will.i.am

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William James Adams, Jr. (born March 15, 1975), better known by his stage name will.i.am.

will.i.am is the charismatic front-man and producer behind the hugely successful, multi platinum recording group The Black Eyed Peas and their 2003 breakthrough album Elephunk which vaulted the group to a level of success unparalleled by any other hip-hop group. Composed of will.i.am, Fergie, apl.de.ap and Taboo, The Black Eyed Peas originally hails from Los Angeles, California.

will.i.am has helped steer The Black Eyed Peas into being one of the most popular music groups: They have sold 18 million albums worldwide, won three GRAMMY® awards and have been nominated for 10 total. Says will, "It's really this incredible thing to create for a living and I'm very appreciative of that fact. I mean, how cool is that?"

will.i.am is not only a dynamic performer, he is also one of the music industry's top producers: He has collaborated on tracks with award-winning artists such as Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Kelis, Nas, The Game, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Sergio Mendes, Carlos Santana, The Pussycat Dolls, Busta Rhymes and fellow Black Eyed Pea, Fergie.

While the Black Eyed Peas continue to perform together, will.i.am is also branching out on his own. "We're not going anywhere," he says, introducing his new solo album, Songs About Girls. "I made the choice in high school to be with a crew and that's never going to change. It was just really important for me to try some things out on my own, with my own artistry and imagination."

will.i.am's third solo album, Songs About Girls, is musically adventurous and conceptual, with a story rooted in will's personal evolution. While on the surface Songs About Girls could be interpreted as an ode to the female gender, it is actually an album inspired by a longtime romance. "It's about one particular relationship that, reflecting on it, I was really sorry how it ended up," will explains. "It was just me being a young dude making dumb decisions."

Songs About Girls is not just a hip-hop album, it's a flurry of styles that could only come from the creative mind of will.i.am. With influences from European club sounds and house music, old-school soul and Brazilian Baile funk, "it's what I haven't done with the Peas yet," says will.i.am.

The Caribbean tropical beat on will.i.am's song "One More Chance" was partly inspired by India Arie and Common: "A couple of years ago I was doing a show in Atlanta, just freestyling on the mic, and some of what I was doing was half-rapping, half-singing," will remembers. "India Arie told me, 'you know how to sing,' but I didn't really believe her. I thought she was being funny. Then Common told me I had a good ear for tune and tone. And it just gave me the confidence to do a song like this."

will.i.am's first single, "I Got It From My Mama", is about girls with certain attributes who owe their spectacular assets to their mothers: Set to a clubby, electronic bounce with echoes of 8-bit, will.i.am explains, "It's as if I was to score what's on a guy's mind."

will.i.am will soon go back into the studio with apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie for the next Black Eyed Peas album.

©MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc., except for the first passage.

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