will.i.am Biography

(American Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Founding and Lead Member of the Musical Group ‘Black Eyed Peas’)

Birthday: March 15, 1975 (Pisces)

Born In: Eastside Los Angeles, California, United States

William James Adams is an American rapper, singer, actor, song-writer, hip-hop artist, music composer and record producer professionally known by his pseudonym will.i.am. He is the founding member of the ‘Black Eyed Peas’ group. will.i.am has also appeared as an actor in the role of John Wrath in the film X- Men Origins, given voice to the character Moto Moto in ‘Madagascar: Escape2 Africa’ and as the rapping red crested cardinal Pedro in the animated films ‘Rio’ and ‘Rio 2’. He contributed his voice for the ‘X- Men Origins: Wolverine’ video game. William is the recipient of seven Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy, ten Television Rack and two Daytime Emmy Awards. He is also a record producer and has collaborated and produced music with stars like Usher, Ke$ha, Priyanka Chopra, Snoop Dogg, Cheryl Cole, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrusto name a few. William was born and raised single handedly by his mother in a ghetto and the family was heavily dependent on welfare funds. However, after gaining success for his music he moved his family out of the ghetto.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: William James Adams Jr.

Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Males


father: William Adams Sr.

mother: Debra (née Cain)

African Americans African American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Ancestry: Jamaican American

U.S. State: California

  • 1

    What is will.i.am's role in Black Eyed Peas?

    will.i.am is a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas and serves as the group's rapper and producer.

  • 2

    Which popular TV show did will.i.am serve as a coach on?

    will.i.am served as a coach on the UK version of "The Voice" from 2012 to 2016.

  • 3

    What tech company did will.i.am found?

    will.i.am founded the tech company i.am+ which focuses on consumer electronics and wearable technology.

  • 4

    What famous song did will.i.am collaborate on with Britney Spears?

    will.i.am collaborated with Britney Spears on the hit song "Scream & Shout" in 2012.

  • 5

    Which animated film did will.i.am voice a character in?

    will.i.am voiced the character of Moto Moto in the animated film "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa".

