Kate's Notes

Friday, March 09, 2007



Stacy Ann Ferguson (born March 27, 1975 in Whittier, California) has been singing for the masses since her inception into show business on the Disney kids’ television series “Kids Incorporated.” After hooking up with hip-hop artist will.i.am and becoming a staple in The Black Eyed Peas, she became what she is known as today: Fergie, a pop and R&B singer and songwriter, who has broken off to create an extremely successful solo career, and achieved multi-platinum solo artist status with her first solo album, The Dutchess, in 2006.

Early Life

Born in Whittier, California, and raised in nearby Hacienda Heights, Fergi’s parents are Patrick Ferguson and Terri Gore; she also has one sister, Dana, who is an actress. Ferguson attended Glen A. Wilson High School.

Ferguson began her acting career as the voice of Sally on the Saturday morning cartoon “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show” in 1983, as well as on two television specials: “It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown” (1984) and “Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown” (1985).

In 1984, following a commercial for Rice Krispies, she appeared in the pilot for the long-running musical television show, “Kids Incorporated.” The show, which also starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and the girl who would become goth pop princess Martika, was a hit with Saturday morning audiences and she sang backup on it until 1989. She became the longest running original cast member of "Kids Incorporated" in 1984.

In 1986, Ferguson appeared in the horror comedy movie Monster in the Closet as well as two television specials: Kids Incorporated: Chartbusters and Kids Incorporated: Rock In the New Year. She left the spotlight in 1989 and settled down to live a normal teenager's life.

Early Music Career

Music was always her first passion and she teamed up with Stefanie Ridel and fellow “Kids Incorporated” member Renee Sandstrom to form the band Wild Orchid. In 1999, they even had their own Saturday morning show on the FOX Family Channel.

They released their first album, Wild Orchid, in 1997 on RCA and it was followed the next year with Oxygen. They scored a minor hit when the song "Declaration" was featured in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.

However, after completing a third album in 2001, their record label declined to release it, and she left the group shortly thereafter. Her disappointment with Wild Orchid and a lull in her career facilitated an addiction to crystal methamphetamine. Ferguson told a Glasgow paper, "I started doing ecstasy. Then I got addicted to crystal methamphetamine. My weight dropped to 90 lbs so I lied to my friends and said I was bulimic. Finally, I started going crazy." In September 2006, Ferguson talked with Time magazine about quitting her crystal meth addiction. "It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with," she says. "It's the drug that's addicting. But it's why you start doing it in the first place that's interesting. A lot of it was being a child actor; I learned to suppress feelings." She moved home for one year at the age of 25 to beat her addiction.

Black Eyed Peas and Solo Career

After quite a long stint out of the limelight, Ferguson met will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas in 2003. They had a number of meetings after shows and before long, she was invited to join the trio in the recording studio. They recorded five songs together and the band invited her to join them permanently. Ferguson took over the lead female vocal duties for The Black Eyed Peas, replacing background singer Kim Hill, who left the group in 2000. Ferguson recorded five songs with the group before she was invited to join them permanently. Ferguson's addition to the band, which had enjoyed underground success until then, helped them quickly grow into mainstream popularity.

After two hit Black Eyed Peas albums, Ferguson began to pursue a solo career in 2006. Her first album, released on September 19, 2006, was entitled The Dutchess. The album's name is a misspelled variant of the former title of Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, with whom Ferguson shares a surname and popular nickname. The solo deal does not mean the demise of The Black Eyed Peas, as Ferguson is intending on staying with the group and alternating between the two duties.

Music on The Dutchess is similar in style to The Black Eyed Peas, as fellow Peas member will.i.am is the album's executive producer. Ferguson has had three hit songs from The Dutchess, with "London Bridge," "Fergalicious," and her current single, "Glamorous," which features Ludacris. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 100.

Acting Career

Though she is a musician first, she continues to explore acting opportunities. In March 2005, Ferguson was cast as Stevie Wayne (the role originated by sex symbol Adrienne Barbeau) in the update of John Carpenter's The Fog. She would later leave the role due to creative differences. While rumors surfaced that Charisma Carpenter was replacing her, Selma Blair would eventually get the part. Ferguson's departure proved to be a wise move, as the remake was a box office flop universally panned by critics and fans alike.

In July 2005, Ferguson had a guest role on the Rocket Power special, "Reggie's Big Beach Break," on Nickelodeon; she voiced a fictitious pop music star named Shaffika.

In 2006, Ferguson returned to acting, appearing in the film Poseidon, a remake of the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure, but her role was relatively minor. Ferguson is also due to appear in the feature film Grind House with Rose McGowen.

Other Activities

Ferguson performed at the Pepsi Smash Super Bowl, along with will.i.am, Ludacris, and John Legend.

She appeared on the cover of FHM in January 2005 and was featured as #36 on Maxim's Hot 100 list for 2006.

Personal Life and Media Attention

Ferguson has come out publicly with her crystal methamphetamine addiction, saying that it was the "hardest boyfriend she ever had to break up with."

She is currently dating actor Josh Duhamel, who stars in the television show Las Vegas. Ferguson appeared in this series in an episode titled "Montecito Lancers."

In 2005, Ferguson urinated on stage during a performance at San Diego's Street Scene festival. She later commented on the incident: "I had a few drinks before the show, but I didn't think to go to the bathroom before we went onstage. We were jumping around...and my bladder just started."


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