All Articles Tagged "Pharrell Williams"
Pharrell Williams appears on the cover of Ebony magazine this month. And while he touches on a variety of different topics, the discussion that stands out the most is his rather uncomfortable comments on Michael Brown Jr.’s life and death. When asked about his thoughts on surveillance footage of Brown stealing cigars from a convenient store minutes prior to his death, the producer questioned why Brown’s action’s weren’t being discussed.
“It looked very bully-ish; that in itself I had a problem with,” Williams explained. “Not with the kid, but with whatever happened in his life for him to arrive at a place where that behavior is OK. Why aren’t we talking about that?”
Now in the producer’s defense, this interview was conducted prior to Sunday’s verdict; however his comments still don’t really seem appropriate (at least not right now) considering that this child was murdered. Perhaps Brown’s behavior could be explored at a later date, but doing so as the world sat around praying and hoping that his killer is brought to justice doesn’t seem like the best time.
Later in the interview, he made it clear that regardless of his behavior, Michael Brown did not deserve to die, but this didn’t seem to make his prior question sting any less.
“I believe that Ferguson officer should be punished and serve time. He used excessive force on a human being who was merely a child. He was a baby, man. The boy was walking in the middle of the street when the police supposedly told him to ‘get the f–k on the sidewalk.’ If you don’t listen to that, after just having pushed a storeowner, you’re asking for trouble. But you’re not asking to be killed. Some of these youth feel hunted and preyed upon, and that’s why that officer needs to be punished.”
While discussing Ferguson, Williams also questioned President Barack Obama failing to find his way to the heartbroken city.
“Wow. I do not want to get myself in trouble, but I felt like the president should have gone down there. I think sending Attorney General Eric Holder was a kind gesture, but the president should have gone. He didn’t have to go and take a side; all he needed to do was show his presence and everybody would have straightened up. But he didn’t go.
I won’t fault him. He’s a man with a lot of weight on his shoulders, but I personally would have gone because being a ‘man of the people’ means you’re right there with them in it. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. led by example.”
Check out Pharrell’s full interview here.
How many superstars have come out of the hit talent show The Voice? Can’t think of many? Neither can I. This lack of hits has some questioning if the show, which started its seventh season on Sept. 22, is more to boost the careers of the coaches than the unknown talent.
Billboard provides some striking evidence.
“After all, despite its initial raison d’etre, the show, three years in, has never launched an actual star along the lines of American Idol alums Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood…So the show’s greatest use (despite the pleasure in seeing unknowns succeed, or fail, in assorted renditions of cover tunes) has turned out to be something else: taking established artists and making them bigger — much bigger — while showcasing a celebrity chemistry using high-caliber names that usually don’t tread in prime-time reality,” notes Billboard.
Adam Levine even contends he and his band, Maroon 5, had kind of cooled off until he joined on as a coach for the show. He signed on in 2011 for three years, and now his revived popularity has spun off into other ventures. He has a clothing line with Kmart and two fragrances. Maroon 5’s first CD, Overexposed, following Levine’s joining The Voice debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The group’s latest, “V,” topped the Sept. 20 chart with sales of 164,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Then there’s Blake Shelton’s revamped career. The country crooner has gained mega popularity from the show. Now a cross-over sensation, Shelton’s seventh record, Based on a True Story…, which debuted after the season four premiere, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and sold 199,000 copies sold its first week. And, JCPenney is sponsoring his current tour.
Christina Aguilera didn’t come back this year, but she is “rumored to have been paid the most among the coaches: $12 million (a figure several industry sources suggest is exaggerated).” Regardless, Aguilera proved to gain selling power from the show. “Last November, the day after pop duo A Great Big World rereleased its track “Say Something” with Aguilera joining on vocals, they all performed it on The Voice. Sales of the song shot up by 1,761 percent by the end of the week,” reports Billboard.
Season six had Usher and Shakira. “Shakira was big — in a way — before,” says Paul Telegdy, NBC president of late-night and alternative programming. “She’s a household name in America now.” One of the newest coaches, Gwen Stefani could use a career boost. She seemed to all but disappear. But Pharrell Williams seems to have joined at one of his career peaks, enjoying the crazy success of his hit single “Happy.”
