Enrique Iglesias Begged His Label to Let Him Work with will.i.am in the 2000s

He also knew “Where Is the Love?” would jumpstart the Black Eyed Peas’ career.

Jackie Kolgraf
May 8, 2024

“For me, that song, when I listened to it, it was so inspiring and it was so cool and it was so good,” Enrique Iglesias told will.i.am about the Black Eyed Peas’ 2003 debut single, “Where Is the Love?”

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A guest on “will.i.am Presents the FYI Show” recorded live at the SiriusXM Miami Studios, Enrique said he still gets goosebumps thinking about that song and how he knew it was the “tipping point” for the group’s career similar to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.”

“I remember being at Interscope [Records] and begging to work with you in the studio,” Enrique added.

Enrique also talked about how he spent over a year writing his 2001 hit song “Hero,” but the label wanted a more uptempo lead single for the album — an experience will.i.am could relate to.

“I’ve been scarred, as far as like, you think, ‘This is it.’ You’ve been working on something for like two months, three months, and you’re like, ‘Okay, here it is.’ And you go in there, stressed. And then some people, like, then they give their opinion. Then they’re like, ‘Why don’t you go and change this or change that?'” will.i.am said. “And you’re like, ‘Do I have to butcher…? I’ve been working on this for so long.'”

While will.i.am said the experience gave him thicker skin, Enrique said it also made his blood boil.

“I’ve just been working on this [song] for six months, for some guy to say, ‘Hey, I think the high hat should be a little bit louder, and maybe you should put some strings on it’ … ‘Oh, and it needs a cowbell. If you put a cowbell on it, it’s gonna be a hit.’ You know?” Enrique vented.

“Hero” went on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time, staying on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 34 weeks and peaking at No. 3.

Stream Enrique’s full conversation with will.i.am on SiriusXM.

Enrique Iglesias and will.i.am on 'will.i.am Presents the FYI Show' at the SiriusXM Miami Studios - May 2024

“will.i.am Presents the FYI Show” is co-hosted by will.i.am and the first ever AI co-host on the SiriusXM platform, FYIona. Each week the show takes listeners on a deep dive into the intersection of pop culture, music, entertainment, world news, and technology, featuring thought-provoking conversations, hilarious games, the hottest new music, and interviews with the brightest stars making culture happen today.