will.i.am to Be Featured on New E! Series POP INNOVATORS Tonight
E! launches its new original series POP INNOVATORS which celebrates the lives and work of those unique individuals who are amongst the most influential names in pop culture, with the inspiring story of seven-time Grammy Award-winning musician and creative innovator will.i.am. This revealing one-hour special is told in the star's own words, along with those in will.i.am's trust circle including Fergie, apl.de.ap, Taboo, Red Foo, Jimmy Iovine, and friends from the old neighborhood as they share their thoughts, stories and recollections about the man who continues to grow and change with the world around him. While music was the spring board for this tremendous talent, see how will has taken his forward-thinking attitude into technology, politics, education, space travel and more when the one-hour special "Pop Innovators: will.i.am" premieres tonight, July 14th at 8:00pm ET/PT only on E!
Born William Adams, will.i.am grew up impoverished in Boyle Heights, a tough neighborhood in L.A.'s east side. Surrounded by gangs and crime, will.i.am found strength from his family (especially his mother and grandmother) and a positive outlet in music. His mother bussed him to an affluent white high school so he could have a better education and more opportunities. Childhood friend Red Foo (LMFAO) also attended the school with him and talks about will.i.am's early fashion innovation that started there, born out of need.
From will.i.am's early group Atban Klan, which earned him his first $10,000 record contract, to his success with making "The Black Eyed Peas" into a world-wide phenomenon, will.i.am has been changing music for years. His desire for positive change in the world led him into wide-ranging areas including politics, where his influence was most obvious during Barak Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign. will.i.am also gives back to lower income communities with his "i.am angel foundation," and is breaking new ground in education for not only the arts and design, but also science and technology. His desire to inspire kids to become involved in tech led him to team up with NASA and create a song that became the first to be beamed to earth from Mars.
Notable quotes from the special include:
"The world doesn't need another opinion, they need another person taking action. So I take action because I see the call and respond." - will.i.am
"...when you're 12, 13, especially in the projects, you start developing a sense of where you're at. A lot of the kids our age started kind of transforming into the street life, and he was one of the few people that just kind of stood in his own style and his own way..." - Joshua "Mook" Alvarez (Childhood Friend)
"His family always gave him a voice. When someone doesn't hinder you from your ideas, doesn't tell you, you can't, that's really important growing up in the areas and the conditions that he knew." - Fatima Robinson (Friend/Famed Choreographer)
"Will had an impact in influencing what the next style of music is going to be. He made something that was tangible for the masses. I think that moved the needle a lot." - Taboo (Black Eyed Peas)
"He has a voice for popular culture and he can use that voice to make change for the better. And he takes that as a responsibility." - polo molina (Manager)
"Will.i.am is one of those rare artists that will speak out, in terms of social activism, in terms of his political beliefs." "And with the 'Yes We Can' video he was on a forefront of a wave of a big political change that maybe other people didn't see was coming in youth culture, and he saw it." - Lorraine Ali (Music Editor, LA Times)
"Will is like a student of life. And it's just amazing to watch him watching the world. He's like a sponge. And he's an innovator because he's constantly running on that edge of what's going to happen next." - Fergie (The Black Eyed Peas)
"He likes always thinking outside the box. Gutsy. He's not scared to try anything. He's just out of his mind. He's an alien man. We got to check his DNA." - apl.de.ap (The Black Eyed Peas)
"I was in the projects dreaming about doing music and now I've done music. When I had nothing to when I had something I still have this driving force that's fueling me every day and that's making ideas reality..." - will.i.am
"Will's interest is to move the needle of popular culture. And to move the needle of popular culture, you have to be an innovator, right? There's no limit to what he can do. He's always gonna shock people, 'cause people think they got him pigeonholed and figured out, he will shock you and turn around tomorrow and just move it on you. You won't know what hit you." - Jimmy Iovine (Chairman & CEO, Interscope Records)
Political activist, educator, musician, artist, fashion icon, technology fanatic and more, will.i.am continues to make a difference in the world, and is a true pop innovator. Don't miss this revealing one-hour look at his life and successes when "Pop Innovators: will.i.am" premieres Sunday, July 14that 8:00pm ET/PT.
Plus, don't miss "Pop Innovators Presents: Steve Jobs" premiering on August, 15that 10 PM.