Pharrell Williams

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Pharrell Williams
"Hidden Figures" Screening at NMAAHC (NHQ201612140033) (cropped).jpg
Williams at the red carpet screening of Hidden Figures , 2016
Pharrell Lanscilo Williams [1]

(1973-04-05) April 5, 1973 (age 46)
Residence Beverly Hills, California, U.S. [2]
Other names
  • Pharrell
  • Skateboard P
  • Sk8board
  • Auto Goon
  • Magnum, the Verb Lord
  • Station Wagon P
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • record executive
  • fashion designer
  • entrepreneur
  • A&R representative
Years active1992–present
Organization I Am Other
Helen Lasichanh(m. 2013)
Awards List of awards and nominations
Musical career
Associated acts

Pharrell Lanscilo Williams [1] ( /fəˈrɛl/ ; born April 5, 1973) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. Williams and Chad Hugo comprise the record production duo The Neptunes, producing hip hop and R&B music. He is the lead vocalist of the band N*E*R*D, that he formed with Hugo and childhood friend, Shay Haley. He released his first solo single, "Frontin'", in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album, In My Mind , in 2006. [3] His second album, Girl , was released in March 2014 [4] [5] and included the commercially successful single, "Happy". As part of the Neptunes, Williams has produced numerous singles for various recording artists. [6]

Chad Hugo American record producer and songwriter

Charles Edward "Chad" Hugo is an American multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is best known as one half of the music production and writing duo The Neptunes and as a member of N.E.R.D. He is a saxophonist, pianist and guitarist. Along with his production partner Pharrell Williams, he has produced numerous number-one hit tracks.

The Neptunes American record production duo formed by Teddy Riley

The Neptunes are an American production duo, composed of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. The Neptunes' sound is a distinctive brand of off-kilter, stripped-down electronic funk with sounds from Middle Eastern and Asian music including percussion and woodwind. Pharrell often provides additional vocals and (later) raps on records as well as appears in music videos, unlike Hugo, who tends to stay behind the scenes.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.


Williams has earned ten Grammy Awards including two with the Neptunes. He is also a two-time Academy Award nominee, receiving a 2014 Best Original Song nomination for "Happy" (which was featured in Despicable Me 2 ) and a 2017 Best Picture nomination as one of the producers of Hidden Figures . Williams owns I Am Other, a multimedia creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all of Pharrell Williams' endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club.

Grammy Award accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film. The performers of a song are not credited with the Academy Award unless they contributed either to music, lyrics or both in their own right. The songs that are nominated for this award are performed during the ceremony and before this award is presented.

<i>Despicable Me 2</i> 2013 American 3D computer-animated comedy film

Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated comedy film and the sequel to the 2010 animated film Despicable Me. Produced by Illumination Entertainment for Universal Pictures and animated by Illumination Mac Guff, the film was directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher, and Dana Gaier reprise their roles as Gru, Dr. Nefario, Margo, Agnes, and Edith respectively. Kristen Wiig, who played Miss Hattie in the first film, voices agent Lucy Wilde, while Ken Jeong, who played the Talk Show Host, voices Floyd Eagle-san. New cast members include Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo "El Macho" Pérez and Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, head of the fictional Anti-Villain League (AVL).

Early life

Williams was born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, [7] [8] the oldest of three sons of Pharaoh Williams, a handyman, and his wife Carolyn, a teacher. [9] His roots extend for generations in Virginia and North Carolina, and one of his ancestors journeyed to West Africa in 1831, prompting other relatives to emigrate from America to Liberia in 1832. [10]

Virginia Beach, Virginia Independent city in Virginia

Virginia Beach is an independent city located on the southeastern coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 437,994. In 2015, the population was estimated to be 452,745. In 2017 the estimated population was 450,435. Although mostly suburban in character, it is the most populous city in Virginia and the 41st most populous city in the nation. Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. This area, known as "America's First Region", also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as other smaller cities, counties, and towns of Hampton Roads.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th-most extensive and the 9th-most populous of the U.S. states. The state is divided into 100 counties. The capital is Raleigh, which along with Durham and Chapel Hill is home to the largest research park in the United States. The most populous municipality is Charlotte, which is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City.

