*So what is so special about the Black Eyed Peas’ song “I Gotta Feeling?” Ask one of the 6 million people who have purchased the song online, making it the most downloaded tune in history, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Their No. 1 hit is the first song to reach the 6 million milestone in digital downloads, and group leader will.i.am said the accomplishment is about much more than the song.

“We came out in ’98 and our career, if you would look at it on chart, there’s no dips in it,” he told the AP in a phone interview Thursday. “For our career to still be healthy and vibrant and doing things like 6 million downloads, it’s pretty significant.”

It’s also significant, he said, in a time when illegal downloading is the norm.

“That means that they chose to support the group, support the art,” he said. “God knows how many people listened to it online and didn’t buy it, downloaded it for free and didn’t think about it.”

The song was one of the hits from the group’s multiplatinum “The E.N.D.,” which was released last year. Although it is still on the charts, will.i.am said a new album, “The Beginning,” is almost finished and likely due at the end of the year.

“It symbolizes growth, new beginnings and starts, fresh new perspective,” he said.