Biographic by Steve McGarry for March 03, 2013
BIOGRAPHIC Steve McGarry Will.i.am Born William James Adams in East Los Angeles, on March 15, 1975, will.i.am teamed up with schoolmate Allan Pineda Lindo - alias apl.de.ap - in rap outfit Atban Klann. Following a short-lived record deal, they recruited M.C. and dancer Taboo (Jaime Luis Gomez) and formed The Black Eyed Peas. By the third album, 2003's "Elephunk," featured vocalist Kim Hill had been replaced by Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, who joined the group's ranks on a permanent basis. The single "Where is the Love?" featured Justin Timberlake and provided a breakthrough, hitting the U.S. top 10 and toping charts around the world, including the U.K., where it was the best-selling single of 2003. By the end of the decade, thanks to hits such as "Let's Get It Started," "My Humps," "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling," they were megastars. To date, they have sold more than 56 million records! Will.i.am branched out into acting, voicing the character of Moto Moto in the animated hit "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," before starring as John Wriath in "X-men Origins: Wolverine." Hist other credits range from playing God on the TV series "Joan of Arcadia" to voicing a bird in the animated movie "Rio." His extracurricular musical activities have seen him hit the charts in collaborations with artist ranging from Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez to Britney Spears. In 2012, will.i.am became the first artist in history to stream a song from mars, when "Reach for the Stars" was broadcast from the surface of the red planet via the Curiosity rover.