Pharrell Williams

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Pharrell Williams at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg (2017)

Pharrell Williams (born April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach , Virginia , United States ), also known as Pharrell or Skateboard P , is an American singer , rapper , songwriter , composer , entertainer , music and film producer . Together with Chad Hugo, he forms the hip-hop and songwriter duo The Neptunes . He is also a member of the band NERD alongside Chad and Shay .

Williams has produced a large number of titles for other musicians, such as: B. for Daft Punk , Snoop Dogg , Beyoncé , Justin Timberlake , Miley Cyrus , Jay-Z , N'Sync , Britney Spears , Nelly and Madonna . Pharrell Williams prefers to sing in the upper registers and often uses the falsetto technique . Williams has also worked as a film producer since 2016 .

Life and musical beginnings

Pharrell Williams was born the eldest of three sons to Pharaoh Williams and Carolyn Williams. His father was an African American craftsman and his mother was a teacher. In seventh grade, he met his future bandmate Hugo in a talent workshop at his school. The two started working together. They mixed beats and played in various live bands in which Williams played drums. In 1992, while both graduating from high school, they sold their first verse, Rump Shaker , to Wreckx-n-Effect. They started writing their own tracks and producing them together with other popular hip-hop artists, such as Noreaga and Mase .



In 1999, Williams had his breakthrough as a music producer with Kelis ' debut album Kaleidoscope . In August 2002, The Neptunes were named Producer of the Year at the Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards .

In 2002, Williams and Hugo wrote and produced Nelly's single Hot in Herre . They repeated this success with the hip-pop single I'm a Slave 4 U by Britney Spears. In the summer of 2003, the album The Neptunes Present - Clones was released , on which Williams' first solo single can be found in a duet with colleague Jay-Z. Frontin ' was a global hit and held Williams' momentum until the release of Hugos and Williams' second funk / rock- oriented NERD album, which was released in March 2004. Williams 'mix of rock / britpop / hip-hop was reinforced by his appearance at the 2004 Grammy Awards , where he performed the Beatles' song I Saw Her Standing There with Sting , Dave Matthews and Vince Gill . He played the drums at this gig.

On July 24, 2006 Williams' debut album In My Mind came out, which is composed on the one hand of soulful R&B songs and on the other hand of pure hip-hop tracks. This album includes collaborations with Jay-Z , Slim Thug , Gwen Stefani , Kanye West , Nelly and Clipse , among others .

In August 2006, Number One , a single from In My Mind , was released, which he recorded with Kanye West. That Girl followed in September 2006 , the third single from the album, recorded and produced with Snoop Dogg. For the soundtrack of Need for Speed: Carbon , Show You How to Hustle from his album was used in 2006 .

In June 2007 Williams, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco founded the supergroup Child Rebel Soldier (CRS). After a few single recordings, her first album was soon announced and was originally to appear under the title God Unwilling in 2010, then in 2012; however, the project was put on hold for the time being and finally abandoned in 2013.

In 2008, Williams worked with Madonna on her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy . He produced eight tracks for the album with The Neptunes, seven of which were on the album's regular edition, including the hit Give It 2 ​​Me . The year before, Hey You , a benefit project for Live Earth , was created in a joint collaboration .

In 2009 he worked with Game on The RED album , which was released in August 2011.

In 2010 he worked together with Heitor Pereira on the soundtrack of the animated film I - Despicable Me . Williams and Pereira also composed the soundtrack for its successors, I - Despicable Me 2 from 2013 and Despicable Me 3 from 2017. He also helped the Swedish House Mafia achieve worldwide success with his singing on Song One .

Successful comeback in 2013

On March 27, 2013, Nile Rodgers confirmed that Pharrell Williams had worked with Daft Punk on their new album Random Access Memories . He sang for the duo and Nile Rodgers on three tracks on the album, including the pre-release single Get Lucky . With this single they reached number one on the official single charts in over 20 countries. For that they got two Grammys .

With Blurred Lines , in collaboration with Robin Thicke and TI , he topped the charts in 16 countries. This earned him two more Grammy nominations. Finally, for the second time since 2004, he was named Producer of the Year. According to a court decision of an eight-person jury in Los Angeles in 2015, Blurred Lines is considered a plagiarism of the Marvin Gaye song "Got to Give It Up".

Williams released his first number one solo hit in late 2013 with Happy . The title reached the top of the charts in many countries, including Germany and Switzerland, and was also the hit of the year in numerous countries. In addition, it was nominated for an Oscar in 2014 as a film song. The song is from the movie Despicable Me 2 . For his live version of the song, he received a Grammy for best pop performance. The 24-hour video installation for the song was named Music Video of the Year. His second solo album Girl , released shortly after the song, won the award in the Urban Contemporary Album category .

On March 27, 2014, Adidas announced that Pharrell Williams will design fashion in cooperation with the German sporting goods manufacturer.

In February 2016, after a two-year collaboration, Pharrell became the co-owner of jeans brand G-Star Raw .

In March 2017, Williams was awarded an honorary doctorate from New York University . In the same year he released the album No One Ever Really Dies with NERD .

