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The Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas

Fact Sheet

Musical genre:Rap/Hip Hop  
City  Los Angeles, California, USA
Years active1998-
The Black Eyed Peas are an American alternative hip hop group from Los Angeles, who have latterly enjoyed massive international pop success. As Atban Klann, they signed to Ruthless Records (run by Eazy-E), but their album was never released because the positive and peaceful lyrics were too unusual for Ruthless.

After Eazy-E died of AIDS in 1995, Atban Klann reformed as the Black Eyed Peas and released a debut, Behind the Front (1998, 1998 in music) that earned the group (and their accompanying live band) critical acclaim. Their other album is 2000's Bridging the Gap. Their breakthrough album Elephunk was released in 2003, featuring a new female vocalist, called Fergie, born as Stacy Ferguson who used to be in a teen pop band named Wild Orchid. She is the replacement of background singer Kim Hill who departed the band during 2000.

From "Elephunk" came the anti-war anthem "Where Is The Love?", which became their first major hit, peaking at #8 on the US Hot 100, but topping the charts practically everywhere else, including six weeks at #1 in the UK where it became the biggest-selling single of 2003. The album subsequently spawned "Shut Up", which failed in the US but peaked at UK #2 and topped the charts in many other European countries including France and Germany. Indeed the band have enjoyed greater mainstream success in Europe than in the US with "Elephunk" having gone Top 10, gold and (sometimes multi-)platinum in the UK, Germany and many other European markets, yet having failed thus far to break the US Top 20, although it has gone platinum there. The third single from the album, "Hey Mama", has already hit the Top 10 in the UK, Germany and several other European countries, and is currently becoming their second US hit as it climbs the Top 40 of the Hot 100. Controversially, a reference to "dropping bombs like we in the Middle East" has been edited out of some versions of "Hey Mama".

The current line-up of the Black Eyed Peas as of 2004 (not including supporting band members) is: will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and newcomer Fergie­.

During Black Eyed Peas' concert tour in Asia in 2004, apl.de.ap's life story was featured in a weekly Filipino TV drama special called "Maalaala Mo Kaya" (Will You Remember), which explained his childhood with his poor family in Pampanga, Philippines, before sadly parting with them to live a better life in the US at the age of 14. "The Apl Song", with the chorus written in Tagalog, from their album Elephunk, tells the story of apl.de.ap.

The BEP's song "Let's Get it Started" was featured in commercials for the NBA finals all across the world. Later it had great success as a single, especially popular on the iTunes music download service.