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Pharrell Williams

A Grammy-winning producer, songwriter, and artist behind a staggering quantity of R&B, rap, and pop hits, Pharrell Williams not only helped change the face of pop beginning in the late '90s. He also was one of the faces of pop music -- as a charismatic star who often stole the show when producing and/or guesting on other artists' hit singles. His presence was unfading, whether he was the one billed at the top or the one behind a beat. To trace the beginning of his ascent, you have to go back to 1992, when Teddy Riley tapped him to write a verse for Wreckx-n-Effect's "Rump Shaker." Since the late '90s, Williams and longtime friend Chad Hugo -- known together as the Neptunes -- began scoring songwriting and production assignments that slowly but steadily infiltrated mainstream music, whether it was via dance-pop (Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U"), hardcore rap (Clipse's "Grindin'"), or contemporary R&B (Babyface's "There She Goes"). Williams and Hugo were relatively obscure during the mid-'90s, doing spare work for the likes of SWV, Total, and Mase, but they would eventually develop a style that would become as recognized and as mimicked as that of fellow Virginia Beach native Timbaland. (Prior to stardom, all three producers were in a band together called Surrounded by Idiots.) As the duo took on more work, Williams' voice became increasingly familiar. He was now more likely to provide the chorus and the background vocals of the same song, in addition to appearing in the video. (Check out Jay-Z's "Excuse Me Miss" and Snoop Dogg's "Beautiful" for two examples.) It wasn't until the summer of 2003 that he truly stepped out on his own. He released his first solo single, "Frontin'." Produced with Hugo and featuring a guest verse from Jay-Z, the song built anticipation for The Neptunes Present... Clones, a compilation of all-new tracks from artists produced by the duo. "Frontin'" was a ubiquitous summer hit 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' first solo album, In My Mind, survived a number of delays and was finally issued in July 2006. The set, produced by Williams alone, debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. Although Williams didn't release another solo album for eight years, his name, as well as that of the Neptunes, continued to carry much weight. The remainder of the 2000s was filled with commercially successful collaborations with the likes of Clipse, Britney Spears, Jay-Z, Solange, and Madonna. There was a handful of Grammy nominations, as well as a surprising 2007 win for Ludacris' "Money Maker" in the Best Rap Song category. N.E.R.D., who released their third album, Seeing Sounds, in 2008, remained an an occasional diversion. The following decade began with a steady stream of activity. Williams was responsible for much of the music for the animated comedy Despicable Me. Along with outside production and songwriting work, Williams and Hugo put together Nothing, the fourth N.E.R.D. album. During 2011 and 2012, Williams produced most of Gloria Estefan's Miss Little Havana, dozens of cuts for R&B, rap, and pop artists, and tracks for two of the most praised albums of the early 2010s: Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and Frank Ocean's Channel Orange. (Williams won a Grammy for his role in the latter.) The roll continued through 2013. "Blurred Lines," a Hot 100 chart-topper from Robin Thicke, featured Williams as producer, co-songwriter, and featured artist. He co-wrote and fronted "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself to Dance," two songs from Daft Punk's number one Billboard 200 album Random Access Memories. The soundtrack for Despicable Me 2 contained several Williams songs, led by the worldwide smash hit "Happy," for which he conceived a 24-hour music video. When the nominees for the 2014 Grammy Awards were announced, Williams' name appeared in seven categories. "Get Lucky" won Record of the Year, Random Access Memories won Album of the Year, and, most notably, Williams won the award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Williams signed to Columbia, home of Daft Punk, and released his second album, G I R L, in March 2014. It reached number two on the pop charts, by which time "Happy" had achieved yet more success, becoming one of the top-selling digital singles of all time with sales of more than five million. ~ Andy Kellman
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Stations Featuring
Pharrell Williams

    Grammys A-Z

    Grammys A-Z
    1 song

    Scratch DJ Academy Mixtape

    Scratch DJ Academy Mixtape
    1 song

    '00s Hip-Hop

    '00s Hip-Hop
    2 songs

    Hot Summer Hits

    Hot Summer Hits
    1 song

    Movie Tracks

    1 song

    Lite Hits

    1 song

    Smooth Jazz

    1 song

    New Smooth Jazz

    1 song

    Kids Pop

    1 song

    Top Jams [Clean]

    1 song

    R&B and Soul Mix

    1 song

Albums by
Pharrell Williams

Top Songs by
Pharrell Williams

  1.   Song
  2.   Happy (From "Despicable Me 2")
  3.   Come Get It Bae
  4.   Can I Have It Like That
  5.   Number One by Kanye West
  6.   Brand New
  7.   It Girl
  8.   Freedom
  9.   Show You How to Hustle by Lauren
  10.   Happy
  11.   Marilyn Monroe
  12.   Hunter
  13.   That Girl by Snoop Dogg
  14.   Young Girl/I Really Like You
  15.   Best Friend
  16.   Stay With Me by Pusha-T
  17.   Gust of Wind
  18.   Baby by Nelly
  19.   Lost Queen
  20.   Angel
  21.   Who You Are
  22.   Raspy ****
  23.   Our Father
  24.   Keep It Playa
  25.   Gush
  26.   How Does It Feel?
  27.   Take It Off (Dim the Lights)
  28.   You Can Do It Too
  29.   Out of This World
  30.   Runnin'
  31.   Despicable Me
  32.   Liquid Swords
  33.   Fun, Fun, Fun
  34.   Crave
  35.   'Till I Collapse by Eminem
  36.   Crystal Clear
  37.   Sex 'N' Money
  38.   Jalapeño by Janelle Monáe
  39.   Come Go Wit Me by Clipse
  40.   Paid in Full by Ab-Liva
  41.   Just Happy
  42.   Rocket's Theme
  43.   Prettiest Girls
  44.   Patron by Sean Garrett
  45.   Breathe and Stop by Q-Tip
  46.   Fortified
  47.   Word to the Motherland
  48.   The Message
  49.   Rumor Has It by Young Jeezy
  50.   It Was a Great Day
  51.   Get Dis Money by Slum Village
  52.   I Apologize by Hope
  53.   Able
  54.   Sound Boy
  55.   Still Got It for Cheap by Clipse
  56.   Bout to Blow by B.G.
  57.   Reminisce
  58.   When Skateboard Came
  59.   Paris, Tokyo featuring Lupe Fiasco
  60.   Let It Go by Nelly
  61.   My Drive Thru featuring Julian Casablancas
  62.   High Rollers
  63.   Only One by Usher
  64.   This Is the Life by Famlay
  65.   Flash by Usher
  66.   Lavish
  67.   Apple by Alicia Keys
  68.   Strung Out
  69.   Music for the Gangstas featuring T.I.
  70.   Cheat by Tha Dogg Pound
  71.   Gangsta Grillz
  72.   Work That by Chris Brown

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