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Pharrell Williams


Pharrell Williams, born April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is one half of the primarily hip hop music production and songwriting duo, The Neptunes (with Chad Hugo).

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell has produced numerous number one tracks for megastars such as Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Mystikal, Jay-Z, *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Nelly and many more. Pharrell is one of the greatest examples of a countertenor in popular music, revered for his extensive use of his upper head register and controlled dulcet falsetto.

Pharrell was born the oldest of three sons to Pharaoh Williams and Carolyn Williams. His father was a handyman, and his mother was a teacher. In seventh grade, Williams met fellow band mate Hugo. The two began working together, mixing beats and playing in various live bands in which Williams played the drums.

Pharrell Williams

In 1992, while the two were attending different high schools in Virginia Beach, they sold their first song, “Rump Shaker”, to Wreckx-n-Effect. They then began songwriting and production assignments with popular hip-hop artists such as Noreaga and Ma$e.

In August 2002, The Neptunes were named Producers of the Year at both The Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.

In 2002, Williams wrote and produced rapper Nelly’s single, "Hot in Herre". He repeated the success by doing the same with Britney Spears' dance-pop single, "I'm A Slave 4 U". But it wasn't until the summer of 2003 that Pharrell released his first solo single, “Frontin'” featuring Jay-Z. The album The Neptunes Present … Clones was then released, debuting at number one in August 2003.

Pharrell Williams

“Frontin'” was a big 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. William's rock credentials were further bolstered by his appearance at the 2004 Grammy Awards, performing The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" on drums along with Sting, Dave Matthews, and Vince Gill.

In 2005, Williams was voted "Best Dressed Man in the World" by Esquire magazine.

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