West Africa westernmost region of the African continent

West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as well as the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016, and at 381,981,000 as of 2017, to which 189,672,000 are female, and 192,309,000 male.

He met Chad Hugo in a seventh-grade summer band camp where Williams played the keyboards and drums and Hugo played tenor saxophone. They were also both members of a marching band; Williams played the snare drum while Hugo was drum major. [11] [12] Williams and Hugo attended Princess Anne High School where he played in the school band; there Pharrell got the name Skateboard P. [13] Hugo attended Kempsville High School. In the MTV show When I Was 17 , Pharrell stated that he was a nerd and often did things that made him stand out from most of his peers. [14] Williams attended Northwestern University for two years before dropping out. [15]

Tenor saxophone type of saxophone

The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor and the alto are the two most commonly used saxophones. The tenor is pitched in the key of B (while the Alto is pitched in the key of E), and written as a transposing instrument in the treble clef, sounding an octave and a major second lower than the written pitch. Modern tenor saxophones which have a high F key have a range from A2 to E5 (concert) and are therefore pitched one octave below the soprano saxophone. People who play the tenor saxophone are known as "tenor saxophonists", "tenor sax players", or "saxophonists".

Marching band company of instrumental musicians

A marching band is a group in which instrumental musicians perform while marching, often for entertainment or competition. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Most marching bands wear a uniform, often of a military style, that includes an associated organization's colors, name or symbol. Most high school marching bands, and some college marching bands, are accompanied by a color guard, a group of performers who add a visual interpretation to the music through the use of props, most often flags, rifles, and sabres.

Snare drum type of drum

A snare drum or side drum is a percussion instrument that produces a sharp staccato sound when the head is struck with a drum stick, due to the use of a series of stiff wires held under tension against the lower skin. Snare drums are often used in orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, parades, drumlines, drum corps, and more. It is one of the central pieces in a drum set, a collection of percussion instruments designed to be played by a seated drummer and used in many genres of music.

In the early 1990s, Hugo and Williams formed a four-piece "R&B-type" group, the Neptunes, with friends Shay Haley and Mike Etheridge. They later entered a high school talent show where they were discovered by Teddy Riley, whose studio was next to Princess Anne High School. [16] After graduating from high school, the group signed with Riley. [17]

Shay Haley American musician

Sheldon Haley, better known as Shae, Shay or Shade, is an American musician. He is a member of the funk rock band, N*E*R*D, alongside Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, supplying the production. His role in the band is often questioned, but in a 2010 interview, Pharrell stated that Shae is the root of the band. Pharrell also stated that Shae keeps everyone grounded and together.


1992–97: Early career

Through working with Riley, Williams went on to write a verse and help produce for Wreckx-N-Effect's 1992 hit "Rump Shaker". [18] That same year, he also performed a small rap solo on SWV's second hit, "Right Here (UK Remix)". Williams and Hugo met rap duo Clipse in Virginia Beach in 1993, where they were signed to Arista Records through Williams' Star Trak Entertainment imprint. [19] [20] In 1994, Hugo and Williams had established themselves as a production duo under their old name "The Neptunes", and assistant-produced "Tonight's The Night" from Blackstreet's self-titled album. Over the next three years they continued to produce occasionally, and some of the results had little resemblance to the Neptunes' sound later. However, some like Mase's 1997 song "Lookin' at Me" from his album Harlem World , and the most definite beginning of the distinctive "Neptunes sound", came with N.O.R.E's "Superthug" in 1998, reaching number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, and gaining them widespread attention for the first time. In 1999, a mutual friend introduced Williams to Kelis, and their resulting collaboration produced her first album Kaleidoscope .[ citation needed ]

Rump Shaker (song) 1992 single by Teddy Riley and Wreckx-n-Effect

"Rump Shaker" is a song by American hip-hop group Wreckx-N-Effect. It was released in August 1992 as the lead single from their second album Hard or Smooth. It features production and guest vocals from Teddy Riley, brother of Wreckx member Markell Riley.

