Fergie has a lot going on. News of her separation from Josh Duhamel — her husband of eight years — has been dominating headlines since they announced it earlier this month. She even had to hide the status of her relationship from the rest of the world, which is hard to do when you have over four million followers. Still, Fergie is braving the media to promote Double Dutchess, her first solo album in a decade. But in the face of such trying times, Fergie is still killing it on all fronts. Case in point: she told Refinery29 that she and Duhamel are still “great friends” as they co-parent their 4-year-old son Axl. And she slayed the stage at Rock in Rio just a few days after news of her break-up went public. Apparently a little adversity hasn’t stopped her from being at the top of her game.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with the frontwoman of the Black Eyed Peas about Double Dutchess, a project that is just as dynamic as its creator. Despite what one may think given the circumstances, Double Dutchess is not at all a documentation of Fergie’s broken heart. It’s the opposite, in fact. With the exception of a few songs including “Just Like You” and “Love is Pain,” the 13-track album is about a woman on the come-up, overcoming obstacles placed in front of her. It starts with a bass-laden “Hungry” that features Rick Ross in a collaboration that appeared to be the result of divine intervention. A self-identified fan of the rapper, Fergie says the question of whether or not he’d ever do a song with her came at the end of a hike. She was completely surprised when her management informed her that Rozay had sent a verse some time later. The result is an ode to Fergie’s powerful ambition, and a new nickname for the singer — Ferrari Fergie.
Fergie’s ambition is on display with Double Dutchess in more ways than people will probably realize. You’ve likely seen at least one of the 13 music videos she made for each song. The music video for “M.I.L.F. $” came with cameos from Kim Kardashian West, Ciara, and Chrissy Teigen; while Kendall Jenner and her clones play leading lady in “Enchanté (Carine).” But Fergie’s visual album is not the real testament to her work ethic, it’s the fact that Double Dutchess was released on her own record label, Dutchess Music, in partnership with BMG Rights Management. Fergie told me it was an offer she couldn’t refuse in the midst of making so much music about “being grown” and evolving as a woman. Even more inspiring is that she’s excited to be able to “pay it forward” by working with new talent and giving them the same chance that someone took on her.
As she trudges the road to boss lady, Fergie has already been criticized in the way that women of her stature often are. Before we spoke, I saw a multitude of headlines suggesting that Fergie was putting her career and work over her family. When I asked her about it, she had a sarcastic clapback that I could tell she wished she didn’t even have to throw: “You can’t be a hard worker and a good mom, could you? That would just be crazy. Heaven forbid you’re a career woman and a good parent.” And we both laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.
Double Dutchess is out now.