On The Download: Fergie & Gwen, The Ladies Come Home

By in May 12, 2009 • Filed in: News and rumors

Band reunions, blockbuster tours, big albums and breakthrough new artists often mark the summer music season. Notable in the former category for summer 2009 are the “semi-reunions” of No Doubt and The Black Eyed Peas. Moreover, fans are excited for the return of these groups’ respective female lead singers to their otherwise all-male bands. Gwen Stefani and Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson have come home to roost. I use the term “semi-reunion” because neither of these bands ever broke up. Instead, their leading ladies put out huge hit solo albums (two for Gwen, one for Fergie). But surprisingly, they didn’t ditch the bands that made them famous, a pattern that we’ve seen in the music industry all too many times. The results of these re-gatherings should make for a very dynamic time in pop music. I’ll admit that I never foresaw the success that Fergie would have as a solo artist. Her 2006 album, “The Duchess,” was strong from start to finish though, and produced no less than 5 huge hits. Fergie was able to capture an old-school feel (“Fergalicious” anyone?) that bridged the gap between the early days of female hip-hop and the modern intersection of R&B and pop. Fergie was, in fact, the perfect female solo artist for the 21st-century. And, she had a story that proved that she had paid her dues. A childhood actress, she hit the lows brought about from self-admitted crystal meth addiction (following the failure of previous girl group Wild Orchid), and then joined up with the (at the time obscure) Peas for a resurrected career. She had the drive to be a huge star and hers was a case of “hard work + talent x opportunity = success.”

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