Pharrell Williams, also known by his mononym Pharrell, is a singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. He is known for his smash hit single, "Happy," which was included in DreamWork's Despicable Me 2.
Pharrell and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo the Neptunes, producing soul, hip hop and R&B music. He is also the lead vocalist and drummer of rock, funk, and hip hop band NER*D, which he formed with Hugo and childhood friend Shay Haley. He released his first single, "Frontin'," in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album, In My Mind, in 2006. His second album, G I R L, was released on March 3, 2014. As part of the Neptunes, Pharrell has produced numerous hit singles for various recording artists. Pharrell has earned over a dozen Grammy Awards including two with the Neptunes. He has expressed his admiration for several musicians, including Michael Jackson, J Dilla, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Rakim, Q-Tip, and David Bowie.
He currently owns a media venture that encompasses entertainment, music, fashion, and art called i am OTHER, a multimedia creative collective and record label that serves as an umbrella for all of Pharrell's endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream apparel, Billionaire Girls Club, textile company Bionic Yarn and a dedicated YouTube channel launched in 2012. The channel was launched on May 12, 2012, as part of YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative.
In addition to his highly impressive musical and entrepreneurial work, Pharrell is a philanthropist. Pharrell owns a non-profit organization called "From One Hand To AnOTHER" (FOHTA). FOHTA is an educational foundation. According to its website, its mission is to "change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential". FOHTA's vision is to modernize the community center concept by empowering kids to learn through new technologies, arts, media, and motivation.
In October 2015, the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University named Pharrell as their artist-in-residence. He gave the 2017 commencement address at NYU and received an honorary degree on May 17, 2017.
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