THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
It's nearly impossible to imagine music’s pop and urban landscape in the 21st century without the constant presence of will.i.am (ne William James Adams). The 37-year-old Los Angeles native, who got his start as a runner at famed recording studio Paramount, has dominated radio and the charts as both the sonic architect of Black Eyed Peas -- who have scored 10 Top 10 hits since breaking through commercially in 2003, and as a producer who’s teamed with Usher, Justin Bieber, Nas and, most recently, Britney Spears for the Top 5 electro-pop hit “Scream & Shout.” Even his one commercial misfire, 2007’s Songs About Girls, was a precursor to the marriage of dance and pop. “I was a little too ahead of my time on that one,” he has admitted, and his long-awaited next release #willpower, also is bound to surprise.