed conceptually from what the Peas were and wanted to be: mass appeal not segregation. And we've stayed true to that."