Childhood & Early Life
William James Adams Jr. was born on 15th March, 1975 in East Los Angeles, California, to William Adams Sr. and Debra (ne´e Cain). He grew up in the Estrada Courts housing projects in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, California. They were the first families to live in this low- cost housing project.
Will.i.am and his three biological and adopted siblings were entirely raised by their mother as his father had abandoned the family. He, thus, recalls nothing of his father who he has never met.
He was among few African-Americans living in primarily Hispanic Latino vicinity. However, William states that nobody dared to trouble his family because of his grandma who was adored by all in the neighborhood and prayed for everyone’s well being. William’s mother advised him not to follow the behavior of the youth in their locality.
Will.i.am has stated that living in such a dreary and inhospitable surroundings, he found peace only through his music. His mother was very supportive of his passion for music so she sent him to private schools in West Los Angeles.
He began his musical career when he was 8th grader in John Marshall High school and in the summer of 1987 he, along with fellow rapper and singer Allan Pineda (popularly known as apl.de.ap), started to perform in East L.A. clubs.
Later, they were joined by fellow classmate, Dante Santiago, and formed the Atban Klann hip-hop group (A Tribe Beyond a Nation). They caught the attention of rapper/ entrepreneur Eazy E (the Godfather of Gangsta rap) who signed them to his ‘Ruthless Records’ label in 1992. At that time William was known as Will 1 X.
They released a single ‘Puddles of H2O’ from the album Grass Roots in 1994 however, due to Eazy-E’s death they were terminated from the label.
William used to attend rave parties during high school and developed a liking for this genre of music and this was the main reason why he chose a more electro sound for 'The Black Eyed Peas' albums titled ‘The E. N. D’ and ‘The Beginning’.
Continue Reading Below
Will.i.am & the Black Eyed Peas
William modified their group’s name to 'Black Eyed Pods' and later in 1997 to 'The Black Eyed Peas' which at that time comprised of will.i.am, aple.de.ap and Taboo. Immediately after getting signed in by Interscope Records, they released their debut album ‘Behind the Front’ in 1998 with its debut single ‘Joints & Jam’.This album got appreciated and entertainers like Rolling Stones loved the ‘alterna-rap’ style of music.
The group released their second album ‘Bridging the Gap’ in 2000 and the single ‘Request+Line’ featuring Macy Gray became their first entryon Billboards Hot 100.
The Peas next album was ‘Elephunk’ in 2003 with hit songs like ‘Boom Boom Pow’, ‘Let’s Get It Started’ and ‘I Gotta Feeling’. The first single titled ‘Where Is The Love’ with Justin Timberlake, released in 2002, got 8th position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became the highest selling single in UK of that year.
Will suggested that including a female artist in the group would elevate their prospects and hence, Fergie was signed as a permanent member of the group after replacing Nicole Scherzinger (their first choice). The song ‘Shut Up’ and ‘My Humps’of ‘Elephunk’ with her voice went viral. This album got 14th position on Billboard Top 200 and 3rd on UK Album Charts and till date has sold over 8.5 million copies worldwide and over 1.6 million alone in UK.
They next released three albums - ‘Monkey Business’(2005),The End (2009) and The Beginning (2010). 'Monkey Business' got three times Platinum certification by the RIAA and has sold over 10 million copies as of now and the Peas won Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo for the song ‘Don’t Funk with My Heart’ from Monkey Business.
Recommended Lists:
Solo Artist
Willam released four studio albums - ‘Lost Change’ (2001), ‘Must B 21 (2003), Songs About Girls (2007) and #will power (2013). His third album got 9th position in the US Rap charts and the single ‘I Got It from My Mamma reached 31st position Billboard Hot 100 and 19th in Australia charts. This album included hit songs like ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘One More Chance’.
His album #willpower reached 3rd position on UK charts and received Gold (BPI) and Platinum (RMNZ) certification. The single ‘T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)’ featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger got 36th position on Billboard Hot 100. The other singles ‘This Is Love’, featuring Eva Simons, and ‘That Power’, featuring Justin Bieber, reached 1st and 2nd position on UK charts and also got Platinum and Gold certifications. The single ‘Scream & Shout’ collaboration with Britney Spears got seven Platinum certifications.
William is working on his next album ‘Songs About Partying’ to be released by 2018.
Philanthropist and Social Activist
Will.i.am is a humanitarian whose foundation 'I.Am.Angel' assists and aids education for youths of underprivileged communities to enable them to compete for better future jobs. Its initiative 'I.Am Steam' program includes robotics, 3D Experience Labs, provides ArcGIS (Geographic information systems) Software and promotes Art.
William has also donated 500,000 pounds to Price’s Trust, UK to empower youth. His foundation is working with wellness focused companies to provide healthier drinking facilities and lead free environment to the people of Boyle Heights. He was acknowledged as the Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum in 2013.
Personal Life & Legacy
William has kept his personal life very private hence there is no information about his sexual orientation or relationships.
Facts About will.i.am

will.i.am is a tech enthusiast and has invested in several technology startups, showing his passion for innovation beyond music.

He is a strong advocate for education and has worked on various initiatives to support STEM education for underprivileged youth.

will.i.am has a keen interest in fashion and has launched his own clothing line, showcasing his creativity in different artistic fields.

He is a talented voice actor and has lent his voice to characters in popular animated films, demonstrating his versatility as an artist.

will.i.am is known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting various charitable causes and using his platform to raise awareness for important social issues.

See the events in life of Will.i.am in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- will.i.am Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com

People Also Viewed

Kendrick Lamar Biography
Kendrick Lamar
Post Malone Biography
Post Malone
Kanye West Biography
Kanye West
Lauryn Hill Biography
Lauryn Hill
Nicki Minaj Biography
Nicki Minaj
Doja Cat Biography
Doja Cat
Travis Scott Biography
Travis Scott
50 Cent Biography
50 Cent