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Fergie Talks Fulfilling Her Dream of Headlining NYC Pride & Her Upcoming Album

Fergie Talks Fulfilling Her Dream of Headlining NYC Pride & Her Upcoming Album

@Fergie on Twitter

The Dutchess herself closed out NYC’s 2016 Pride festivities, performing solo hits and Black Eyed Peas favorites alike. 

It's been 30 years since Dance on the Pier became a New York City Pride staple, and in that time it's grown to become the premier live music event of the city's week-long celebration every June. This year, Fergie, preceded by a recorded message from Hillary Clinton, took the stage and voiced the collective opinion of the LGBT community in the wake of the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando: "We are not going to let anyone make us live in fear, we will not let them ruin our PRIDE!"

Out: What's it like headlining Dance on the Pier? This is an event that Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Cher have all done. What does it mean this year for you?

Fergie: This is the party. I've been wanting to do Pride for so many years and it just hasn't worked out. Between the [Black Eyed] Peas and my solo album I toured for like eight years straight. After that I needed a break and needed to get into the different mode of having a kid and learning to live at home. Once I started writing for the album, making music and performing again, the ask came and I jumped on it right away. It was such an honor and became even more important because of what happened in Orlando.

It's practically a 180 from last year, when Dance on the Pier happened just two days after SCOTUS ruled in favor of marriage equality. Now this year, with what happened at Pulse in Orlando and the looming threat of a Trump presidency, things have a bit of a somber undertone.

After Orlando happened I wanted to rethink the set and find a way to pay respect, and homage, and the remembrance that it deservers, yet still celebrate Pride and not take away from that. It's scary, and I'm a person who doesn't make choices out of fear, and in life you make choices one of two ways: out of love or fear. Under the umbrella of fear is insecurity and anything that goes toward negative feelings, and then everything with love is putting it out there and saying there's hope, and there's triumph. I feel blessed to have this stage to bring people together, hold hands, and raise them in triumph, and show the world that this is about Pride, and we're not going to let anyone take this celebration away.

And what can we expect from the upcoming album? It's been 10 years since your solo debut, The Dutchess gave us hits like "Fergalicious," "Clumsy," and "Big Girls Don't Cry."

It's just a plethora of different facets of myself. Completely different emotions. I've had a lot of experiences to write about, a lot of it is very autobiographical and intimate because writing is therapeutic for me. When you focus an emotion, it expands, and I really dove into several emotions and expanded on them for the album, but I also kept it fun and flirty. I always like to have a good laugh at myself and give a wink to the audience. It wouldn't be me if I didn't have those moments.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Dennis Hinzmann