SWV American female R&B trio

Sisters With Voices, better known as SWV, is an American R&B vocal trio from New York City, New York. Formed in 1986 as a gospel group, SWV became one of the most successful R&B groups of the 1990s. They had a series of hits, including "Weak", "Right Here ", "I'm So into You", and "You're the One". The group disbanded in 1998 to pursue solo projects, and reunited in 2005. SWV have sold more than 25 million records.

Clipse band

Clipse was an American hip hop duo, formed by brothers Gene "No Malice" Thornton and Terrence "Pusha T" Thornton, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1992. The group was affiliated with the production team The Neptunes, and in 2001 signed to their imprint Star Trak Entertainment.

1998–2004: The Neptunes

Pharrell Williams in Berlin, March 2005 PHARRELL WILLIAMS by foto di matti.jpg
Pharrell Williams in Berlin, March 2005

At this point the Neptunes were gaining a wide fanbase and audience.[ citation needed ]

In 2000, they produced the song I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me) (featuring a chorus by Pharrell himself) for Jay Z's album The Dynasty: Roc La Familia , which released as the album's first single. The song's sound and success sparked the interest of maturing pop artist Britney Spears. Britney wanted to work with the Neptunes for her upcoming album, saying "for this album I was really inspired by Jay-Z and The Neptunes, those were the two people I really listened to."[ citation needed ]

In 2001, Britney Spears released her album Britney featuring the lead single "I'm a Slave 4 U", which was produced by The Neptunes. The song was a defining hit in both of their careers, and it was The Neptunes' first time having helped create an album that debuted number one in the Billboard 200. [21] The same year, N*E*R*D, consisting of Williams, Hugo and Haley, released their first album, In Search of... , in Europe, where the first Kelis album was better received. The album sounded very much like their previous production work; the group decided that they should make their work as N*E*R*D sound different, and re-recorded the album with the rock band Spymob.[ citation needed ]

Then in 2002 their re-produced album was released worldwide, and the Neptunes reached number one in the U.S. with Nelly's single, "Hot in Herre". In August of the same year, the Neptunes were named "Producers of the Year" at both the Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. Clipse released their commercial debut album Lord Willin' in August 2002. The album started at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number four on the Billboard 200, fueled by its first two singles, "Grindin'" and "When the Last Time", which peaked at number 34 and number 19 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100.[ citation needed ]

The Neptunes released a self-credited album called The Neptunes Present... Clones in 2003, with songs and remixes from various artists. This topped the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The Neptunes and Williams specifically were also kept in public eye largely due to ties with Jay Z, producing several hit singles for him and two tracks on his The Black Album . The track "Frontin'" was a big hit (the 34th biggest of 2003 according to Billboard ). A survey in August 2003 found the Neptunes produced almost 20 percent of songs played on British radio at the time, a survey in the US had them at 43 percent. [11] The same year, the Neptunes remixed the Daft Punk song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" for the duo's poorly received remix album Daft Club . The track also had a brief rap section performed by Williams. [22]

N*E*R*D's second funk rock-oriented album, Fly or Die , released in March 2004. Williams's rock credentials were further bolstered by his appearance at the 2004 Grammy Awards, performing the Beatles's "I Saw Her Standing There" on drums with Sting, Dave Matthews, and Vince Gill. Williams received two Grammy Awards that night, one for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and another for Best Pop Vocal Album for his work on Justin Timberlake's hit album Justified . They also gained their first UK number one, again with Nelly, and "Flap Your Wings".[ citation needed ]

In September 2004, Williams was featured on the Snoop Dogg single "Drop It Like It's Hot." The song would eventually peak at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 two months later, marking Williams's first number one single in the United States. The song was named "Rap Song of the Decade" by Billboard in 2009. [23]

In November 2004, Gwen Stefani released her first debut studio album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. which featured the song Hollaback Girl, which was also produced by The Neptunes. "Hollaback Girl" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 82 on the issue dated April 2, 2005, [24] and within six weeks of its release, it had reached the top of the chart, [25] becoming Stefani's first US number one.

