EW Staff
June 19, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Black Eyed Peas
Must Party Starters

NAMES/AGES
Fergie, 34; will.i.am, 34; Taboo, 34; apl.de.ap, 34
WHY THEM
The Peas’ pop-rap has always sounded good on dance floors, but for their fifth album, The E.N.D., they gave themselves a new goal: Craft a series of up-tempo electro jams that hit every bit as hard as the records spun by the hottest club DJs. ”In 1992, you were sitting down, trying to write dope-ass quotables and punchlines,” says will.i.am. ”Now you’re making sets to peak the crowd, like, ‘I know they’re gonna freak out when I flip this!”’
RHYME TIME
So how does Fergie compose such unforgettable couplets as ”I’m so 3008/You’re so 2000-and-late,” from this summer’s smash hit ”Boom Boom Pow”? ”A lot of my input comes from freestyles,” she says with a laugh. ”Or we’ll just be in the studio joking around.”
HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW
As recording sessions for The E.N.D. wound down, the Peas took a few key trips to the hair salon. Fergie emerged freshly brunet, while Will cut off his signature dreadlocks. ”Will called me, like, ‘Yo, Tab, you know I love you, right? We’re gonna have to do something about your long hair,”’ recalls Taboo, who agreed to a trim. Adds Will: ”We gotta keep ’em f—ing guessing, and wrong all the time they guess.”
NEXT
Expect The E.N.D.‘s second single, the euphoric party anthem ”I Gotta Feeling,” to reach full-on omnipresence any day now.
ON FERGIE’S MUST LIST
Kid Cudi. ”We did a [‘Boom Boom Pow’] remix with him, and I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.”

Maxwell
Must Comeback

AGE
36
WHY HIM
After a mysterious eight-year absence, the singer returns July 7 with BLACK-summers’night, a powerful dose of heartbroken soul. So where’s he been? ”For me to tell you would take eight years,” Maxwell jokes. ”The short version is, I am a bit of a perfectionist. I was also questioning: ‘Is this who I am, going on stage and singing some songs? Do I do something stupid and juvenile, or am I doing something that helps the world?’ I struggled with that.”
NEXT
He’s already almost done recording two follow-up albums, black-SUMMERS’night and black-summers’NIGHT, that will make up a trilogy.
ON HIS MUST LIST
Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut. ”There’s drama there. That album’s really speaking to me now, big-time.”

Robert Pattinson and Friends
Must Musical Clique

NAMES/AGES
Robert Pattinson, 23; Bobby Long, 22; Sam Bradley, 22; Marcus Foster, 23
WHY THEM
One of these names you know. The others you might not, but their profiles are quickly rising, thanks to their songwriting work on the still-hot Twilight soundtrack. Bradley co-penned ”Never Think” with Pattinson, while Long and Foster wrote bonus track ”Let Me Sign.”
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
How did three obscure musicians score such a prominent gig? They had an in: Foster and Bradley went to school with the British actor; Long met the other three at an open-mike night. (Before Twilight, Pattinson was also an aspiring singer.) Despite their friendship, their music is quite different. Bradley favors a rock vibe, Long is more folk-inclined, and Foster owes something to Tom Waits.
THIS DOESN’T SUCK
Bradley was on his way to use the bathroom when Pattinson called to say their song was going to appear in Twilight. ”I p—ed myself,” he says. Really? ”No.”
NEXT
The trio will reunite at July’s TwiCon in Dallas. ”It’s going to be mental,” says Foster. Will Pattinson sit in? ”I wouldn’t turn up there if I was him,” says Long. Foster hopes to record some songs with Pattinson soon: ”It might be my stuff, or his stuff, or some stuff we wrote together.”
ON THEIR MUST LISTS
Long loves rockers the Felice Brothers, while Bradley is a fan of Vancouver singer Shera Kelly. One of Foster’s favorite actors is Christopher Walken, whose forthcoming film $5 a Day features another of Foster’s songs.

EW.COM POLL
What is summer’s Must music reunion?

