Image source: Biography.com
Pharrell Williams (born Pharrell Lanscilo Williams on April 5, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, performer, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. In the earlier part of his music career, Williams teamed up with his close friend, Chad Hugo, and together, they formed the hip hop and R&B production duo, The Neptunes, in the early 90s. Before this period, he has produced songs for various recording artists, and his popularity and expertise were entirely on the rise. In 1999, Williams became the lead vocalist of the band N.E.R.D., which he formed with Hugo and Shay Haley.
After his stint with the band, Williams released his debut solo album, “In my Mind,” in 2005, and in 2013, he was featured on the song “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and T.I. Williams’ single “Happy” became the lead single for the soundtrack of the movie, Despicable Me 2, and in the same year, Williams was featured on Daft Punk’s single, “Get Lucky,” which subsequently won the Record of the Year and Best P.O.P. Group/Duo Performance at the 56th Grammy Awards. He released his second solo album, “Girl,” in 2014.
In recognition of his work, Williams has received numerous award nominations and accolades, including winning 13 Grammy Awards, including three for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical(one as a member of the defunct Neptunes). He is also a two-time Academy Award nominee: first in 2014 for Best Original Song in a film, for “Happy” (in Despicable Me 2); and in 2017 for the Best Picture category, as a producer of Hidden Figures.
Away from music, William founded a non-profit organization called From One Hand To AnOTHER, identified by F.O.H.T.A. According to Williams and as seen on the F.O.H.T.A. website, the foundation’s watchword is, “if every community with underserved youth had a community center that was devoted to augmenting the learning experience needed to succeed and provide exposure to different technologies, arts, and resources, kids could find their tool – their key to a successful and fulfilling future”.
In fashion, Williams designed a €1,000 sneaker in collaboration with Chanel and Adidas in 2017. And on April 26, 2019, tech giant Verizon partnered with Williams to launch a tech-feed music curriculum in a nationwide Verizon Foundation Learning Schools. Under the Verizon Foundation, the education organization initiative aims to provide technology, internet access, tech-focused curriculum to under-resourced and under-funded middle schools. In November 2020, Williams launched Humanrace, a skincare brand.
Williams is married to his longtime girlfriend, model, and fashion designer Helen Lasichanh. The couple tied the knots on October 12, 2013. Their son, Rocket, was born in 2008, and according to Williams, the Despicable Me song “Rocket’s Theme” was written in honor of his son. In September 2016, the couple announced that they were expecting again, and in January 2017, Helen gave birth to triplets.
No doubt, Pharrell Williams is one of the most influential artists of the 21st century as he has made his mark in the entertainment industry; first in music, then movies, and fashion.
Connect with Williams on Instagram.