Who knew that Will.I.Am (William James Adams Jr.) would rise from the clubs of East L.A. to become front man of the alternative-rap supergroup Black Eyed Peas? After founding B.E.P. with high school friend Apl.de.ap (Allan Lindo) and Taboo (Jamie Gomez)—later to be joined by female singer Fergie—would become one of the most commercially successful hip hop groups, selling over 6 million albums and winning six Grammy Awards. Will.i.am has since become a go-to hit maker, writing and producing chart-toppers for artists from Usher (“O.M.G.”) to the late Michael Jackson. During the 2008 presidential election, Will produced “Yes We Can,” a song and YouTube video that went viral, mobilizing young voters to turn out in record numbers and vote Barack Obama into office. He continues to maintain a thriving solo career (with new music expected to drop in 2014), and announced plans to release his own wireless Smartwatch, which will act as a phone music hub. Will.i.am will also serve as a judge on The Voice Australia this year.