NBC is another winner from the show. The network came in No. 1 in adults 18-49 in 2013, mainly due to The Voice. Before the network began airing the show, it was in last place among the networks.
The show has suffered a drop lately in ratings however; it has declined from season-long averages of more than 14 million viewers, according to NBC.
For Williams, who won’t be returning for the spring, it’s still about the music. “I consider this another great musical endeavor,” he says. “I’m still in the studio with Ed Sheeran. I’m still going in with Gwen. This is a studio session to me.”
Well, well, well, this was quite a pleasant surprise. Pharrell Williams—who is racking up the awards tonight—opened the 2014 BET Awards with his latest single, “Come Get It Bae.” Then, when we thought his performance was about to be over, the super catchy beat for “Pass That Dutch” dropped and out walks Missy Elliot with a microphone in hand!
We can’t remember the last time we saw the 42-year-old hit-maker perform live, but homegirl did not miss a step, spitting her verses and popping those dance moves like she never left. We are soooo here for her return to the limelight.
I want to Thank my brother @Pharrell for believing in me and showing me so much love on his set! May God continue to bless u!
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) June 30, 2014
Last week, we told you that Missy dropped a verse on Faith Evans’ new track, “I Deserve It.”
Check out Missy’s performance with Pharrell below.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise
One major complaint about the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (the organization that hands out the Oscar awards) has been about its members: they’re mainly older white males. For many, this limited perspective is what stops a more diverse group of candidates — including black movies and performances by black actors — from getting more recognition. To date only 33 blacks have taken home an Oscar throughout all the categories. But with the consistent successes of black films at the box office, the Academy has been forced to address its diversity issue.
The 87-year-old organization has reached out to a younger and more ethnically diverse group of people to join.
The Academy publicly released the names of the people whom it has invited to join for the coming Oscar. Among this year’s 271 potential new members are 20 actors, 13 of whom are in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Only five are middle-aged, including 53-year-old star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The actors invited include Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Chris Rock and Jason Statham. Over at the music branch, which was considered the stuffiest of all the branches Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Pharrell Williams have been asked to join.
Besides Nyong’o, Rock and Williams, there are other accomplished minorities on the list — director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees), writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and lenser Bradford Young (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pariah and the forthcoming A Most Violent Year).
Though some are questioning the presence of newcomer, Somali American actor Barkhad Abdi, whose only film is Captain Phillips, being on the list there is no denying the Academy is making a move to change.
With a younger and more racially and ethnically diverse voting panel, one can only hope that more films and actors of color will get their chance to deliver an acceptance speech.
Another day, another celebrity scandal.
Grammy Award-winning musician Pharell Williams has found himself in hot water again. The 41-year-old producer—who is no stranger to controversy— appears on the special-edition cover of Elle UK’s July issue rocking a Native American feathered headdress.
“[W]e persuaded ELLE Style Award winner Pharrell to trade his Vivienne Westwood mountie hat for a native American feather headdress in his best ever shoot,” the ELLE UK staff blurbed the image on their site.
Unsurprisingly, the image is causing quite a stir. Social media users have taken to Twitter in droves to speak out against Pharrell and ELLE UK using the clever hashtag #NotHappy.
“No no no @ELLEmagazine No. My culture is not a costume or a hat. No. #NOThappy,” one user tweeted.
“@Pharrell – I’m a big fan, and I’m a Cherokee citizen. Disappointed to see you in a headdress on the @ELLEmagazine cover #nothappy,” wrote another.
“Another celebrity thinking it’s okay to wear a Native Headdress for fashion. @Pharrell WHADDAYADOIN #NotHappy,” another tweeted chimed in.
Pharrell has since issued an apology over the image.
“I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry,” he said in a statement earlier today.
What are your thoughts on the cover?
Pharrell Williams has been making a lot of out-there fashion statements lately–from the oversized hat he wore to the Grammys to the tuxedo shorts he donned at the Oscars. Now we can add another fashion partnership to the list.
The “Happy” singer has entered into a partnership with Adidas Originals to design a line for the brand which will debut this summer.
