Pharrell - Number One
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Pharrell Williams aka Skateboard P or simply Pharrell (born April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach, Virginia) is one half of the primarily hip hop music production and songwriting duo, The Neptunes (with Chad Hugo) as well as rap/rock group N*E*R*D with Hugo and Shae Haley. As part of The Neptunes Pharrell has produced numerous number one tracks for megastars such as Madonna, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé , Britney Spears , Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Nelly, Justin Timberlake, Mystikal, Jay-Z, *NSYNC, Shakira, Ciara and others.
Pharrell was born the oldest of three sons to Pharaoh Williams and Carolyn Williams. His father was a handyman, and his mother was a teacher. In seventh grade, Williams met fellow band mate Hugo. The two began working together, mixing beats and playing in various live bands in which Williams played the drums. In 1992, while the two were attending different high schools in Virginia Beach, they sold their first song, "Rump Shaker", to Wreckx-n-Effect. They then began songwriting and production assignments with popular hip-hop artists such as Noreaga, SWV, Total and Ma$e.
In August 2002, The Neptunes were named Producers of the Year at both The Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.
In 2002, Williams wrote and produced rapper Nelly’s single called, "Hot in Herre," the single hit No.1 in the US and the UK. He repeated the success by doing the same with Britney Spears' dance-pop single, "I'm A Slave 4 U". But it wasn't until the summer of 2003 that Pharrell released his first solo single, "Frontin'" featuring Jay-Z. The album The Neptunes Present...Clones was then released, debuting at number one in August 2003.
"Frontin'" was a big summer hit (the No. 34 biggest single of 2003 according to Billboard Magazine), and kept Williams' momentum running up to the release of Hugo and Williams' second funk/rock-oriented N.E.R.D album, released in March 2004. Williams' rock credentials were further bolstered by his appearance at the 2004 Grammy Awards, performing The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" on drums along with Sting, Dave Matthews, and Vince Gill. Pharrell went home with 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 No.2 Billboard hit Justified.
In 2005, Williams was voted "Best Dressed Man in the World" by Esquire magazine. His look has inspired such acts like Mario and Eric West. On September 9th, 2005, Pharrell performed the opening single from his debut solo album "In My Mind". The song, titled "Can I Have It Like That", featuring Gwen Stefani, blends a smooth synth with a few drum rolls and heavy bass. "In My Mind" has 14 tracks, 7 hip-hop tracks and 7 R&B tracks featuring numerous musical guests such as Gwen Stefani, Daddy Yankee, Vanessa Marquez and Jay-Z. The album cover for In My Mind is designed by Japanese brand "A Bathing Ape". Williams has now started his own fashion label called the "Billionaire Boys Club" with the designer from A Bathing Ape.
Williams has been romantically linked to Sir Mick Jagger's socialite daughter Jade and to an American Woman named Vashtie.
His Debut album "In My Mind" was released July 25th, 2006.
In 2006 Pharrell Williams partnered with Turner Network Television for a special 2006 NBA All-Star Game promotion. In 2006, Pharrell solely produced The Clipse's second album Hell Hath No Fury. Most critics labeled the album to be Pharrell's best production in years, and put the Virginia rap duo back in the charts.
On May 16, 2007, for seven days only, the first of two expected collaborations with Madonna, entitled "Hey You", was made available for free download from the MSN website. MSN, in conjunction with Madonna, donated 25 cents for each of the first 1 million downloads to the Alliance for Climate Protection, in support of Live Earth. Later that year, Pharrell performed songs at the Concert for Diana on July 1, 2007. Then on July 7, 2007 he performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth at Rio de Janeiro.
A second album, entitled Out of My Mind, was recorded with his newly formed band "The Yessirs" featuring Questlove of The Roots. However, Pharrell's record label did not think that a companion album to the first would sell well. He also produced Beyoncé's rendition of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend". He then wrote and 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. Later that year, Williams worked on a remix album for Maroon 5's Call & Response.
In July 2010, Williams composed the soundtrack to the movie Despicable Me, produced by Hans Zimmer and recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony. In October 2010, Williams and his group N.E.R.D supported Gorillaz on their Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour. The following month, N.E.R.D released their fourth studio album Nothing through Pharrell's label Star Trak.
In 2011, Williams collaborated with singer/composer Adam Lambert, co-writing two tracks for Lambert's album Trespassing, which was released in May 2012, including the title track and "Kickin' In".
Pharrell featured on Daft Punk's fourth studio album Random Access Memories on songs "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself to Dance". In addition, Williams contributed to Azealia Banks' debut studio album Broke with Expensive Taste, featuring on the song "ATM Jam."
In March 2013, Pharrell appeared alongside T.I. on Robin Thicke's hit single "Blurred Lines". The song has been a worldwide hit, has peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and has also reached number one in 13 more countries including the United Kingdom and Germany, making it Pharrell's third Billboard Hot 100 number one single.On June 29, 2013, Pharrell 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.
By July 2013 there had only been 137 singles in UK chart history to have sold 1 million copies in the UK; that month Pharrell scored two million-sellers with "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines".
In November 2013, Pharrell released the first 24-hour music video to his Despicable Me 2 collaboration song, "Happy". Guest appearances included Magic Johnson, Steve Carrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Jamie Foxx, Steve Martin, Odd Future, Miranda Cosgrove, Janelle Monáe, and many others.It has received approximately 5.5 million views as of Christmas Day, 2013.
On March 3, 2014 Pharrell Williams released the album G I R L, through Black Lot Music and Columbia Records with promotion of Williams' label i am OTHER. The album contains appearances by Kelly Osbourne, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, JoJo, Alicia Keys, Tori Kelly and Leah LaBelle. Reviews of the album from music critics have been positive.
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