will.i.am wants his fellow singer Justin Bieber to get more recognition for bringing the underground to the masses.

The Black Eyed Peas star has always supported Justin, with the pair teaming up on the track #thatPower. Justin’s wild behaviour hit the headlines in the past, including when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and egged a neighbour’s home, but he’s reinvented himself over the last six months, something will is thoroughly impressed with.

“I’ve always believed in that kid; I think he’s extremely talented and I’m happy for him,” he told Britain’s Heat magazine. “It’s one thing to have success, and it’s another thing to be paving the way and defining contemporary pop music. He went underground and took underground to the surface, so hats off.”

While many were astounded by the way Justin, 21, has turned his life around of late, will wasn’t. He believes people have short memories, pointing out the Canadian singer found fame when he was very young and so was bound to make some public errors.

“When I used to say, like six years ago, ‘That guy’s going to have a career,’ everyone would be like, ‘What are you talking about?’” he recalled. “And then three years ago, when he was being crucified just because he was doing what every teenager does, I said, ‘Nah, he’s going to have a career.’ Everybody said, ‘What are you on about? He’s so rude!’ But I’m like, ‘No, he’s grown up with cameras. If you guys grew up with cameras I don’t think you’d even be able to go outside!’”

Justin isn’t the only star will has praised - he also has a lot of time for Jessie J. The pair used to appear on the UK version of The Voice together and although Jessie has now left, they are still in touch and recently shared a text exchange.

“I was like, ‘We should work on music,’” he explained, “And she said, ‘Yeah, I’m working on my new record next year,’ and I was like, ‘Well, we should definitely work together.’”