Will.I.Am | The Iconic Music Creator from America
Will.I.Am is an exceptionally talented singer, rapper, songwriter, producer, actor, and DJ from the United States of America. He is the founder and front man of the sensational musical group, The Black Eyed Peas. His career spans over two decades, and he has collaborated with legends like Michael Jackson, A.R. Rahman, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake. Recently, he collaborated with Mercedes-AMG to help children from underprivileged communities. Through this project, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) will become highly accessible to students.
Will.i.am is one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. He has won several accolades for his contribution to the music dynasty. For a decade, he has been the judge and mentor on The Voice UK. His musical group, The Black Eyed Peas, is a worldwide sensation with over 80 million record sales. The group has won six Grammys, eight American Music Awards, and two Billboard Music Awards, making them one of the most celebrated musical groups of all time.
Early Life & Struggles
On the 15th of March 1975, William James Adams Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California. His father, William Adams Sr., abandoned his mother, Debra Cain, before he was born. He spent his childhood in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of LA. William has three biological siblings and four adopted siblings. Debra raised eight children on her own in a housing project of Estrada Courts. It was a low-income society, and they were the only African-Americans in the neighborhood. The society was occupied predominantly by the Hispanic community. The conditions were harsh. The area was violent and inhospitable. Growing up, William was surrounded by friends doing drugs or selling them. Some of his friends ended up in prison, while others were shot dead due to gang rivalry.
The community was violent, but they looked out for each other. As a child, William encountered many unfavorable scenarios. Every other day, someone got shot. Nevertheless, Debra nurtured all her children in the best possible way. She sent William to a school far away from the neighborhood. Debra was working at a children’s after-school programme. She advised him to avoid the tendencies of the youth in the community. For schooling, she admitted him to Paul Revere Charter Middle School. It was located in West Los Angeles, an hour away from the housing. For higher education, William attended John Marshall High School.
Beginning of Music Career
While attending John Marshall High School, he met Allan Pineda. They became best friends and started going to raves with another classmate named Pasquale Rotella. As a result, he developed a liking for electronic music. In 8th grade, he started performing in East LA clubs with Allan. Thereafter, three other musicians joined the duo and formed a group. They named it Atban Klann. Soon, they caught the attention of Easy-E, an American rapper.
In 1992, Easy-E’s record label, Ruthless Records, signed Atban Klann. The group was set to release an album in 1995. However, due to Easy-E’s tragic demise, the album was never released. Consequently, two band members left the group. Following that, William changed the name of the group from Atban Klann to Black Eyed Pods, and Jaime Gomez joined the group. Two years later, Black Eyed Pods became the Black Eyed Peas and started recording their first studio album along with Kim Hill. In the same year, Interscope Records signed them. The following year, they released their debut single, “Joints and Jam.”
In 1999, Interscope Records renewed its contract with the Black Eyed Peas. The following year, they released their second studio album. In 2000, William released his first studio album, “Lost Change.” It was the official soundtrack to the film with the same title. The album received critical acclaim. Following the success of “Lost Change,” he started on Black Eyed Peas’ third studio album. In 2002, Fergie joined the group, and the subsequent year, “Elephunk” was released. The album was a commercial success. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Top 200. Tech giant Apple used the album’s single “Where is the Love” for advertisement.
2005 marked the release of Black Eyed Peas’ fourth studio album, “Monkey Business.” The album sold over 10 million copies worldwide and became certified platinum three times. The album earned four Grammy nominations, and the single “Don’t Phunk with my Heart” won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
In 2006, William produced Fergie’s first solo album. Consequently, he started working with Michael Jackson on his new album. Michael had requested William to help with the recording and production through his expertise. The two worked together until Michael died in 2009. The same year, Black Eyed Peas released “Boom Boom Pow.” The single peaked at number one in the UK, followed by “I Gotta Feeling.” The song became the biggest hit of 2009 and stayed at the number one spot for 14 consecutive weeks. Consequently, he started working with music mogul Akon. He also collaborated with Cheryl and Flo Rida in 2009.
In 2010, William wrote and produced Usher’s “OMG.” The song gained worldwide recognition and peaked on the charts in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. In 2012, he collaborated with Priyanka Chopra on her debut single, “In My City.” The following year, he released his fourth studio album, “#willpower.” In the album, he collaborated with Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, Eva Simons, Jennifer Lopez, and Mick Jagger. 2015 marked the release of “Awesome.” The Black Eyed Peas premiered the song on their 20th anniversary.
In 2016, The Black Eyed Peas recreated their 2003 song, “Where is the Love?” The video featured all the four members of the group, along with Justin Timberlake, Jessie J, and DJ Khaled. The group also performed at the opening ceremony of the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final in Wales. In 2018, Fergie departed from the group to focus on her family and solo music career.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, William collaborated with musicians like Bono, Jennifer Hudson, and Yoshiki for “Sing For Life.” The uplifting song motivated many people during the difficult times of the pandemic. In 2021, William became the judge of an American music competition game show, “Alter Ego.” Recently, he collaborated with Mercedes-AMG and created a car named “WILL.I.AMG.” It is a philanthropic project to support children coming from underprivileged communities. For the project, William made a documentary with his team and it was presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2022.
Also read: Kimbra | The Mesmerizing Musician from New Zealand
How old is will.i.am?
Will.i.am is 47 years old as of now.
What is the net worth of will.i.am?
Will.i.am’s net worth is $70 million.
Is will.i.am married?
No, will.i.am is not married.