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Will.i.am Recalls His First-Ever Grammys Appearance

12/07/2009 at 07:00 AM EST

Will.i.am Recalls His First-Ever Grammys Appearance
will.i.am
Charley Gallay/Getty
With his group the Black Eye Peas nominated for an impressive six Grammys, including the top prizes of album and record of the year, will.i.am has plenty of reasons to look forward to next month's awards show – something that wasn't necessarily the case during his first Grammy experience.

"I remember that I was nervous," the musician, 34, told PEOPLE about his 2005 appearance. Recalling his Grammy debut while at an event announcing the first-ever Data Awards for electronic music, he said, "I was real nervous. We performed "Where Is the Love." I remember I got up on the mic and said, 'Everybody go out and vote.' "

While the Peas didn't perform on last year's telecast, will.i.am attended – as a contender. "I was nominated for producer of the year award," he said. "I lost to Rick Rubin again, [who] is good to lose to."


Known for unorthodox live collaborations and performances, the Grammy Awards have attracted a host of superstars for duets in past years. "My favorite Grammy moment lately [was] the Prince and Beyoncé performance," will.i.am says, remembering the singers' 2004 duet of "Purple Rain," "just seeing Prince and Beyoncé rocking."



Watch the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, live on CBS – and catch up on all the news and style from the show on PEOPLE.com!

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