Fergie, one of the lead singers of the Black Eyed Peas, is no longer in the group, according to the remaining members.

The singer has been absent from any promo for the band's forthcoming album 'Translation' - their first in a decade - and now will.i.am has explained why.

He told Billboard that she was focusing on "being a mom" to her 6-year-old son Axl, whom she shared with ex-husband, actor Josh Duhamel.

"That's a hard job, and that's what she really wants to do and we're here for her, and she knows how to contact us for a retreat or a breakaway," he said. "It's really the way Fergie designed it, so we're respecting her design. We love Fergie, and we don't want anything but awesomeness for her."

He added that he and the remaining band members apl.de.ap and Taboo do try to keep in touch with their now-former bandmate. "We try to keep in touch," he said. "We reach out every once in a while and say our hellos and happy birthdays and Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. She knows where we're at! We're at the studio."

She has been replaced by another female singer, J. Rey Soul, who joined the band as far back as November 2018 - although she does not appear on the album artwork.

Fergie, who joined the pop band in 2002, has not yet commented publicly on the matter - although she did wish her bandmates well with their new album on Instagram.