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The Year in 2014: Pharrell Makes the Whole World Happy


ABC/Randy Holmes

Pharrell Williams has officially arrived. Following his success in 2013, the hitmaker’s contributions to the year’s two biggest hits — “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” — trickled into 2014, which began with Williams onstage at the Grammy Awards with Daft Punk, scooping three trophies for his contributions to their album, and you followed along as Twitter exploded at the sight of his enormous brown Vivienne Westwood hat.  Then, for the rest of the year, Pharrell was everywhere, thanks to one inescapable song: “Happy.” 

The tune, from the 2013 animated film Despicable Me 2, was initially released in November of that year, but in 2014, it really took off, reaching #1 in March of 2014.  It was Pharrell’s first #1 hit as a lead artist, rather than a featured artist, a milestone it took him 12 years to achieve.  “Happy” became inescapable, staying on top for an amazing 10 weeks — longer than any other song in 2014. It ended the year as Billboard’s #1 song of 2014, and has sold over six million copies in the U.S.

“Happy” served as the lead single for Pharrell’s second solo album, G I R L, which debuted at #2 when it was released in March, the day after Pharrell performed “Happy” at the Academy Awards. The song ended up losing that night to “Let It Go,” but Pharrell was able to brush it off with yet another career highlight: at the end of March, it was announced that he was joining the cast of NBC’s The Voice, alongside his old pal Gwen Stefani, plus Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.  While Pharrell didn’t win the competition, America finally got a chance to see what the world’s top musicians have known for years: just how unbelievably cool, talented and knowledgeable he is.  He’ll return for the show’s next installment as well.

Also in 2014, Pharrell released a fragrance called G I R L, launched a tour, co-wrote the score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was the big winner at the inaugural BBC Music Awards, released a new collaboration with Gwen, titled “Spark the Fire,” curated the soundtrack for the popular video game NBA 2K15, co-wrote and produced Ed Sheeran‘s hit ,”Sing,” and scored a whopping six Grammy nominations.  Whew!

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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