Pharrell Lanscilo Williams is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur
Alongside close friend Chad Hugo, he formed the hip hop and R&B production duo The Neptunes in the early 1990s, with whom he has produced songs for various recording artists. In 1999, he became lead vocalist of the band N.E.R.D., which he formed with Hugo and Shay Haley.
Williams released his debut solo album, In My Mind, in 2006. In 2013, he was featured on the song “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and T.I., and his song “Happy” was the lead single for the soundtrack of the film Despicable Me 2. In the same year, he was featured on Daft Punk’s single “Get Lucky”, which won Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 56th Grammy Awards. His second album, Girl, was released in 2014.
Williams has received numerous accolades and nominations. He has won 13 Grammy Awards, including three for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical (one as a member of The Neptunes). He is also a two-time Academy Award nominee: in 2014 for Best Original Song, for “Happy” (from Despicable Me 2); and in 2017 for Best Picture, as a producer of Hidden Figures.
His hit songs include “Never Too Much”, “Here and Now”, “Any Love”, “Power of Love/Love Power”, “I Can Make It Better” and “For You to Love”. Many of his songs were covers of original music by other artists such as “If This World Were Mine” (duet with Cheryl Lynn), “Since I Lost My Baby”, “Superstar”, “I (Who Have Nothing)” and “Always and Forever”. Duets such as “The Closer I Get to You” with Beyoncé, “Endless Love” with Mariah Carey and “The Best Things in Life Are Free” with Janet Jackson were all hit songs in his career.
During his career, Vandross sold over 35 million records worldwide, and received eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times. He won a total of four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for a song recorded not long before his death, “Dance with My Father”.