- 10:13 AM, Dec 08
Pharrell Williams, the oldest of three sons of Carolyn, a teacher, and Pharaoh Williams, a handyman, is a creative force in music industry. He formed N.E.R.D. with his childhood friend and marching band mate, Chad Hugo, and created The Neptunes with two other friends Shay Haley and Mike Etheridge.
He produced a lot of hit singles including Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U", Nelly's "Hot in Herre". He also helped create Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", and Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You". At the 2004 Grammys, he got two awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Producer of the Year in Non-Classical category, thanks to his work in JT's "Justified".
With N.E.R.D., he released at least four albums starting with "In Search of..." in 2002. Their next two CDs "Fly or Die" and "Seeing Sounds" broke the top 10 on Billboard Hot 200. Their last studio effort was "Nothing" coming out in 2010. He also dropped "The Neptunes Present... Clones" in 2003. A compilation of songs and remixes from various artists, it topped U.S. albums chart.
While making music with his two groups, Williams also pursues a solo career. He launched his first solo album "In My Mind" in 2006. It soared to No. 3 on Hot 200 and got nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards. Gwen Stefanie, Jamie Cullum, Jay-Z, and cKanye served as featured guests.
Though he put his second album on hold, the Virginia Beach native who was born on April 5, 1973 remained busy as ever. He was working with Britney for "Blackout", Madonna for "aHard Candy", Shakira for "She Wolf", Jennifer Lopez for a buzz track of her new album "Love?", and many other top-notch artists.
In 2012, he worked with Hans Zimmer to compose soundtrack for movie "Despicable Me" and then went on a tour with Gorillaz. His extensive producing credits grew longer as he worked his magic for Miley Cyrus' new album "Bangerz" and Adam Lambert's second LP "Trespassing" among others.
Williams was back recording theme song for "Despicable Me 2". Amidst the huge successes of his produced singles "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines", his song "Happy" became an instant hit around the world, including reaching the second spot on Hot 100 and getting an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
Following his great comeback as a recording artist, Williams married his longtime girlfriend,