One of the 21st centuries defining pop musicians, Pharrell Williams was born on April 5th 1973. Since debuting as a rapper in 1992, he’s had hits like a solo performer, a collaborator, with his band N.E.R.D and defined the sound of modern pop with the production team The Neptunes.
The term “renaissance man” exists to this day because of people like Pharrell. He seems to be a true creative master, able to create massive hits as easily for himself as he does for many others. The list of artists that he’s produced for on his own is astonishing.
Artists as diverse as Fall Out Boy, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z have all benefitted from his Midas touch, however even with a pedigree like that, we still have to take into the account the work he did with his friend from childhood (and N.E.R.D bandmate) Chad Hugo in The Neptunes.
Prince, Rage Against The Machine, Britney Spears and The Rolling Stones are just a fraction of the legends that were called upon to remix or produce their records. Their work as a duo might have taken a backseat to Williams’ solo career, but the influence they’ve had on pop to this day is undeniable.
And what a career to take a back seat to. Since 2003’s “Frontin’”, to 2013’s 10 million selling, Oscar-nominated uber-smash “Happy”, Williams continues to shape modern pop music into his own image. To the extent that he was one of the writers and performers on 2013’s two other year defining smashes, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s masterful “Get Lucky”.