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Black Eyed Peas Kick Off Grammy Weekend

The Black Eyed Peas kicked off the Grammy Awards weekend with a festive fundraising show at the Conga Room in Los Angeles.

The group rocked the new downtown club Thursday during their annual charity concert benefiting the Peapod Foundation, which provides music and arts education to children across the globe.

Fergie,, Taboo and performed during a high-energy set that featured guest appearances by Lupe Fiasco, Nikka Costa and Boys II Men.

"Music penetrates through all types of boundaries and crosses all kinds of barriers," said before the show. "It gives us a commonality through rhythm and melody. Music has brought the world together."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accepted the Peapod Leadership Award, presented in honor of his commitment to arts education in the city.

"I believe in what the Peapod Foundation is about," the mayor said as he awkwardly linked arms with "When you've been blessed, you've got to bless others. The Peapod Foundation is all about giving back."

The organization has provided free concerts in Africa and music education and equipment at its Peapod Academy in South Los Angeles.

"For people without the means or a place to go, it feels good for us to give them opportunities," Fergie said.

The Black Eyed Peas will release a new album in June, said.

"We really, truly reinvented ourselves," he said. "So look out for the reinvention."

The 51st annual Grammy Awards will be presented Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The show will air live on CBS.

By Sandy Cohen

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