If there is one movie that never loses taste, it is "Garfield" and especially the scene when Garfield gets to dance to "Hey mama" as Odie watches and learns a few moves. Whether it is the way Garfield shakes what his mama gave him or the beats of the song that have us nodding our heads to the rhythm, one thing we cannot deny is that The Black Eyed Peas are a talented group of artists. Nowadays we rarely hear of them after the leader Will i Am and Fergie decided to become solo artists, and it has become the norm with other music groups.
Take, for instance, Destiny's Child; Beyonce Knowles has remained at the top while Michelle Williams has faded into the background. Or maybe N'Sync; Justin Timberlake has made his fortunes with his solo career while the rest of the members, who we have to admit we barely even know their names, have gained the title of " former N'Sync members." Will i Am's net worth of $75 million has not come without ups and downs and to get a glimpse of how the man has reached this point in his life, let's take a look at where it all began.
Becoming a trendsetter
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that we should not go where the path leads, but instead go to where there is no path and leave a trail. Will's mother wanted her son to live by this quote, and she, therefore, encouraged Will to be unique instead of abiding by the behavior that the youth in his neighborhood had adopted.
Will did not grow up in luxury, but like Martin Luther King, he had a dream; his dream was that of wearing his brand. Therefore as other kids went to high-end stores to get their Air Jordans, Will and his friends headed to thrift stores to buy old-man suits, and using their unique style, they turned the rags into luxurious clothes that the wealthy would want to have.
His mother then must have realized that her child had an artistic talent because she enrolled him in public schools. It is while in high school that Will met Allan Pineda and they became best friends. They shared their passion for music, and they began performing in clubs while he was in eighth grade. They were joined by three other people, and together they became Atban Klann. By the time Will was 17, the rap group he had started was signed to Ruthless Records, owned by Eazy-E.
The forming of Black Eyed Peas
Will and the group retained the name "Atban Klann" until the death of Eazy-E in 1995 when they changed it to "Black Eyed Pods." Black Eyed Peas came to be in 1997 when they switched recording labels to join Interscope Records. Will was still set on having his solo career, and he had his first release in 2001 titled "Lost Change" which became an instant hit. The group went on to release albums that were rated at the top of several charts worldwide. Their second album, "Elephunk" sold more than 16 million copies in the United Kingdom and 8.5 million copies globally. In the U.S. the album reached number 14 in the Billboard Top 200 while in the UK it reached number three. Of course, such heights came with loads of money for Will and his crew.
Current music collaborations
When you get to the top, people will expect you to rest but not Will; he is always on the rise and is working with the big names in the music industry. So far he has worked with Britney Spears, Wuz Khalifa, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus among others. Besides, he is not only just featured for his vocals but also works with other artists as an executive producer and songwriter. At the average rate of 9% in royalties per every reproduction of a song, Will is bound to make lots of money even without going on stage.
Business is not for the fainthearted because it may take a while before you start seeing any profits flowing in, but when you have someone guiding you every step of the way, you are one step ahead of other startup entrepreneurs. Will had the guidance of Jimmy Iovine, a co-founder of Beats Electronics and he asked Will to invest in the company. Will followed his advice, and although Will has never disclosed his stake in the company, he must have been laughing all the way to the bank when Apple acquired Beats for $3.2 billion.
In 2012, Will established i.am+ a company that focused on consumer electronics. Some of the products that the company is known for include Bluetooth headphones named Buttons. Since Will has an eye for fashion, the wireless headphones have discs on the outside such that if you have not jammed them into your ears, you can wear them around your neck like a necklace because they have a magnetic field around them to enable them to clasp together. The headphone retailed at $230, and with the many people who look up to Will for his fashion sense, he must have sold quite a number to add to his enormous riches.
The company is also responsible for products like the Puls smartwatch and the unforgettable phone case that had a camera and went for $478. With such prices, it is hard to tell if he got anyone to buy them, but if he did, then you should not be surprised that his net worth keeps rising. Moreover, Will is determined to make it in the business world because, in 2017, the company raised $117 million as venture funding for its switch into corporate computing market, primarily with a voice assistant for customer service.
Most people would retire after attaining a few millions, but the sky is the limit for Will because he is set on earning more millions by being the coach in The Voice UK since it premiered in 2012. Now, if at all Miley Cyrus got paid $13 million for her role as a coach for 2016-17, then Will makes more than that since he has been a recurring coach. Moreover, Will transformed his love for fashion in a business through a signature clothing line named i.am. Besides clothes, Will launched glasses range, which was expected given we have never seen him without glasses so he might as well make money out of it.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker