10 years ago today an album was unleashed on America that would go on to see tremendous success and accolades. The solo debut from a face the world first got to see in the 80’s via Kids Incorporated, and know in the 90’s thanks to R&B/Pop trio Wild Orchid and Fox Family series The Great Pretenders.
Back then she was known simply as Stacy Ferguson. After the Wild Orchid chapter of her life came to a close, and battling with drugs, Ferguson got a second major shot at music fame and success.
By the early 2000’s, Ferguson was re-branded under a nickname of her last name, Fergie, and joined the underground/experimental Hip Hop trio, The Black Eyed Peas. Upon joining the group, the inclusion of Fergie helped their commercial appeal and chart success see new heights the band never saw prior.
As the group’s new line-up helped increase their popularity, the Fergie-led “My Humps” also began garnering attention and was quickly released as the third single from Monkey Business. “Humps” was a clear sign that Fergie could not only be the 4th member of the Peas, but perhaps a successful solo artist in her own right.
Less than a year after “My Humps” exploded, the world got their first taste of solo Fergie music. Summer 2006 saw the rise of the eclectic and funky “London Bridge” where Fergie proved she could rap and sing all on her own. The Polow Da Don track went on to become a summer anthem that began her string of chart toppers, hitting the Billboard Hot 100 pinnacle for three weeks.
Things were only getting started. Fellow Peas member will.i.am assisted Fergie on the followup single “Fergalicious.” And as you guessed the song was all about what made Fergie so…delicious. The J. J. Fad “Supersonic” samples banger’s music video which showed Fergie working on her fitness and hitting some choreography as well managed to become her second Top 5 single, peaking at number two.
In 2007 the era was still churning out hits, including the album’s second Polow Da Don produced single, “Glamorous.” The flossy tune that featured Fergie rapping alongside guest rapper Ludacris managed to become her second number 1 single (staying atop for two weeks). Oh and lets never forget the epic call out, “If you ain’t got no money, take your broke ass home” that everybody knew or sung well into the year.
In a surprising move during summer, Fergie decided to slow things down a bit. Sans rapping, only singing this go round, “Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)” was the first straight forward Pop release from the album to date. A risky move after so much success flirting with the Rhythmic jams that saw much success, but in the end “Big Girls” didn’t cry for success, but earned it, as it became the third chart topper for the force known as Fergie (becoming the first female to notch three on one album since 2000), plus landed her a solo Grammy Award nomination.
Certainly not tripping and stumbling in terms of chart success, the Fergie train kept pushing forward. Fifth single, “Clumsy” was a R&B Soul throwback infused jam that featured a radio friendly Pop beat courtesy of will.i.am. Once again, allowing Fergie to “fall in love,” with the Hot 100’s Top 5 for a fifth consecutive time!
It was finally the time to showcase the core of Fergie and what got her to where she was, her vocals and range of talent! John Legend produced “Finally” was tapped as the albums sixth single sent to radio. The stripped back tune was more reminiscent of Fergie’s Wild Orchid days than Peas era, paired with a timeless accompaniment. Without the release of a music video and nearly two years after “London Bridge” took the world by storm, didn’t allow for “Finally” to continue the success all prior singles had achieved.
With the album being the massive success it was, it was inevitable a re-release was coming. Four new tracks were released as a standalone EP and deluxe edition album; including Fergie’s ‘Sex And The City’ theme sampled “Labels Or Love,” for the show’s first motion picture. Keeping her flow fresh Fergie also joined Nelly for his single “Party People,” which was another Top 40 hit for Fergie and included as well.
You would think by this point any other tracks that were not released by Fergie from The Dutchess were album filler cuts. Think twice! The CW and Dr. Pepper utilized “Here I Come” would have easily served well as a future single that embodied the same aura as the album’s other hit Top 5 singles. The mid-tempo R&B tune “All That I Got (The Makeup Song)” was even lyrically so deep that Tyra Banks used a remix version as her talk show’s new theme song.
In the Entertainment Business, second chances are rare. Third, fourth, and so on…even more so! But in 2006 Fergie defied the odds. Not only was she an 80’s child star and member in two different music groups, Fergie managed to launch a super successful solo career anybody would envy, including her competition then and now.
July 20th of this year, saw The Dutchess certified 5x Multi-Platinum by the RIAA, just in time for its 10th birthday today. Until 2012 Fergie’s first five singles held a digital era record for being the album with the most multi-platinum certified singles from a sole album.
To celebrate this epic album that was the soundtrack to many peoples lives, radios, and playlists back from 2006 to 2008, The Dutchess will be reissued on vinyl for a December 2 release.
Fergie also promised fans “new heat [music] coming sooner,” before the LP’s release on her Facebook page. Looks like sophomore album, Double Dutchess may get a release in 2016, 10 years after the release of her heavily celebrated debut album The Dutchess. At minimum a new single to follow “M.I.l.F. $.” As these sayings go, ‘it’s better late than never’ and ’slow and steady, wins the race’! We’re eager and patiently waiting, Dutchess!