EXCLUSIVE: Black Eyed Peas support Fergie after she leaves group: She's 'still in the family'

Fergie is officially a full-time solo artist.

Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am confirmed this week that Fergie is no longer in the pop group. "Since the beginning of Black Eyed Peas, we've always had amazing vocalists that appeared on the mic with us. People like Macy Gray, Esthero, Debi Nova, Fergie. On Elephunk, there were several females that appeared on that album," he explains to English-language UAE entertainment news magazine Ahlan. "Obviously Fergie was the featured female, but on songs like 'Let's Get it Started,' it's Noelle [Scaggs], and then Fergie, songs like 'Latin Girls,' it's Debi Nova, and 'Request Line,' it's Macy Gray. We'll always work with good females."

Although will.i.am confirms Fergie is not a full-time member of the Black Eyed Peas, a source close to the group tells ET that the "Fergalicious" singer has the support of her former bandmates as she pursues other music endeavors. "Fergie is still in the family but is focusing on her solo project," the source says. "She is like a sister to them. They fully support her."

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See photos of Fergie:

Fergie through the years
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Fergie through the years
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Stacy Ferguson of Wild Orchid (also known as Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas) (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2002: Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) of the Black Eyed Peas and her boyfriend, actor Josh Duhamel, meet up with Tommy Hilfiger (right) backstage as they attend a showing of Hilfiger's spring 2006 collection at the Tent in Bryant Park during Fashion Week. The runway show, which featured 100 models, celebrated the designer's 20 years in business. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American hip hop group Black Eyed Peas back stage at TV show, London, circa 2003. Left to right: will.i.am (William Adams), apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda), Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) and Taboo (Jaime Gomez). (Photo by David Tonge/Getty Images)
Group portrait of American hip hop group Black Eyed Peas, London, circa 2003. Left to right: apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda), Fergie (Stacy Ferguson), Taboo (Jaime Gomez) and will.i.am (William Adams). (Photo by David Tonge/Getty Images)
Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
Justin Timberlake with Black Eyed Peas backstage at the Vinyl Club in Hollywood, California (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Black Eyed Peas during 2003 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Fergie (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
Juanes and Black Eyed Peas during 4th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards - Rehearsals Day 2 in Miami, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Juanes and The Black Eyed Peas perform a medley of 'La Paga' and 'Latin Girls' at The 4th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 25: Black Eyed Peas arrive for the 'Mastercard MOBO Awards 2003' at the Royal Albert Hall on September 25, 2003 in London. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Fergie of Black Eyed Peas during Spike TV Presents 2003 GQ Men of the Year Awards - Press Room at The Regent Wall Street in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 6: (U.S. TABS OUT) Singer Justin Timberlake (2nd from R) poses with Black Eyed Peas backstage during the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards at Ocean Terminal on November 6, 2003 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: BIG DAY OUT Photo of BLACK EYED PEAS, live in Melbourne (Photo by Martin Philbey/Redferns)
Black Eyed Peas perform 'Where Is The Love' (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Black Eyed Peas, Fergie (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Fergie of Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
NETHERLANDS - MAY 01: PINKPOP FESTIVAL Photo of BLACK EYED PEAS, Fergie & George Pajon Jr (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
Fergie of Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Clear Channel Entertainment)
Mojo Honours List, Banqueting House, Whitehall, London, Britain - 22 Jun 2004, Black Eyed Peas - Will I Am, Stacey Ferguson And Apl De Ap (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
The Black Eyed Peas Singing at Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2011
Fergie of Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Porter Novelli- NY)
The Black Eyed Peas during The 5th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage for NARAS)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 21: Singer Fergie of Black Eyed Peas is photographed backstage at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards Latin America on October 21, 2004 at the Jackie Gleason Theater, in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Black Eyed Peas during 2004 MTV European Music Awards - Show at Tor di Valle in Rome, Italy. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Fergie of Black Eyed Peas performs 'Let's Get It Started' (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage for VH-1 Channel - New York)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas performs with Earth, Wind and Fire before the start of Super Bowl XXXIX between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles at Alltel Stadium on February 6, 2005 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Fergie and apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 22: Fergie (right) and Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas perform during Z100's Zootopia 2005 at the Continental Airlines Arena on May 22, 2005 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Fergie of Black Eyed Peas at My Scene Goes Hollywood Celebrity Retreat, produced by Backstage Creations (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
Black Eyed Peas during 2005 MTV European Music Awards Lisbon - Show at Atlantic Pavillion in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3320 -- Pictured: Musical guest Fergie performs on February 28, 2007 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Singer Fergie performs onstage at the Conde Nast Media Group's Fourth Annual Fashion Rocks Concert at Radio City Music Hall September 6, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 26: Singer Fergie arrives to the 2007 Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater on August 26, 2007 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Singer Fergie arrives at the 2007 American Music Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Fergie arrives to the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MAY 02: Singer Fergie performs live at the Sunfest Music & Arts Festival on May 2, 2008 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Logan Fazio/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: Rapper Nelly (L) and singer Fergie perform onstage during the 2008 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 24, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Singer Fergie (C) and Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson onstage at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2015 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles California on December 31, 2014. (Photo by Mark Davis/DCNYRE2015/Getty Images for dcp)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Singer Fergie arrives at the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Singer Fergie and husband actor Josh Duhamel arrive at the Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2015 Womenswear Collection Presentation at Milk Studios on February 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Actor Josh Duhamel and singer Fergie attend WildAid 2015 at Montage Hotel on November 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Redmond/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Fergie attends WildAid 2015 at Montage Hotel on November 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

As for whether a new female member will be joining will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap, that doesn't seem to be a priority for the group. "As for replacing, what people know the Black Eyed Peas to be, nobody is replacing Fergie," will.i.am notes to Ahlan. "She's working on her solo project at the moment, we're on this brand new experience, celebrating 20 years of Black Eyed Peas putting out music. We worked on a bunch of songs on her solo record, we're proud that she has her label, but Black Eyed Peas are pushing it forward in terms of content, technology and experiences on our new project, Masters of the Sun."

The 42-year-old musician also responds to speculation that former Pussycat Dolls frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger would be replacing Fergie. "Nicole is on the new BEP project as well," he admits. "I don't want to go into details [on] how she's involved yet."

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Fergie, 42, first joined the group in 2002 as a lead singer and went on to record her own solo album, The Dutchess, in 2006. She has not recorded with the Black Eyed Peas since 2005 and last performed with them at the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Will.i.am and Fergie were last seen together in September when they posed at London Fashion Week.

In December, Fergie released her single, "Life Goes On," following her feel-good summer jam, "M.I.L.F. $." This is the second offering from her highly anticipated sophomore solo album, whose LP is said to be titled Double Dutchess, a playful nod to her 2006 debut. Last December, Fergie also released a special two-LP vinyl reissue of The Dutchess.

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