In August 2020, Pharrell Williams curated a special edition of Time Magazine devoted to social injustice and racism in the United States. The rapper Tyler, The Creator and civil rights activist Angela Davis have a say in it . In the course of the publication, Williams published the track "Entrepreneur" with Jay-Z as a feature guest, which deals with the "difficulties and [the] hardships of entrepreneurship in the USA for African Americans" ( ByteFM ).

Work as a film producer

Williams has also worked as a film producer since 2016 . After Williams was executive producer for the film Dope and in this role produced the soundtrack for the film, he worked as a producer and composer of the film music for Hidden Figures , which was released in US cinemas in December 2016 . The film Roxanne Roxanne , a biopic about hip-hop artist Roxanne Shanté and which Williams also produced, premiered in January 2017.




  • BMI Urban Music Awards
    • Producer of the year (nominated)
    • Songwriter of the year: "Got Your Money", "I Just Wanna Luv U", "Shake Ya Ass"
  • The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards
    • Producer of the Year
  • BMI Urban Music Awards
    • Producer of the Year (with Chad Hugo )
    • Songwriter of the Year: "Danger", "Southern Hospitality"
  • Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop Awards
    • Songwriter of the Year (nominated)
    • Producer of the year (nominated)
  • Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop Awards
    • Songwriter of the Year (nominated)
    • Producer of the Year
  • BMI Urban Music Awards
    • Producer of the Year
    • Song of the year: "Hot in Herre"
  • The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards
    • Producer of the Year
  • Vibe Awards
    • Closest music partnership: NERD / The Neptunes
    • Most Truthful Video: "Beautiful" (nominated)
    • Most Fashionable Video (nominated)
    • Best collaboration: "Beautiful" (nominated)
  • Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop Awards
    • Producer of the year (nominated)
  • BMI Urban Music Awards
    • Producer of the year (nominated)
    • Songwriter of the Year (with Chad Hugo ): "Beautiful", "Excuse Me Miss", "Frontin '", "Luv U Better", "When the Last Time"
  • Grammy Award
    • Producer of the Year
    • Best vocals in a pop album: Justified
    • Best rap / singing collaboration: "Frontin '" (nominated)
    • Best rap / singing collaboration: "Beautiful" (nominated)
    • Best rap song: "Beautiful" (nominated)
    • Best rap song: "Excuse Me Miss" (nominated)
  • BMI Urban Music Awards
    • Producer of the year (nominated)
  • Grammy Awards
    • Best rap performance by a duo or a group: "Drop It Like It's Hot" (nominated)
    • Best rap song: "Drop It Like It's Hot" (nominated)
  • Vibe Awards
    • Club Banger: "Can I Have It Like That" (nominated)
  • BMI Urban Music Awards
    • Producer of the year (nominated)
  • Grammy Awards
    • Producer of the year (nominated)

Web links

Commons : Pharrell Williams  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Pharrell Williams . In: People . Time . October 13, 2003. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
  2. Article about abandoned hip hop projects with the title "10 Albums That Should've Happened" on hnhh (English)
  3. Short article about Child Rebel Soldier on (English)
  4. 7.4 million dollar fine: "Blurred Lines" is a plagiarism . In: The Standard of March 11, 2015, accessed March 13, 2015.
  5. Chart statistics for "Happy" on; Retrieved January 17, 2014
  6. Adidas confirms partnership with Pharrell Williams . In: Sneakertrends , March 27, 2014, accessed May 4, 2019.
  7. ^ NYU Web Communications: Pharrell Williams, the Musician, Songwriter, and Producer, to Speak at NYU's Commencement. Retrieved December 16, 2017 .
  8. Pharrell Williams: New single "Entrepreneur" with Jay-Z - ByteFM. In: ByteFM Blog - News and reviews from our editorial team. August 21, 2020, accessed on August 21, 2020 (German).
  9. ^ Pharrell Williams: America's Past and Present Are Racist. We Deserve a Black Future. Accessed August 21, 2020 .
  10. Pharrell Williams Makes His Mark in Film Producing With 'Hidden Figures' In: Variety, January 3, 2017.
  11. BMI Urban Award Winners Announced
  12. ^ The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards
  13. BMI Celebrates Urban Music at 2002 Awards Ceremony
  14. Finalists & Winners ( Memento from June 22, 2003 in the Internet Archive )
  15. Finalists & Winners ( Memento of October 2, 2003 in the Internet Archive )
  16. BMI Celebrates Urban Music at 2003 Awards Ceremony
  17. 2003 Source Award Winners ( Memento from May 29, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ Vibe Awards 2003: Winners ( Memento June 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  19. Finalists & Winners ( Memento from June 3, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  20. ^ BMI Celebrates Urban Music at 2004 Awards with Top Writers, Producers, Publishers
  21. 46th Grammy Awards - 2004
  22. Lil Jon, R. Kelly, Kanye West and EMI Take Top Honors at BMI Urban Awards
  23. 47th Grammy Awards - 2005
  24. 2005 Vibe Award Nominees & Winners ( Memento from June 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  25. BMI Salutes Top Urban Music Makers at Star-Studded Gala in NYC
  26. 48th Grammy Awards - 2006
  27. 49th Grammy Awards - 2007
  28. Luca Celada: The 74th Golden Globe Nominations: La La Land, Moonlight And Emerging TV Talent In:, December 12, 2016.