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New Fergie Album? Will.i.am Says the Dutchess Has Plenty of Songs

September 26, 2007 5:44 PM ET

Last year this month, Black Eyed Pea Fergie released her now-double-platinum solo album The Dutchess, and she hasn't exactly taken a breather since. MTV News reports that she just shot a clip for "Clumsy," and fellow Pea Will.i.am, who executive produced her LP, tells Rock Daily they're well on their way to album number two. "It's already half done," Will.i.am says. "If [label head] Jimmy Iovine said, 'Will, I need a Fergie record, turn it into me next week.' I'd have it." (Apparently Fergie nixed the idea of getting it in stores for Christmas: "Would have been dope though," Will laments).

So how exactly does a Fergie album come together? "When I record, I like to record fifty songs," the producer, who's also currently working in the studio with Michael Jackson, explains. "For Fergie's record it's like, okay, we need two songs that are like 'Fergilicious.' We need two songs that are like 'Glamorous' for balance. We need two songs that are like 'Big Girls Don't Cry.' You can't have too much of the same shit. You're gonna be sitting on great songs, it's just that for diversity, you've got to make cuts." With all the Fergie in the hopper, does Will.i.am ever worry that older tracks might seem stale? "What's stale to me is fresh to you," he quips and launches into a condemnation of artists who turn their backs on stellar material. "You could be sitting on great things and because you're tired of it you don't put it out. I know a lot of artists that are like, 'I just don't like that song no more.' Fool! You're an idiot, that song is dope. Their new shit is doo-doo, that shit is wack, and they just like it 'cause it's new. You don't ever want to like something just 'cause it's new."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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