2005–09: In My Mind

Williams and American astronaut Leland D. Melvin present a montage to record producer Quincy Jones. Astronaut Leland Melvin, and Pharrell Williams present montage to Quincy Jones.jpg
Williams and American astronaut Leland D. Melvin present a montage to record producer Quincy Jones.

On September 9, 2005, Williams performed the opening single from his first solo album In My Mind , "Can I Have It Like That", featuring Gwen Stefani. The single did poorly in the US, reaching only number 48. It fared better in the UK, reaching number three. Between then and the July 25, 2006 release of In My Mind, he released "Angel" (in Europe only), and later "Number One" with Kanye West. Several songs leaked to the internet before the album release, most notably "Mamacita" featuring Daddy Yankee, which was subsequently cut from the final version. "That Girl" featuring Snoop Dogg was the final single.[ citation needed ]

In 2006, the Neptunes produced Clipse's second album Hell Hath No Fury . Most critics labeled the album the Neptunes best production in years, and put the duo back in the charts. [26] A year later, Williams collaborated with Madonna, on the song "Hey You", which was available for download on the MSN website. 25 cents for each of the first one million downloads was donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection, in support of Live Earth. [27] Later that year, Williams performed songs at the Concert for Diana on July 1, 2007. On July 7, he performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro.

A remix album of Williams's solo debut, In My Mind, titled Out of My Mind, was recorded with his newly formed band "The Yessirs" featuring Questlove of the Roots, and was produced by Questlove and keyboardist James Poyser. However, Williams's record label Interscope Records did not think that the album would sell well and subsequently was shelved. [28] The album has built up a strong fanbase asking for its release. The tracks started appearing on Questlove's MySpace, and with every 10,000 plays, a new song was made available. As of July 4, 2007, the full CD has leaked onto the internet along with two songs not featured on In My Mind: a remix of "Mamacita" and "Creamsickle".[ citation needed ]

Williams produced Beyoncé's version of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend". He then wrote the Neptunes-produced "Why Should I Be Sad" on Britney Spears' fifth studio album, Blackout . He also produced two songs from the Hives' album, The Black and White Album , titled "Well All Right!" and "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.".

In April 2008, Madonna released her eleventh album, Hard Candy , which featured vocals from Williams and production from the Neptunes on several tracks. In June, an article in NME revealed that Williams was very interested in producing the Strokes' fourth album. [29] Later that year, Williams worked on a remix album for Maroon 5's Call & Response . [30]

Williams continued working with a variety of artists, including Shakira on the songs 'Did It Again', 'Why Wait', 'Good Stuff' and 'Long Time' for her sixth studio album, She Wolf . [31] In September 2009, Williams was credited as a co-writer and producer of the song "Fresh Out the Oven" for Jennifer Lopez. [32] It was released as a buzz single from Lopez's seventh studio album Love? . The following month, Williams made a guest appearance on French rapper Uffie's first album, which arrived in early 2010. [33] In late 2009, Williams worked with the rapper Game on his fourth studio album, The R.E.D. Album.

