The Black Eyed Peas has a new vocalist. After her debut on the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, many viewers took Twitter and started wondering where is Fergie, who Fergie’s replacement is, and why they had no clue that Fergie left the group in 2017.
Well, if you are also confused and desperately looking for answers, we are here to help clarify some stuff. First things first, yes! Fergie stepped down as a vocalist three years ago to allegedly be more present in her child’s life. “We love her, and she’s focusing on being a mom,” Will.i.am told Billboard about Fergie‘s decision. “That’s a hard job, and that’s what she really wants to do, and we’re here for her.”
So who is the new member again? Her stage name is J. Rey Soul, but her real name Jessica Reynoso, and she is from the Philippines. But according to Billboard, the singer-songwriter is not that new in the group. Reynoso met American-Filipino rapper and Black Eyed Peas member Apl.de.ap, when he chose her to be part of his team on The Voice Philippines. After that, she started collaborating with the band in different projects, including Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 and the group most recent song “Mamacita,” featuring Ozuna, where she officially became a member of the hip hop group.
In 2019, J. Rey Soul shared with the publication her experience of working in the band’s new full-length album. “It’s gonna be great,” she said. “It’s very Afrobeat, Latin vibe, dance -- just very uplifting music, which is what we need right now at this time of our life, you know?” The singer also revealed that there‘s a special connection between her and the rest of the members. “Will and Apl, they always tell me that I remind them of themselves of when they were younger -- how much they work, how much they love music, their enthusiasm,” she says.
Despite the alleged great connection among the musicians, people are not one hundred percent sold with this new era of Black Eyed Peas. “I hate to say it, and I hope I don‘t sound ridiculous, but the Black Eyed Pees old stuff is nothing without Fergie #VMAs,” someone tweeted while watching them performing ”La Vida Loca” and ”I Gotta Feeling.”
“Damn, we just let the Black Eyed Peas replace Fergie like that?” another user wrote, while another person had a nostalgic moment listening to the group hits. ”That @bep performance seriously made me miss @Fergie!!! Where the heck is she at?” the social media user asked.
Others simply appeared to have a hard time enjoying the performance without the former vocalist.
Some fans even pointed out that this event was a missed opportunity from the group. “Black Eyed Peas had an opportunity to bring out Fergie at the #VMAs... they didn‘t,” a person wrote.
“I want to say how proud I am of J.Rey Soul as well because I know people are probably wondering who this artist is,” Taboo said to Billboard. “The question always is ‘How’s Fergie doing?’ and I get that.”