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#SongsThatLiveOn: ‘Glamorous’ by Fergie

From a Japanese cover by Aili to major sample in Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” the song is everywhere again

Amit Vaidya Apr 16, 2022

Fergie live in 2006. Photo: Alexandre Cardoso/CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

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Fifteen years ago, Fergie hit #1 with “Glamorous,” her third single from The Dutchess. The single featuring Ludacris was written by the singer herself alongside the rapper and Black Eyed Peas bandmate will.i.am, Elvis Williams and Polow da Don. Don produced the track, which instantly connected with listeners.

While some compared the single to Gwen Stefani’s “Luxurious” as well as “Material Girl” by Madonna, the song lyrically fell more in line with “Jenny From The Block” by Jennifer Lopez as Fergie talks about keeping it real despite the fame and success (with a clever sample of Raheem The Dream’s classic “If You Ain’tGo No Money” driving home that point).

Even though many artists have talked about the price of stardom, most haven’t garnered a similar compositional legacy. While Stefani’s single stalled on the charts, Madonna’s single is remembered more for its iconic Marilyn Monroe-inspired music video and as for J.Lo, well, we didn’t call her Jenny until she called herself that (ironically enough, the song and its music video were released during the Bennifer 1.0 era).

Since its initial release, “Glamorous” has become ubiquitous with the mid-aughts and nobody quite dominated the pop-R&B fusion world better at that time than Fergie herself. While her follow-up release, the old-school ballad “Big Girls Don’t Cry” ended up becoming the biggest hit off her super-successful debut album, it is actually “Glamorous” that continues to get played

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and sampled.

The single was prominently featured in 2013 on the “Nonstop Pop FM” radio station in Grand Theft Auto V, introducing an entire new generation to the hit single. One of those likely influenced by this was rapper Jack Harlow, who was just nine when the original single came out and a teen by the time it was featured on one of the most successful video games of that era.

Harlow recently spoke up about his connection to Fergie as his just-released “First Class” features the iconic song from his childhood. The rapper told Entertainment Tonight’s Denny Directo, “I have, like, a strong artistic connection to Fergie. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while, and it just came together, and I figured it’s time. I’m curious how many kids know that ’cause I was a kid when this was out.”

Whether they know of the song or not, his single is now introducing the classic to an entire new generation. He’s got company halfway around the world also doing the same thing. Belgian-Japanese duo Aili recently covered “Glamorous,” turning the R&B jam into a dancefloor electro pop in Japanese!

“This song got us through puberty and whilst we were recording the new EP and needed a break.We decided to play around with it as a kind of challenge and loved how it sounded,” explains Maruyama. “We translated the lyrics into Japanese as that felt more personal, et voila! We hope that one day we can invite Fergie on stage to perform it with us,” she elatedly adds.

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It is without doubt that for the younger generations, “Glamorous” has become a song that must live on. Harlow and Aili are both doing their part to keep the song fresh and in our memories.

As for Fergie, it’s unlikely she expected her ode to her past to resonate as long as it has but then again, why complain when you don’t ever have to “take your broke ass home” with royalty checks continuing on!

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