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New Music Friday includes releases from John Legend, Black Eyed Peas and Jason Mraz, who will donate his new album earnings to social justice groups. USA TODAY

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The Black Eyed Peas is opening up about Fergie leaving the group.

In an interview with Billboard, the musical group explained what led them to become a trio for a while before welcoming new singer J. Rey Soul.

Will.i.am explained that Fergie is "focusing on being a mom" and that there are no hard feelings.

"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."

Fergie welcomed son Axl in 2013.

Apl.de.ap added that "Fergie is our sister."

"So even with these small connections, she’s always going to be our sister. But unfortunately our schedule is displaced by (her) wanting to be a great mom, and she wants to focus on that. And like Will said, we support her 100%," he said.

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Will.i.am said that Fergie hasn't heard the new album with new member Soul just yet.

"She hasn’t heard it. She’s going to hear it when everybody else hears it. I hope she likes it. 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."

Taboo added that he feels like the group is "giving birth to a new artist" with Soul.

"I really want to give her ultimate praise and respect. What the fellows said — Ferg, she’s doing the mom thing — but we have an amazing artist we’re developing," he said. "She’s part of this new album, she’s part of 'Mamacita.' "

The album, titled "Translation," was released Friday and features Soul, Maluma, Shakira, J Balvin and more.

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