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Cheryl is my 'wifey' says will.i.am -- as US star and singer get closer

CHERYL Cole's relationship with Black Eyed Peas will.i.am has heated up with the rapper referring to Cole as his 'wifey'.

The US star has been bragging to fans about his close relationship with the Girls Aloud star and will.i.am (35) is said to be besotted with the Geordie lass and is taking every opportunity to crow about it.

Cheryl is currently supporting his band The Black Eyed Peas on tour, and will.i.am took the chance to tell audience members his pet name for her.

"When I chatted to Will at a London club, he kept calling Cheryl his 'wifey'," one fan revealed.

"It's obvious that he's besotted by her," they added.

However, fans of the pair shouldn't bet on a celebrity wedding just yet.

The rapper has also been known to refer to band-mate Fergie by the same name.

When asked about the other woman in his life: "He laughed and said she was 'wifey number two'," revealed a fan.

Cheryl (26) and will.i.am formed a friendship after working together on the UK and Ireland version of his single Heartbreaker.

Since then, they have joined forces on three further tracks for Cheryl's debut solo album 3 Words, and they show no signs of ending their professional relationship anytime soon.

But, despite now being comfortable in his presence, Cheryl recently admitted that she was "terrified" when she first started working with him.

She said: "It was nerve-wracking working with a musical genius. I was terrified. But we have a great connection."

Rumours of a romantic relationship between the pair gathered pace after Cheryl introduced the US star to her mum Joan last week.

will.i.am reportedly said: "Joan is a great lady. You can see why Cheryl is such a good girl. Cheryl's mum is behind our friendship. I think anybody who will look after her and protect her is only a good thing in her mum's eyes."