Fergie may have felt embattled this week after delivering what many called the ‘worst anthem performance ever’ but it was merely the latest in a string of recent challenges for the American singer.
Over the past 12 months, the 42-year-old released her second solo album to mediocre reviews, announced her split from her husband of eight years, actor Josh Duhamel, made a bizarre on-stage appearance at a star-studded charity gala and made a pivot to TV that fell disappointingly flat.
Fergie’s sultry interpretation of The Star-Spangled Banner at the NBA All-Star game on Sunday was so heavily criticised she was forced to apologise, admitting she tried her best but “didn’t strike the intended tone”.
Shortly after her apology, Duhamel was spotted delivering flowers to Fergie’s home in what was their first public interaction since announcing their marriage breakdown in September 2017.
Following their split, the singer did several emotional interviews in which she expressed her deep regret and implied it hadn’t been “her plan” to get a divorce.
“I wanted to stay married forever,” Fergie told talk show host Wendy Williams in October.
“I love Josh, he’s the father of my child. We forever have that project together, and we’re doing the best we can,” she added, tearing up.
The announcement of their separation, which actually occurred in early 2017, coincided with the release of Fergie’s first album in 11 years, Double Dutchess, prompting speculation she was trying to profit from the split – a suggestion sources close to her strenuously denied.
The album, which saw her leave longtime record label Interscope Records to start her own label with BMG, received uninspiring reviews and failed to set the charts on fire, prompting Fergie to do some self-promotion.
During a night out at a charity gala in December last year, Fergie was filmed crashing the stage twice, first to interrupt actor Armie Hammer’s speech with her own tribute to designer Tom Ford and then again to hold an impromptu singalong for her new single A Little Work.
“This is not a shameless promotion; I have a lot of shame,” Fergie said.
“Uh, I have a new song called A Little Work and I have a version that has alternate verses. And so, shamelessly—no! Shame! With shame!—I promote the Target version that has these bonus tracks with the alt verses.”
Also in December 2017, Fergie gave a revealing interview in which she detailed her past life as a crystal meth addict, admitting she battled chemically induced psychosis as a result.
“I was hallucinating on a daily basis. It took a year after getting off that drug for the chemicals in my brain to settle so that I stopped seeing things.
“I’d just be sitting there, seeing a random bee or bunny,” she told iNews.
Thankfully, Fergie beat the addiction prior to finding global fame when she joined hip-hop outfit The Black-Eyed Peas in 2002, helping them to become one of the most successful music groups of all time.
The struggles continued in January this year when, in a pivot to television, Fergie took a hosting gig on reality singing series The Four.
However, the show received dismal reviews and was labelled “an American Idol ripoff”. Many questioned why Fergie had been approached to host, rather than to join the all-star judging panel alongside Sean ‘Diddy’ Coombs, Meghan Trainor and DJ Khaled.
To her credit, Fergie’s advice to the show’s contestants was uplifting – and surprisingly appropriate in the wake of anthem-gate.
“There’s definitely been some tears in my life, and I’ve definitely had to pick myself back up and fight even harder,” she told Fox News.
“[I want to be] that person that’s there for [the contestants] to say ‘You know, even though this is the end for you today, it’s not the end of your career’.”