will.i.am is best known to many as the front man and producer of the multi-platinum award-winning group THE BLACK EYED PEAS. He has established himself as one of the top music producers in the industry, collaborating on tracks with U2, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Kelis, Nas, the Game, Sergio Mendes, Carlos Santana, the Pussycat Dolls, Busta Rhymes, and fellow Black Eyed Pea, Fergie. His songs have for years inspired millions, and the power of his words was never more prevalent than in the past few years as will's song "Yes We Can" mobilized and entire generation to action during the 2008 presidential Campaign.
Creating music since 1990, both on his own and with his rap partner apl.de.ap-later also with Taboo-will.i.am has led the Los Angeles-based BLACK EYED PEAS for their decade together, starting with their first two albums ("Behind the Front" in 1998 and "Bridging the Gap" in 2000). The addition of Fergie in 2003 catapulted the group to international stardom with hits "Where is the Love" featuring Justin Timberlake, "Shut Up," "Hey Mama," and "Let's Get it Started," which won the group its first of two Rap Grammy Awards.
The PEAS received their second Rap Grammy for "Don't Funk with my Heart," the lead single from their fourth studio album "Monkey Business" released in 2005. The album included "My Humps," which earned them their third Grammy-their first in the Pop genre. Always maintaining his solo career in addition to his group work, will released his first solo song album, "Songs About Girls," in September of 2007.
In October of 2008, will, again extended his musical prowess, teaming with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, on his first film soundtrack project, MADAGASCAR 2: ESCAPE TO AFRICA. will penned four new original songs, including the instrumental scores. He also lent his voice to the film's animated character Moto Moto.
This past year was an especially prominent benchmark in will's ongoing advocacy efforts. Inspired by Barack Obama's speech the night of the New Hampshire Primary, will's "Yes We Can" song was created in just two days. The music and video-which features footage of Obama delivering the speech intercut with celebrity appearances-were products of passion and inspiration, pieced together with the help of many influential people in the entertainment industry who offered their talent both in front of and behind the camera.
"Yes We Can" has garnered over 40 million online views to date. Originally posted on Friday, February 1, 2008, just making will's personal deadline to get the word out prior to Super Tuesday, the video has become a historic phenomenon on the internet. Originally posted through will.i.am's social network lifestyle engine, DipDive, the video quickly spread to the masses through You Tube, Facebook, and My Space, as well as the video's official site www.YesWeCansong.com. Widely credited as having influenced many Americans to vote in the 2008 Presidential Election, "Yes We Can" was listed on dozens of prominent publications' "best ad" lists for the year, including the esteemed Wall Street Journal.
In June 2008, "Yes We Can" was also honored with the first ever Emmy Award for "Best New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment." The new category recognizes innovative production techniques and the use of media enhancement to support content. The video also earned will "Artist of The Year" at the 2008 Webby Awards as well two NAACP Image Awards, for "Outstanding Music Video" and "Best Song." will also received a Grammy Award in 2009, for "Be OK" by Chrisette Michele Featuring will.i.am; he was nominated for "Song of the Year" ("American Boy") and for "Producer of the Year, Non-Classical."
2009 was an exciting year for will.i.am. He was nominated for three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year ("American Boy), best Urban/Alternative Performance (Be OK" by Chrisette Michele featuring will.i.am), and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. He was also seen in his first live action motion picture, the 20th Century Fox film X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. In June, THE BLACK EYED PEAS released their new album, "The E.N.D." for which they received 6 Grammy Nominations and entered Billboard's Top 200 album chart at number 1 and spent 26 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100 chart with "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling". The group had a great night at this year's Grammys, taking home 3 awards: Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Performance by a duo or group with vocals and Best Short Form Music Video. The group will continue on their US tour through the Spring.
will's own personal goals are a major part of everything he does. To that end, will continues to advocate education through his foundation i.am scholarship which was created to provide future leaders and innovators with financial assistance for the entirety of their post-secondary education, as well as professional opportunities at Dipdive.com upon completion of their course of study.
This Spring, will launched his own collection i.am clothing. Inspired by music, art, fashion, and technology, i.am clothing embodies a lifestyle for the simple, yet sophisticated male. will.iam's menswear collection is creative, contemporary and unique in design.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.