56% No Doubt
20% blink-182
9% Creed
8% Faith No More
7% Blur

Kid Cudi
Must Rapper

AGE
25
WHY HIM
The Kanye protégé’s beyond-catchy ”Day ‘N’ Nite” is a smash. ”It’s been a roller coaster,” says the new star. ”It’s a little intense. But I love the love!”
NEXT
His debut CD, The Man on the Moon: End of Day, is scheduled for fall.
ON HIS MUST LIST
Animal Collective.

Grizzly Bear
Must Breakout

WHY THEM
Years of mounting buzz culminated in the blissful Veckatimest, which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200. ”It’s hard to conceive of what that even means,” says the band’s Daniel Rossen. ”But it’s amazing!”
NEXT
A tour continues through July 19.
ON ROSSEN’S MUST LIST Dirty Projectors’ eclectic art-rock suite Bitte Orca.

Beyoncé
Must Live Act

Three reasons to catch her tour this summer.
1. You may have seen Justin Timberlake’s and Joe Jonas’ leotarded tributes to the now legendary ”Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” video, but on stage you’ll get the real booty-rocking deal.
2. Beyoncé has spent eight months working on the show, and from her all-girl backing band and outrageous Thierry Mugler costumes to the Destiny’s Child medley and bring-down-the-house take on Etta James’ ”At Last,” it’s major.
3. Even Sasha Fierce understands an economic downturn, so 2,000 seats at every North American date will be available for a bargain $20 — though you may want to splurge and head to Sin City for the tour’s U.S. finale, a four-day run at Las Vegas’ intimate Encore Theatre at the Wynn.

Brad Paisley
Must Country Crooner

AGE
36
WHY HIM
Paisley’s American Saturday Night (out June 30) finds the country superstar embracing a more emotional style. ”I feel like I’m in open-heart surgery on the Health Channel,” he jokes. ”The new frontier for me is digging in and saying, ‘I mean it.”’
FUTURE SHOCK
Next single ”Welcome to the Future” is a hope-fueled anthem ending with a nod to Obama’s election. Paisley calls it ”my favorite thing I’ve ever put on tape. I had a hard time singing that in the studio. The first time, I had to lean against the wall for a second.”
NEXT
He’s on the road until Oct. 17.
ON HIS MUST LIST
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies’ book The Mind of God.

MORE MUSIC MUSTS

Kylie Minogue
Must American Invasion
For two decades, she’s been one of those Aussie treasures — like Vegemite or rugby — that never quite hooked America. But a fiercely loyal following has finally lured the pop icon into her first-ever U.S. tour, with eight dates starting Sept. 30. Expect enough room-shaking beats to keep you dancing from here to Down Under.

Dirty Projectors
Must Indie Experimenters
The Brooklyn group has attracted a devoted cult of fans in recent years. This summer, they’ve broken out with the surprisingly accessible, brilliantly crafted Bitte Orca, an album that mixes R&B vocal harmonies, mellow atmospherics, noisy guitars, and Lord knows what else.

Gossip
Must Disco-Punk Trio
The Portland-based trio, led by powerhouse frontwoman Beth Ditto, broke through with 2006’s huge-in-Europe Standing in the Way of Control. Now with überproducer Rick Rubin behind them on follow-up Music for Men (due digitally June 23), they just might take over the planet.

Crosby Loggins
Must Offspring
Unexpected evidence that music-industry nepotism might be a good thing. The son of Kenny Loggins (his first name is an homage to Bing Crosby) will release his soulful debut CD, Time to Move, on July 14. With a sound that’s a mixture of his father, James Taylor, and John Mayer (who plays guitar on one tune), Loggins, 28, is much more skillful than you might expect from a guy who won MTV’s 2008 celeb-kids music competition, Rock the Cradle.

The Beatles
Must Timeless Tunes
Beatlemania returns on Sept. 9, when the long-awaited remasters of the band’s 12 original albums finally hit stores. This marks the first sonic upgrade these discs have seen since their original CD release more than 20 years ago. Of course, you might be too busy playing The Beatles: Rock Band, out the same day, to even listen to them. First person to claim ”I got blisters on my fingers!” gets, uh, a Band-Aid.

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