Hating Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas is so 2003. You can either sit there and lament her success, or get with the program and pass the dutchess 'pon the left-hand side. 

This feature originally appeared in Complex's October/November 2006 issue. 

Fergie-Ferg may love you long time, but it seems that for some of you jealous crabs this is a one-way affair. In fact, it’s kinda like you love to hate her. That’s okay, though, she’s rich and famous—it goes with the territory. But understand, underneath Fergie’s short-shorts, bikini tops, and bronzer lies Stacy Ferguson’s heart. And it beats, just like yours and mine. And like us, she’s had her fair share of ups and downs.

She made a small fortune in the early ’90s on the Disney show Kids Incorporated and with the Canadian pop group Wild Orchid. And then lost it all when she became addicted to crystal meth later that decade. She’s rebounded recently as the Black Eyed Peas’ blue-eyed, soul-singing salvation, and helped those guys make a small fortune, too. But her fight isn’t over. Plenty a b-boy and b-girl see her as a gimmick still, something she’s working hard to overcome. With all of that in mind, Fergie took a moment to chat with Complex about her new album, The Dutchess, her role in the upcoming Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino flick, Grind House, her beef with bloggers, and how she’s not down with Nazis. Where is the love, indeed?


I’m working my ass off. They can sit there all day and write negative comments.


Let’s start with the tough questions: Did you really do a cookie commercial when you were a kid?
Oh yeah, Duncan Hines. Got to eat cookies all day. It was the best. Then I did a McDonald’s commercial and we got to eat free Happy Meals all day.

Oof. That’s a lot of Mickey Ds.
No, not for me! [Laughs]

Do you think you’ll ever be able to escape the stigma of being the hot chick added to the Black Eyed Peas just so they could sell records?
Everyone’s gonna think the way they wanna think. I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing.

Speaking of your perseverance, you had a drug problem at one point, right?
Definitely. I got there because I was a people pleaser as a child. When I was in Wild Orchid, I didn’t know how to say no to the girls.

What were you doing?
First ecstasy and then crystal meth.

So you were staying up for days at a time?
Oh yeah, there were days when I didn’t eat or sleep. I was at Home Depot at 4 a.m. building shelves.

How did you kick it? 
Well, I just hit a point where something inside of me—I like to call it God or my gut—told me, “You can keep going the way you’re going and mess up everything, or you can stick with the master plan, but you have to change shit.” So, that’s what I did. I humbled up, moved all my stuff back to Mom’s, and used all my child-actor money to pay off my debts (’cause I had collections after me). I started collecting unemployment and meeting with producers and recording.

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