WHO IS SHE?: This former cheerleader, straight-A student, spelling bee champ, and Girl Scout is now a fashion designer, actress, and rapper with the soul-pop group Black Eyed Peas.
BEST KNOWN FOR HER CHARITY WORK WITH: The Peapod Foundation, an organization founded by Black Eyed Peas with the broad aims of addressing “social issues affecting children worldwide.” The Black Eye Peas played a Peapod fundraiser to provide four-year college scholarships to students of great financial need.
WHY SHE MATTERS: After joining the Black Eyed Peas, the band scored it’s first #1 hit in U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The West coast rapper’s racked up quite a few music awards and is gaining popularity through her solo and international career. Her growing influence gives her a podium to speak about HIV and environmental issues affecting the Mexican, Irish, Scottish and Native American communities of which she is a part.
QUOTE: “I started doing Ecstasy. Then I got addicted to crystal methamphetamine. My weight dropped to 90lb. I lied to my friends and said I was bulimic. Finally I started going crazy. In that moment I talked to God and He said: ‘I’ve given you all these gifts, so what are you doing?’ I decided to get clean. I told everybody what was wrong. I’m very lucky. You know, I started in show business at about seven years old. That’s why I feel so appreciative of everything now because I’ve been working hard at this all my life.”
Fergie’s musical ambitions, bisexuality, and diverse ethnic background have all put her in a unique position to become a great humanitarian entertainer to many different communities. So far, Fergie has helped the M·A·C AIDS Fund support people affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide by hawking VIVA GLAM lipsticks (just ike Ongina from RuPaul’s Drag Race). She sold her Hummer on e-Bay to raise money for Global Green, an anti-nuke eco-design organization. She was also one of 23 major female artists (like Madonna, Melissa Etherdige, Dido, Pink, Shakira, and Céline Dion) to perform on Annie Lennox’s Sing single and help raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. By spearheading a fundraising initiative of her own, she could set herself as a powerful demi-goddess in the queer pantheon of humanitarian entertainers.