John Legend, Diddy, and more want to work with Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas

By Tim Stack
September 29, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Still the dapper frontman of the ”My Humps” hip-hoppers, has been crafting beats for quite a roster of soloists. He produced 8 of 13 tracks on bandmate Fergie’s record THE DUTCHESS (including the second single, ”Fergalicious”), the first release from his own A&M/Interscope label, music group. So there’s a lot riding on it for them both: ”She made a sacrifice holding off on her dream of a solo project [to be in the Black Eyed Peas],” says will, 31. His energetic beats also grace the ’60s soul track ”Damn Girl” on Justin Timberlake’s FUTURESEX/LOVESOUNDS, three songs on Kelis’ KELIS WAS HERE, and chunks of upcoming releases from Nas, John Legend, Macy Gray, and Diddy. The prolific L.A. native even scored Hilary Swank’s 2007 film FREEDOM WRITERS while on tour with the Peas (their next album comes out in late 2007). Now, he’s narrowing down both the 400-plus songs (!) he’s recorded for his solo CD (due this December) and his expanding waistline. But he’s got a plan for the latter: ”I’m going to get my [recording] equipment put on the treadmill.”