Of course, isn’t his first fashion collab. Pharrell already has deals with Comme des Garçons, G-Star jeans, Moncler as well as a t-shirt collection with Uniqlo. On top of these, he’s got own successful line of clothes, Billionaire Boys Club.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to work with creative people who understand where I’m coming from and respect my taste while having access to great technology and an amazing brand history,” Pharrell told WWD.
“I’ve had my own brand for 10 years now and had a deal with another company in the past so it will not affect anything, especially since I have the right team around me to help manage these projects,” said Pharrell, who recently dropped his new CD, Girl. “Music will always be my first love and what I focus on, but I’m really appreciative to Adidas for allowing me to further develop and understand my design dreams.”
Fabrics from his own textile company, The Bionic Yarn, will be used in some of his upcoming products for Adidas. Environmentally minded, The Bionic Yarn turns plastic debris from the oceans into yarn and fabric.
While Pharrell didn’t reveal what his line will involve, he did tell WWD, “It’s my line so it comes from my heart and mind. I’m taking this very seriously. [It’s for] basically everyone. [I’m] not doing this for any specific demographic; I hate being put in a category anyway.”
‘Yo, You Don’t Need Nobody To Represent You:’ Pharrell On The Alleged Absence Of Black Women On ‘G I R L’ Album Cover
Last month when Pharrell debuted the art work for his new album “G I R L,” he received a ton of backlash for failing to include black women on the cover. Though he initially responded to the controversy explaining that one of the girls appearing on the cover was actually black, in his recent interview GQ he provided more in-depth thoughts on the criticism he received.
“It’s insecurity,” he explained. “If you love who you are—and I’m not saying that there’s not a plight out there for people who have different skin colors, because Mexicans go through just as much discrimination, if not more discrimination, than black people do in this country. Right?”
Ironically, he adds that he actually put his friends on the album cover and reiterated that the young lady standing closest to him is black.
“You don’t gotta be waif, white, and thin to be beautiful. You can be anything that you want to be, and what I chose to do is put my friends on the cover. The girl that was closest next to me is black, but they didn’t know that, so they jumped the gun.”
The “Happy” singer went on to express that a lot of the backlash he received did come from black women, but not all of it.
“It wasn’t all black women. There were a lot of black women that were really angry at some of those girls, but some of those girls are the ones that instantly get mad when they don’t see somebody that’s dark. And it’s like: ‘Yo, you don’t need nobody to represent you. You represent you. You represent the best version of who you could be. You go out there and change the world.’ Because I’m black, and I wouldn’t trade my skin color for nothing. But I don’t need to keep wearing a badge that tells you that I’m black every time I do something! I’m black!”
He went on to argue that discussions regarding degrees of blackness in this country are senseless and foster division.
“My mother’s black, who’s a big part of my business; a black woman runs my business; and I’m married to a black woman. What more do you want? And why are we talking about this? And if we’re going to talk about degrees of black—what is it in this country? I still believe that if you are at least 1/32nd of black blood in your body, even if you look like you, you are deemed black. Right?”
“Right,” his interviewer responds.
“So why are we still having this conversation?” the newly married producer argued. “I’m a black man. I’m happy to be black, and anybody that is not happy to be black will point around and ask for that kind of sympathy. But the thing is, let’s not ask nobody for no more sympathy. Let’s get together ourselves and support ourselves.”
After citing a few major accomplishments of figures in the black community, he closed his argument by insisting that with all of the greatness out there, being black is nothing to be insecure about.
“So which is it? Is President Obama black or not? Since you’re so mad: Is he black or not? Come on, man! We ain’t got time for that. We are black people. This is the new black. Oprah Winfrey: That’s the new black. She’s a black billionaire. President Obama: He is a black American president. Regardless of what you think about him, this is his second term. That’s the new black. LeBron James: the first black man ever shot on a Vogue cover, a black man. Me: a guy that’s written a song at 40! Nominated for an Oscar, four Grammy awards—at 40! That’s the new black! And by the way: a song that has transcended my lyrics, my own intention, and has become a movement and helped cancer patients. That’s the new black! Black ain’t a color: Black is a spirit, and it is ubiquitous. In fact, there’s more black out in space than there is stars. We have nothing to be insecure about.”