2010–12: Despicable Me and collaborations

Pharrell Williams, Odd Future and Tyler, The Creator performing together in April 2011 Tyler, the Creator with Pharrell Coachella2011 0350.jpg
Pharrell Williams, Odd Future and Tyler, The Creator performing together in April 2011

In July 2010, Williams composed the soundtrack to the movie Despicable Me , produced by Hans Zimmer and recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony. [34] In October 2010, Williams and his group N*E*R*D supported Gorillaz on their Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour . On the tour, Damon Albarn recorded a song with Williams but this was not featured on Gorillaz's album, The Fall . [22] The following month, N*E*R*D released their fourth studio album Nothing through Williams's label Star Trak. In late 2011, Williams worked on three tracks for Mike Posner's second album Sky High. [35]

In 2011, Williams collaborated with singer Adam Lambert, co-writing two tracks for Lambert's album Trespassing , which was released in May 2012, including the title track and "Kickin' In".[ citation needed ]

He has also collaborated with Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller on the Pink Slime EP. The first track, "Onaroll" was followed by "Glow". It was produced by Williams, with vocals from Mac Miller.[ citation needed ]

Williams composed and produced the music for the 84th Academy Awards alongside composer Hans Zimmer. [36] He also collaborated with Miley Cyrus on her album Bangerz and composed the new intro music for Chelsea Lately in 2012. He later contributed four tracks to The Game's California Republic mixtape called "When My Niggas Come Home" and "It Must be Tough"; produced two tracks on Usher's 2012 seventh studio album, Looking 4 Myself, titled "Twisted" and "Hot Thing"; [37] collaborated with Mika on his new track "Celebrate"; co-produced the tracks "Sweet Life" and "Golden Girl" from Frank Ocean's debut album Channel Orange ; and is working with Solange Knowles on her third studio album.[ citation needed ]

2013–14: Despicable Me 2, "Blurred Lines", "Get Lucky", Girl and international fame

Pharrell Williams performing at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Pharrell Williams 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.jpg
Pharrell Williams performing at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Williams was featured on Daft Punk's fourth studio album Random Access Memories on the songs "Get Lucky", "Fragments of Time" and "Lose Yourself to Dance". In addition, Williams contributed to Azealia Banks's debut studio album Broke with Expensive Taste , featuring on the song "ATM Jam". [38] Williams penned three new original songs, included alongside composer Heitor Pereira's score, for the sequel Despicable Me 2 . These were "Just a Cloud Away", "Happy", and "Scream" (featuring CeeLo Green). His two original songs from the first film were also reprised on the soundtrack – "Despicable Me" and "Fun, Fun, Fun". [39] He also participated in the drummer sessions of the soundtrack of Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer. [40]

In March 2013, Robin Thicke's single "Blurred Lines" – written and produced by Williams – was released. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and reaching number one in 13 more countries including the United Kingdom and Germany. It was Williams's third Billboard Hot 100 number one single. [41] [42] [43] On June 29, 2013, Williams became the 12th artist in the chart's history to simultaneously hold the number one and two positions with "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky", respectively. [44]

As of July 2013 there had been only 137 singles in UK chart history to have sold more than 1 million copies; that month, Williams scored two million-sellers with "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines". [45] In August 2013, Busta Rhymes talked about an unreleased "documentary album" by Williams where he talks about "inner-city strife and hardship". [46] In November 2013, Williams released the first 24-hour music video to his Despicable Me 2 collaboration song, "Happy". Guest appearances included Magic Johnson, Steve Carell, Jimmy Kimmel, Jamie Foxx, Odd Future, Miranda Cosgrove, Janelle Monáe, and many others. [47] It has received approximately 5.5 million views as of Christmas Day, 2013. [48] The music video for the song is nominated for Best Male Video and Video of the Year at The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. [49] [50]

(video) Pharrell Williams introducing a N.E.R.D section of his live performance at Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, 2015

It was announced in December 2013 that Williams had been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year. [51] In the same month, a press release from Columbia Records announced that Williams had signed a contract with the label and would be releasing an album in 2014, entitled Girl , featuring the single "Happy" from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. [4] For "Happy", Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In February 2014 Major Lazer announced they would be releasing a five-track EP titled Apocalypse Soon on the 25th of that month. The EP, released via Mad Decent and Secretly Canadian, will feature Williams and Sean Paul, among others. The first single off the EP, which features Williams, is titled "Aerosol Can". [52] Williams contributed a verse to Future's February 2014 single "Move That Dope", which also featured Pusha T and Casino over production from Mike Will Made It. [53]

