will.i.am is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and entrepreneur who was propelled to fame when he founded the musical group The Black Eyed Peas and again when he landed the role of judge on ‘The Voice’. While open with his millions of fans, will.i.am keeps facts about his family — like whether he has siblings — close to his chest.
will.i.am has a total of seven siblings. He has three biological siblings and four adopted siblings — two girls who his mother adopted when they were babies, and two boys who were aged six and seven at the time.
Despite being an international superstar, will.i.am does his best to keep his private life, well, private — and he extends this need for privacy to his family as well. Here’s what we do know about will.i.am’s elusive siblings.
Who Are will.i.am’s Siblings?
will.i.am was born on 15 March 1975 in California’s Eastside Los Angeles. Growing up in a single-parent household in the dangerous Boyle Heights neighborhood was difficult, but he didn’t have to go through it alone.
When he was 10 years old, will.i.am’s mother, Debra Cain, added two new additions to the family and did the same thing again a few years later. He now has four adopted siblings.
will.i.am told The Guardian, “My mom is the most awesome woman. She raised us all by herself. I have two brothers and a sister, and Mom adopted two other girls when they were infants; then she just recently adopted two other boys who are six and seven.”
Very little is known about his siblings, other than his older brother Carl Gilliam who you’ll find out about soon, and will.i.am likes it that way. He is very protective of his family and rarely opens up about them.
While speaking to On Air With Ryan Seacrest, will.i.am opened up about his sister and said, “I wanted to cry because my sister works at Walmart and she stocks.” and went on to describe how the family was concerned that his sister’s job posed a risk for COVID-19.
Who Is will.i.am’s Brother
Unlike the rest of will.i.am’s siblings, his older brother isn’t camera shy. His name is Carl Gilliam, and he is incredibly close to his famous baby brother.
Carl is four years older than will.i.am, whom he affectionately calls ‘Willie’, and the pair were the best of friends while growing up.
Sadly, Carl’s life went in a very different direction than his brothers did. Though a reformed man today, Carl was imprisoned in 2005 for spousal battery and got out after serving his five-year sentence.
After his release, he worked as both a barber and a youth counselor. Carl was able to put his past behind him and has managed to forge a successful career for himself — with Willie’s help.
will.i.am and Carl teamed up in 2015 to create a footwear brand called MCCVII. The name, which is pronounced ‘twelve-oh-eight’, is inspired by the childhood home the brothers shared: 1208 Glennfield Heights.
will.i.am’s Other Family
Of course, will.i.am views his Black Eyed Peas colleagues as his extended family. In specific, will.i.am and his groupmate apl.de.ap refer to each other as brothers.
Though Fergie is no longer a member of The Black Eyed Peas, she’s still a part of the family. The group says of Fergie, “Fergie is our sister. So even with these small connections, she’s always going to be our sister.”
And finally, despite not having any kids of his own, will.i.am considers himself to be a father. Through his i.am.angel Foundation, the star feels like he’s acquired 750 children.
In an interview with The Sun, he summed up his views on family perfectly by saying, “It all depends on what you mean by family.”