Pharrell Williams is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and film producer.
Let’s see some fascinating facts about the singer!
1. Pharrell Lanscilo Williams was born April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
2. He is the oldest of three sons of Pharaoh Williams, a handyman, and his wife Carolyn, a teacher.
3. 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.
4. He met Chad Hugo in a seventh-grade summer band camp where Williams played the keyboards and drums and Hugo played tenor saxophone.
5. They were also both members of a marching band. Williams played the snare drum while Hugo was drum major.
6. Williams and Hugo attended Princess Anne High School where he played in the school band; there Pharrell got the name Skateboard P.
7. 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.
8. 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. After graduating from high school, the group signed with Riley.
9. Through working with Riley, Williams went on to write a verse and help produce for Wreckx-N-Effect’s 1992 hit “Rump Shaker”. That same year, he also performed a small rap solo on SWV’s second hit, “Right Here (UK Remix)”.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Over the next three years they continued to produce occasionally, and some of the results had little resemblance to the Neptunes’ sound later.
13. 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.
14. In 1999, a mutual friend introduced Williams to Kelis, and their resulting collaboration produced her first album Kaleidoscope.
15. In 2001, the Neptunes produced Britney Spears’ single, “I’m a Slave 4 U” gaining their first worldwide number one.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. Later that year, Williams performed songs at the Concert for Diana on July 1, 2007.
23. On July 7, he performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro.
24. 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. 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.
25. Williams produced Beyoncé’s version of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”.
26. Pharrell Williams 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.”.
27. In April 2008, Madonna released her eleventh album, Hard Candy, which featured vocals from Williams and production from the Neptunes on several tracks.
28. Pharrell 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.
29. In September 2009, Williams was credited as a co-writer and producer of the song “Fresh Out the Oven” for Jennifer Lopez.
30. Pharrell Williams made a guest appearance on French indie/electronic rapper Uffie’s first album, which arrived in early 2010.
31. In late 2009, Williams worked with the rapper Game on his fourth studio album, The R.E.D. Album.
32. In July 2010, Williams composed the soundtrack to the movie Despicable Me, produced by Hans Zimmer and recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony.
33. In October 2010, Williams and his group N*E*R*D supported Gorillaz on their Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour.
34. 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”.
35. Pharrell Williams 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.
36. Pharrell Williams composed and produced the music for the 84th Academy Awards alongside composer Hans Zimmer.
37. Pharrell Williams was featured on Daft Punk’s fourth studio album Random Access Memories on the songs “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance”.
38. In addition, Williams contributed to Azealia Banks’s debut studio album Broke with Expensive Taste, featuring on the song “ATM Jam”.
39. 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).
40. He also participated in the drummer sessions of the soundtrack of Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer.
41. It was announced in December 2013 that Williams had been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year. 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 G I R L, featuring the single “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.
42. For “Happy”, Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
43. On February 18, Williams announced via Twitter that his second album, Girl would be released on March 3, 2014.
44. The Dear G I R L tour was a European concert tour, in support of his second studio album, G I R L. It was Williams’s first solo tour since 2006.
45. On March 31, 2014, Williams was announced as a new coach for the seventh season of The Voice, replacing CeeLo Green.
46. On May 18, 2015, Team Pharrell had 16-year-old Sawyer Fredericks win season 8 of the eighth season of The Voice.
47. 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.
48. Williams married his longtime girlfriend, model/designer Helen Lasichanh, on October 12, 2013. They have a son, Rocket Williams, born in 2008.
49. The Despicable Me song “Rocket’s Theme” was written in honor of his son.
50. In September 2016, they announced that they are expecting another child. In January 2017, the couple welcomed triplets.
51. In 2005, Williams was voted “Best Dressed Man in the World” by Esquire.
52. He is a fan of the science fiction series Star Trek, as indicated by his consistent use of the Vulcan salute to signify his label name, Star Trak.
53. Williams is a skateboarder and has a half-pipe inside his home.
54. Williams is building a $35 million afterschool center in his hometown Virginia Beach. 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.
55. In 2013, Williams described his religious views: “On paper I’m a Christian, but really I’m a Universalist.”
56. In 2014, Williams was made into a cartoon in a video called “Jellyfish” by Takashi Murakami.
57. In 2015, Pharrell bought a home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.