will.i.am confirms Fergie has quit Black Eyed Peas - but who is tipped to replace the singer?

Fergie joined the pop group in 2002

will.i.am has confirmed Fergie's departure from Black Eyed Peas. The lead singer, who joined the group in 2002, is hoping to focus on her solo career. Speaking to UAE entertainment news magazine Ahlan! Voice UK judge will.i.am revealed: "Since the beginning of Black Eyed Peas, we've always had amazing vocalists that appeared on the mic with us. People like Macy Gray, Esthero, Debi Nova, Fergie. On Elephunk, there were several females that appeared on that album.

will.i.am has confirmed Fergie has quit Black Eyed Peas

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He added: "Obviously Fergie was the featured female, but on songs like 'Let's Get it Started,' it's Noelle [Scaggs], and then Fergie, songs like 'Latin Girls,' it's Debi Nova, and 'Request Line,' it's Macy Gray. We'll always work with good females." Fergie - real name Stacy Ferguson - hasn't recorded with the band since 2012, but has sang on some of their biggest tracks including, Where Is The Love?, I Gotta Feeling and Shutup. Will.i.am, 42, also revealed that the rest of the band are "proud" of the mother-of-one's solo career. When quizzed over rumours that Nicole Scherzinger is tipped to replace the singer, he added: "Nicole is on the new BEP project as well. I don't want to go into details how she's involved yet."

Fergie joined the pop group in 2012

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Meanwhile, Black Eyed Peas are set to play at Ariana Grande's concert, One Love Manchester, which will take place on Sunday at the Old Trafford ground in Manchester. They will be joined by other musical acts including Coldplay, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber who are performing in honour of the victims of the Manchester terror attack. Speaking about the concert in a statement, Ariana wrote: "I don't want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans, the same way they continue to uplift me… I'll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honour of and to raise money for the victims and their families."