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Ferguson was a member of the female trio Wild Orchid, which she fronted with Stefanie Ridel and fellow Kids Incorporated star Renee Sandstrom. Wild Orchid released two albums, but after completing a third album, their record label declined to release it, and she left the group shortly thereafter. Her disappointment with Wild Orchid led to an addiction to crystal methamphetamine. In September 2006, Ferguson talked with Time about quitting her crystal meth addiction. "It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with," she says. "It's the drug that's addicting. But it's why you start doing it in the first place that's interesting. A lot of it was being a child actor; I learned to suppress feelings."
In 2003, the Black Eyed Peas were recording their third album, 2003's Elephunk, when Will.i.am invited Fergie to try out for a song called Shut Up. She got the gig and instantly bonded with the trio to record five additional songs on the album.
In the following spring, shortly before Elephunk came out, Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine had offered Ferguson a permanent spot to take over vocal duties and fill the spot left void by background singer Kim Hill, who had left the group in 2000. When Will of the group was asked to sum up his bandmates, he called Fergie the "body" of the group.
Ferguson's addition to the band, which had enjoyed underground success until then, helped them quickly grow into mainstream popularity.
In 2005, Ferguson inadvertently urinated on stage during a performance at San Diego's Street Scene festival. Ferguson later commented on the incident: "I had a few drinks before the show, but I didn't think to go to the bathroom before we went onstage. We were jumping around...and my bladder just started."
In December 2007, Blender picked Ferguson as their woman of the year.
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