In 2007, following in his bandmate Fergie's footsteps, Will.i.am released a solo album called "Songs About Girls." The album was inspired by a tumultuous seven-year relationship with a girlfriend.
One of Will.i.am's earliest memories of a song is "Special Lady" by the R&B group Ray, Goodman and Brown. It was a favorite of his mother. She used to play it frequently when he was young.
"I'm like a mama's boy and stuff," Will said. "I used to sing that to my mom."
Many of Will.i.am's favorite songs are ones he heard from his mother when he was young.
"Every single song that I've listened to is in my memory forever," He said. "So when I listen to them again the first time I heard that song, and the emotion that I felt when I heard that song are recalled."
Will also loves the song "Reasons" by Earth, Wind & Fire, which was another favorite of his mom's.
"I think my mom loved the live version," Will recalled. "She liked the original version, but she loved the live version because you know she probably wanted to go to an Earth, Wind & Fire concert. So listening to the live version felt like you were there at the concert. And that became my favorite version because that's the one my mom played."
Frankie Smith's "Double Dutch Bus" is another favorite of Will's because of it's resemblance to early hip hop. Smith's deep voice also captivated Will.i.am's attention.
"I used to walk around the neighborhood," he remembered. "I used to sing that song the 'Double Dutch.' I used to put my voice in a little frog voice. They used to call me 'froggy.'
One of the first hip hop rhymes that Will.i.am wrote in middle school he readily admits was stolen from RUN-DMC's hit "My Adidas." After a fellow student teased him for not having a swatch watch he wrote a rap about why his A brand watch was better then the popular swatch watches.
"I just totally bit Run DMC right, verbatim" he said. "I was twelve-years-old. They had 'My Adidas' and I had 'My A Watch.' Run DMC is like one of my favorite groups too. And that's when I knew I wanted to rap.
It was through a group called Tribe Called Quest that Will.i.am discovered a whole host of artists from 1970's that would influence him. Artists like Herbie Hancock that Tribe would sample. One of his favorite songs by the group is called "Bonita Applebum."
"De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest educated me on old jazz musicians that were in the Disco era," he explained. "When I got a little older I started digging expanding my vocabulary on music."
Will.i.am had a hard time coming up with just five songs to mention. He can find something to love in every genre and nearly every musician.
"I love music so much that if one artist was to be the all and end all, then it would be an injustice to music," Will said. "So I just love music."