On February 18, Williams announced via Twitter that his second album, Girl would be released on March 3, 2014. [54] At the 86th Academy Awards on March 2, 2014, Williams's song "Happy" lost to "Let It Go" from Frozen . Afterwards, when GQ magazine asked Williams "how badly" did he want the Oscar, he responded: "When they read the results, my face was...frozen. But then I thought about it, and I just decided just to...let it go." [55]

The Dear Girl Tour was a European concert tour, in support of his second studio album, Girl . It was Williams's first solo tour since 2006. [56] In May 2014, Williams received an Innovator Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. [57]

2014–present: The Voice

Williams at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, July 2017. Pharrell Williams - Global Citizen Festival Hamburg 02.jpg
Williams at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, July 2017.

On March 31, 2014, Williams was announced as a new coach for the seventh season of The Voice , replacing CeeLo Green. [58] On May 18, 2015, Team Pharrell had 16-year-old Sawyer Fredericks win the eighth season of The Voice . In June 2014, it was announced that Williams would make a guest appearance on the docu-series Sisterhood of Hip Hop . [59] Williams was the executive producer of Atlanta rapper T.I.'s ninth studio album, Paperwork , which was released on October 21, 2014 by Grand Hustle and Columbia Records. [60] In May 2014, Williams curated an art show named after his album, "Girl," at the Galerie Perrotin in Paris, France. The show included 37 artists including Takashi Murakami, JR, Daniel Arsham, and Marina Abramovic among others." [61] Comme des Garçons developed a unisex fragrance with Williams [62] scheduled for release in late 2014. Kaws designed the bottle artwork. [63]

In January 2015, Williams and Al Gore announced that they are teaming up to create a 7-continent "Live Earth" concert on June 18 to raise awareness about and pressure governments to act on climate change. He is the musical director. [64] On February 8, 2015, Williams made a cameo in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Walking Big & Tall" where he comes to Springfield to write a new anthem for the town. [65] Williams recorded three songs for the soundtrack to the animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water . He also recorded a song "Shine" with Gwen Stefani for the Paddington movie. At the 2015 Grammy Awards Williams performed an orchestral rendition of "Happy" with composer Hans Zimmer and pianist Lang Lang that included a tribute to the Black Lives Matter "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" movement inspired by Eric Garner's death and the events in Ferguson, Missouri. In 2015, a unanimous jury determined that Williams's 2013 hit song "Blurred Lines" was an infringement of the 1977 Marvin Gaye song "Got to Give It Up". [66] The jury awarded the Gaye family $7.4 million in damages for the copyright infringement based on profits generated. [66]

In October 2015, the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University named Williams as their artist-in-residence. [67] He gave the 2017 commencement address at NYU and received an honorary degree on May 17, 2017. [68]

Also in October 2015, Williams announced that he will perform with a gospel choir on Sunday, November 1, at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine black parishioners were shot and killed on June 17, allegedly by a young white man who is awaiting trial. This is part of a program on race relations being produced by A+E Networks and iHeartMedia. Williams plans to speak with community leaders and others affected by the shooting, which dominated the U.S. news media for several days. The two-hour Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America program is scheduled to air November 20, and will also feature a concert to be filmed November 18 in Los Angeles. A goal of the program is to raise money for the victims of racial violence and for organizations around the country working to promote racial equity.[ citation needed ]

Musical style

In the past, Williams has stated that he does not have any direct musical influences, [69] but he has expressed his admiration for several musicians, including Michael Jackson, J Dilla, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Rakim, Q-Tip and David Bowie. [69] [70] [71] Williams explained that A Tribe Called Quest's 1990 album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm , caused a "turning point" in his life, which "made him see that music was art". [70]

Business ventures

In May 2012, Williams launched i am OTHER, a multimedia creative collective and record label; i am OTHER also serves as an umbrella for his additional business endeavors, including a dedicated YouTube channel and apparel/textile lines.

