Pharrell Williams is ‘Happy’ as Our Man Crush Monday
Smooth collaborations with dozens of artists, an infamous Smokey Bear hat, and songs that make us happy. Crushing on Pharrell Williams certainly takes away our Monday blues.
Pharrell Williams was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia on April 5, 1973. He learned to play the keyboard and drums, eventually attending summer band camp in seventh grade. There he met Chad Hugo, who played tenor saxophone.
Williams and Hugo formed a four-piece group called The Neptunes, boasting an R&B flair, with two other high school friends. In addition, Williams provided vocals for the group’s rock, funk and hip hop band N.E.R.D.. The group was discovered by Teddy Riley while competing in a talent show and they signed with Arista Records after graduation.
The Neptunes and N.E.R.D.
Williams and Hugo saw success both with producing and songwriting. The Neptunes produced music for various artists before working on Britney Spears’ single, “I’m a Slave 4 U” in 2001. The group also worked on Nelly’s “Hot in Herre”, as well as Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster Stronger.” The Neptunes remained in the public eye due to their affiliation with Jay-Z. Williams earned two Grammys with the production machine.
Meanwhile, N.E.R.D. was doing some work of their own. Around that same time, they released their first album, In Search Of…, which received the most praise after it was re-released with a rock feel in 2002. The second album, Fly or Die, was funk rock-oriented.
Williams had two powerhouses on his hands with The Neptunes and N.E.R.D. however, it was his collaborations and solo work that really catapulted him into the spotlight. Williams was being featured on tracks for artists like Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Madonna and more.
In 2005, Williams released his first solo album, In My Mind. With it came his first single, “Can I Have It Like That”, featuring Gwen Stefani. Williams collaborated with Kanye West on the song, “Number One.” In the meantime, he was also producing for Beyonce, Clipse, Madonna, Shakira, The Strokes, Maroon 5, and Jennifer Lopez, among others.
If that wasn’t enough, Williams had also formed another band called The Yessirs during that time.
Williams continues to keep himself busy. He has transitioned into soundtrack composition, working on the movie Despicable Me. He composed the theme song and “Fun, Fun, Fun.” For the sequel, Despicable Me 2, he composed “Just a Cloud Away”, “Happy” and “Scream.” Williams has a great working relationship with noted composer, Hans Zimmer. He has also worked on music for television, creating the intro music for Chelsea Lately.
Most recently, Williams been a part of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance”, as well as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
It’s no doubt, Williams is a music machine. He announced in February that he will release his sophomore album, G I R L, to be released March 3rd. He is also working with Zimmer again on music for the upcoming movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Williams married his long-time girlfriend, model/designer Helen Lasichanh in October 2013. The two have a son, Rocket Man Williams, who was born in 2008. Williams wrote the Despicable Me song, “Rocket’s Theme”, in honor of his little boy.
He also enjoys being involved in the community. He is currently building a $35 million afterschool center in his hometown. This stems from his charity, From One Hand to Another, which he developed to help youth between the ages 7 and 20 who live in at-risk communities across the nation.