All ‘Happy’ fans would already know that Pharrell Williams is not just a Grammy Award-winning singer, but also a songwriter, producer and fashion designer.
Often referred to as ‘immortal’ because of his ageless looks, the pop/R&B musician is one of the most successful artists whose music is recognized globally. With his upbeat tunes, Pharrell Williams has been one of the most influential music icons in recent years. He is the co-creator, drummer and lead vocalist of a hip-hop, funk and rock band N.E.R.D. He also co-owns The Neptunes, a record producing company that creates R&B, hip-hop and soul music. His fashion designer effects can be seen with the clothing brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Clothing, which he also co-founded.
His Age & Ethnicity
Pharrell Williams was born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, VA, United States. He is the oldest of three children born to Pharoah and Carolyn Williams. He attended Princess Anne High School and Kempsville High School. Growing up, Williams was a percussionist and a member of the marchings school band. His ethnicity is Afro American and he holds the American nationality.
How He Achieved Career Success
Williams’ music career began at a young age. It was while in school as an ‘unusual nerdy kid’ that he teamed up with his friend and classmate Chad Hugo and started performing together as a group known as Neptunes. The duo was soon discovered by music producer Teddy Riley who worked with them on a few songs at his studio. Williams and Hugo eventually created The Neptunes, a record producing team that creates R&B, hip-hop and soul music.
In the early 1990s, they made an early break with their first song ‘Rump Shaker’ which they sold to the rap group Wreckx-N-Effect. The song was a success which soon made them popular music-makers and earned them more jobs. Together, the duo wrote and produced several hit songs for artists such as Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Baby Face, and Janet Jackson, amongst others.
It was in 2003 that Pharrell Williams went solo with his debut single Frontin which he produced with Hugo. Frontin peaked at the fifth position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the best selling songs of the year. That same year, the duo released an album The Neptunes Present…Clones which was also a success.
Meanwhile, together with a childhood friend Shay Haley, Williams and Hugo created a band called the N.E.R.D (meaning No One Ever Really Dies). N.E.R.D’s debut album In Search Of was released in 2002, their sophomore album Fly or Die was released in 2004, and their third album, Seeing Sound was released in 2008. They had a fourth album called Nothing.
Williams released his first solo album, In My Mind, in July 2006. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. In the following years, he continued his collaborative works with many popular artists such as Britney Spears, Jay Z, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Adam Lambert, etc.
Pharrell Williams composed the soundtracks for the animated comedy Despicable Me (2010) and the sequel Despicable Me 2 (2013). One of the songs, Happy, which was written for the movie was a global smash. The song which peaked at no.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, became one of the top-selling digital singles of all time. It also earned him an Oscar nomination for the best original song.
He released his second album Girl featuring the single Happy in March 2014. The album was also a huge success and topped the pop charts. Later in the same year, Williams worked with Hans Zimmer and a host of others on the soundtrack for the superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He also landed a spot as one of the coaches on the popular TV singing competition The Voice until 2016.
Pharrell Williams’ creative efforts in the industry has made him a recipient of many prestigious awards. He has won ten Grammy Awards and six Billboard Music Awards. He has earned himself other awards such as BET Hip Hop Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, ECHO Awards, Annie Awards, as well as two Academy Award nominations.
Williams has shown his creative versatility in the entertainment industry. In 2016, he collaborated with Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch to write and produce the hit biographical movie Hidden Figures. The highly successful movie received several awards including Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
Besides his singing and producing talents which have gained him global recognition, Williams co-founded a clothing and sneaker line called Billionaire’s Boys Club (BBC) and Ice Cream respectively with Japanese music producer Tomoaki “Nigo” Nagao.
He has done other collaborative efforts with renowned brands such as designing a line of sunglasses and jewellery with Marc Jacobs and Luis Vuitton, fabric designs with Adidas and a unisex fragrance with perfume fashion house Comme des Garƈons. Williams also has an interest in artwork and has designed furniture with Domeau & Pérès and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.
Pharrell Williams’s Wife and Kids
Pharrell Williams is married to Helen Lasichanh, a model and a designer. The couple who were longtime lovers got engaged in July 2013 and tied the knot in October of the same year. Willians and Helen have four kids together – a son Rocket Ayer Williams born in 2008 and a set of triplets born in January 2017.
The happy couple like to keep their personal lives private and on the low. They have so far kept their children out of the limelight and the names, as well as the gender of the triplets, have not been disclosed to the public.
Williams who says fatherhood changed his life, wrote a track named Rocket’s Theme for the Despicable Me soundtrack in his son’s honor. Williams and Helen are actively involved in charity.
Who Are His Parents?
Pharrell Williams’ parents are Carolyn (a teacher) and Pharoah Williams (a handyman and house painter). Williams has two younger brothers – Cato, a professional skateboarder, and Psolomon, an actor and composer. The ‘Happy’ crooner grew up in a household where making ends meet and paying the bills were sometimes a problem but after Williams made it big, he changed their lifestyle and even bought his parents a house.
The American singer who has a slim and masculine physique is of average height. He is 5 feet 9 inches (179.83 cm) tall and weighs 68 kg (150 lbs). His body measurements are chest – 40 inches, arm/biceps – 14 inches and waist – 32 inches.