In 2005, Williams partnered with Japanese fashion icon Nigo to create and launch the streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream footwear. BBC has flagship store in SoHo, New York City and an official Ice Cream store in Tokyo, Japan. Several stores that retail Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream clothing exist across North America, the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as Asia and the Middle East. Pharrell and Nigo went on to launch the Billionaire Girls Club. [72]

In 2008, Williams co-designed a series of jewelry ("Blason") and glasses for Louis Vuitton. [73] He has also worked on furniture with Emmanuel Perrotin and a French manufacturer, Domeau & Pérès. One of his works, a molded plastic seat with human legs, was created because he "wanted to know what it was like to be in love." The chair depicts a sexual scene with a pair of female legs and male legs.

In 2009, Williams unveiled a collaborative sculpture with Takashi Murakami at Art Basel, which spoke to the metaphor of value. [74]

In May 2011, it was announced that Williams would serve as Creative Director of KarmaloopTV alongside founder and CEO Greg Selkoe and former AMC president Katie McEnroe. [75]

On August 1, 2011, Williams launched his new YouTube channel, "i am OTHER" as part of YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative. [76]

In August 2013, Williams created a line of sunglasses for Moncler called "Moncler Lunettes". [77]

In 2014, Williams entered a long-term partnership with Adidas. [78] His Adidas NMD "Human Race" collection was released on July 23, 2016. [79]

In February 2014, Williams announced a collaboration between G-Star Raw and his textile company Bionic Yarn called "RAW for the Oceans," a collection of denim made from recycled plastic that is found in the ocean. The project was presented at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. [80] Williams later appeared on a cover designed by French artist Grégoire Guillemin of New York-based men fashion magazine Adon, covering the collaboration. [81]

Williams released a collection for retail giant Uniqlo in April 2014 entitled "i am OTHER". It was created with Nigo, creative director of UT, the company's T-shirt division. [82]

In June 2014, artist collective Rizzoli published a book by FriendsWithYou, We Are Friends With You, that featured contributions from Williams, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Peter Doroshenko. [83]

Williams was the executive producer of the 2015 crime comedy-drama film Dope . [84]

Williams co-composed The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Hans Zimmer, Johnny Marr, Michael Einziger and David A. Stewart. [85] [86]

Williams owns a non-profit organization called "From One Hand To AnOTHER" (FOHTA). FOHTA is an educational foundation. According to its website, its mission is to "change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential". FOHTA's vision is to modernize the community center concept by empowering kids to learn through new technologies, arts, media and motivation. [87]

In 2017, Pharell Williams designed a 1000 euro sneakers in collaboration with Chanel and Adidas. [88]

Personal life

Williams married his longtime girlfriend, model/designer Helen Lasichanh, on October 12, 2013. [89] They have a son, Rocket Williams, born in 2008. [90] The Despicable Me song "Rocket's Theme" was written in honor of his son. [91] In September 2016, they announced that they are expecting another child. In January 2017, the couple welcomed triplets. [92]

In 2005, Williams was voted "Best Dressed Man in the World" by Esquire . [93] He is a fan of the science fiction series Star Trek , [94] as indicated by his consistent use of the Vulcan salute to signify his label name, Star Trak. [95] Williams is a skateboarder and has a half-pipe inside his home. [96]

Williams is building a $35 million afterschool center in his hometown Virginia Beach. [97] His charity "From One Hand To AnOTHER'" is a foundation developed for youth between the ages of 7 and 20 in at-risk communities throughout the country.

In 2015, Pharrell bought a home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles. [98]


Solo albums

Collaboration albums

With N.E.R.D
With The Neptunes




2015Freedom Paul Hunter [99]


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