Pharrell Williams (born April 5, 1973), commonly known as Pharrell, is an American music producer, singer""songwriter and rapper. Along with Chad Hugo, they make the record production duo The Neptunes, where they produce pop, hip hop and R&B music. He is also the lead singer and drummer of rock band N.E.R.D, which he formed with Hugo and childhood friend Shay Haley. Through working with Teddy Riley, Williams wrote a verse for Wreckx-N-Effect's 1992 hit "Rump Shaker".That same year, he also performed a small rap solo on SWV's second hit, "Right Here (Human Nature Remix)".
In 1994, Hugo and Williams had established themselves formally as a production duo under the previously used name "The Neptunes", and produced "Tonight's The Night" from Blackstreet's self-titled debut. The most definite beginning of the so-called distinctive "Neptunes sound", came with N.O.R.E.'s "Superthug" in 1998, reaching number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, and gaining them widespread attention for the first time.
In 1999, the duo then worked heavily with Kelis, producing her first album Kaleidoscope in its entirety and Ol' Dirty Bastard's Nigga Please, followed by Mystikal's hit single, "Shake Ya Ass". In 2001, The Neptunes produced Britney Spears' single, "I'm a Slave 4 U" gaining their first world-wide number one. The same year, N.E.R.D, consisting of Williams, Hugo and Haley, released their first album, In Search Of..., in Europe, where the first Kelis album was better received. The album sounded very much like their previous production work; the group decided that they should make their work as N.E.R.D sound different, and re-recorded the album, with the rock band Spymob. Williams and Hugo met rap duo Clipse in Virginia Beach in 1993, where they were signed to Arista Records through Williams' Star Trak Entertainment imprint.
Then in 2002 their re-produced album was released worldwide, and The Neptunes reached number one in the U.S. with Nelly's single, "Hot in Herre". In August of the same year, The Neptunes were named "Producers of the Year" at both The Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. Clipse released their commercial debut album, Lord Willin' in August 2002. The album opened at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number four on the Billboard 200, fueled by the strength of its first two singles, "Grindin'" and "When the Last Time", which peaked at number 34 and number 19 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. The Neptunes released a self-credited album called The Neptunes Present... Clones in 2003, featuring songs and remixes from various artists. This album topped the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The Neptunes and Williams specifically were also kept in public eye largely due to ties with Jay-Z, producing several hit singles for him and landing two tracks on his album The Black Album. The track "Frontin'" was a big hit (the 34th biggest single of 2003 according to Billboard magazine).
He also produced two songs from The Hives album, The Black and White Album, titled "Well All Right!" and "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.".In April 2008, Madonna released her eleventh album, Hard Candy, which featured vocals from Williams and production from The Neptunes on several tracks. Later in June, an article in NME revealed that Williams is very interested in producing The Strokes' fourth album. Williams, along with other musicians, is to work on a remix album for Maroon 5's Call & Response. In 2008, Pharrell begin work with Colombian artist Shakira to help her with the release of her sixth studio album due to this year (2009). It has been revealed that Williams will collaborate with Lindsay Lohan on her upcoming third studio album Spirit in the Dark. He will also provide guest vocals on the album's first single, "Playground".
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