Read Pharrell’s full interview here. What are your thoughts on his stance in the whole colorism debate?
Update: The eBay auction is over and Pharrell’s now-iconic Grammy hat has been sold for a whopping $44,100.
Proceeds from the sale will go to his nonprofit organization From One Hand to AnOTHER. The charitable buyer was none other than Arby’s, the fast-food chain that used the hat (along with other Twitter users) to poke a little fun when it first made its grand entrance on Grammy night.
So something positive came out of a meme. The internet did good.
Separately but related, the hat made another appearance last night when Pharrell performed his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” and got his shimmy on with Luptia Nyong’o, Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams. He’s getting a lot of mileage out of that accessory!
Update by Tonya Garcia
Original post from February 21, 2014
What the heck inspired Pharrell’s choice of headwear at the Grammys? The Arby’s logo? Smokey the Bear? No one knows. But it certainly set the internet ablaze! And if you want to keep a souvenir of this iconic moment in pop culture, you can literally buy Pharrell’s chapeau for $10,500!
You heard right. According to The Daily News, the bulky headpiece is being auctioned off on eBay for $10,500. It’s such a steep price for a hat that it would be unfitting to call it anything but a chapeau. But at least the winner of Pharrell’s glorious chapeau will get free shipping.
The headpiece may cost a pretty penny, but the “Happy” artist is doing it all for a good cause. “I’m auctioning off my hat from the Grammys to benefit From One Hand to AnOTHER,” Pharrell wrote on Twitter. From One Hand to AnOTHER is an organization, founded by Pharrell, that helps develop learning programs for underrserved children between the ages of seven and 20.
“All proceeds benefit From One Hand to Another whose mission is to help change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential and empower them to nurture curiosity by learning through new technologies, arts, media and motivation!” the eBay listing says.
Even Pharrell, who started the auction at a relatively low price, couldn’t believe the current bid for the Vivienne Westwood “Mountain” Hat: “We started my hat auction at $200 (the price I paid for it) and it’s already up to over 10K?” Pharrell underestimated the momentous mark that his Harry Potter sorting hat has left in pop culture’s chapeau history. The Vivienne Westwood headpiece even has its own Twitter account — with 20,000 followers! “Buy me,” the hat tweeted, “it’s for a good cause!”
The much-talked-about chapeau remains up for grabs for the next nine days. If you win, you can do your own “Happy” dance in it.
Though this year’s telecast of the Academy Awards was a bit longer than we would have liked, we can’t lie, it was a pretty good show! A few of our favorites took home awards, and Ellen brought the funny (of course). Here are the moments we couldn’t help but enjoy in the more than four-hour long show.
Lupita Nyong’o Wins Best Supporting Actress
There was talk for a while that Nyong’o would be going head-to-head with actress Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in American Hustle and won Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes. However, the Academy went with the newcomer, crowning Nyong’o Best Supporting Actress for her amazing work as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. When Nyong’o went up to accept her award, it was an absolute watershed moment for fans, and a well-deserved moment for the actress.
Pharrell Williams Performs “Happy” At The Oscars With Help Of Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep And Amy Adams
How can you listen to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and not want to at least bob your head or tap your feet? So infectious!
The Academy Award nominee for Best Song was the first to perform out of all the nominees in the category, and he had everyone up and moving in their ball gowns and suits during his performance of “Happy,” which is of course from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.
Williams stepped out in his Vivienne Westwood hat and a track jacket and jeans to shake a leg or two with the crowd, including Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, who all danced with the producer and singer as he made his way through the front of the crowd of celebs. And can we talk about the dancing during the performance? Amazing! The background dancers were hitting the Nae Nae and showing off some moves I’m going to have to steal for my next club outing.
And did we mention that the song is number one on the Billboard Hot 100? It’s Pharrell’s first number one song as a lead performer. If Williams wins the Academy Award tonight, this will be yet another great year for one of our favorite producers.
But check out his performance below and share your thoughts (and also be sure to get up and dance a little!).