Pharrell Williams was born in Virginia Beach in 1973, and as a young kid in school, he instantly fell in love with music. As a young boy, even before school, Pharrell spent a lot of time with his aunt listening to records on the stereo. In one of his many interviews, he said that the first album he bought was from the group called A Tribe Called Quest. When he started school, he became the percussionist of the school band, and this is where he met his friend Chad Hugo.
The two became best friends and shared the same passion for music. Apart from the school band, the two worked on beats and music on their own. When they started high school, they also launched their production group, The Neptunes.
One of Teddy Riley’s scouts reported to a producer that he heard the duo performing at a talent show at school and eventually brought the duo to their studio. The Neptunes started working hard in 1992 when Williams helped write lyrics for the song Rump Shaker by Wreckx-n-Effect.
The duo also produced Tonight’s the Night, a song of the group Blackstreet which was a revelation by Teddy Riley. This helped The Neptunes establish a name for themselves as writers and producers for hip-hop music. People loved that they mixed in influences from other music genres like rock, soul, and blues.
At the start of their career, The Neptunes produced hits like Superthug by Noreaga in 1998, Steal Away by Mary J. Blige in 2001, I’m a Slave 4 U by Britney Spears in 2001, Hot in Here by Nelly in 2002, and so on. However, the most successful song they worked on was Drop it Like it’s Hot by Snoop Dogg in 2004.
The duo also went on to produce the album Justified by Justin Timberlake, and in 2004, this album won a GRAMMY.
The group also won the Best Producer award. The next year, The Neptunes produced The Emancipation of Mimi, and the album also received a GRAMMY for the Best R&B Release. The duo joined forces with Shay in 2001 to form N.E.R.D, and the group went on to release four albums that combined rock, pop, rap, and blues.
In 2002, they released In Search Of, in 2004 – Fly or Die, in 2008 – Seeing Sounds, and in 2010 – Nothing. During the 2010’s Pharrell wrote two of the most massive hits of the decade, including Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.
This earned him another GRAMMY for Get Lucky in 2014, but also an Album of The Year Award for the Random Access Memories album by Daft Punk. In 2013, he released a song Happy for the movie Despicable Me 2, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He also performed the song live on the Oscars in 2014.
Pharrell Williams Relationships
Pharrell has dated a lot of famous women until he was married in 2013:
Helen Lasichanh (dated in 2007, married in 2013 until today)
Alesha Dixon (2007)
Karolina Kurkova (2004 – 2006)
Vashtie Kola (2004)
Jade Jagger (2003)
In the News
In 2019 and 2020, Pharrell was often linked to Rihanna. The two performed together numerous times and collaborated on various projects. Rihanna has confirmed that she is going to work with Williams on a new release called R9.
She stated that she loved working with Pharrell and that he is one of those rare talented musicians that bring musical ideas to the next level.
Williams was also part of a controversy sparked by Kelis. After many years, she admitted that she didn’t make any money from her album produced by The Neptunes. She said that the duo took all of the money even though they agreed to split the profits 33% each.
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