Black Eyed Peas
The roots of the world famous alternative hip-hop and pop group The Black Eyed Peas go all the way back to 1992, when rapping friends William Adams (will. i.am) and Allan Pineda (apl.de.ap) were signed to rapper Eazy-E's label, Ruthless Records. They set to work on an album that was never released due to Eazy-E's death in 1995, but the duo continued working. After a few different lineups and some name changes, they arrived at the name The Black Eyed Peas with a group that included will.i.am and apl.de.ap, as well as a performer named Jaime Gomez who went by the name Taboo. The group released its first album, <i>Behind the Front</i> in 1998, immediately setting itself apart from other hip-hop acts by writing its songs around a live band rather than samples. Another album, <i>Bridging the Gap</i> would feature singer Sierra Swan, though she would leave the group before its release in 2000. Then, the band took on a new singer, former child actress Stacy Ann Ferguson, who went by the name Fergie. Fergie proved to be the missing ingredient they'd been looking for, and their subsequent album, 2003's <i>Elephunk</i>, was a breakthrough release featuring a new, pop-oriented sound. Their next album, <i>Monkey Business</i>, was equally successful, spawning several hit singles. By 2007, the band was visiting over 20 countries for their Black Blue & You World Tour. When they reconvened to record 2009's <i>The E.N.D.</i>, the Black Eyed Peas were exploring a more electronic sound. After the release of their subsequent album, 2010's <i>The Beginning</i>, the group went on a hiatus. Though they released a song "Awesome" that was included in commercials for the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the song did not include an appearance by Fergie.