[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he final chart of 2013 topped off a year to remember for Pharrell Williams, as his latest single, Happy, took the top slot to make it a hat-trick of UK number ones in a calendar year.
Its predecessors include Get Lucky, the collaboration with Daft Punk, and summer smash Blurred Lines, on which he featured alongside Robin Thicke. Happy fought off some strong competition, not least from newly-crowned X-Factor winner Sam Bailey.
You could have been forgiven for asking ‘Pharrell who?’ twelve months ago, as his solo career until that point had hardly set the world alight. But 2013 provided one hell of a comeback for the R&B maestro, who started out as a producer with The Neptunes. This success has brought with it a total of seven Grammy Award nominations, including doubles in both the best album and best record categories, along with one for producer of the year (non-classical).
But it’s not just the silverware that Williams will be raking in. With songwriting credits for Get Lucky AND Blurred Lines, a new Rolls-Royce or two could well be on the cards. As for Happy, movie-goers will recognise it from the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2. The song also comes with – wait for it – a 24 hour-long video! We love you, Pharrell, but that could be stretching it just a little!
The only black marks on 2013’s tapestry have come via the courtroom. Marvin Gaye‘s family sought damages and royalties due to Blurred Lines bearing an uncanny resemblance to the soul god’s 1977 single Got To Give It Up. On a more personal note, there was also a legal spat between Williams and will.i.am, concerning the ‘I Am’ branding.
So it’s official: life really does begin at 40 (if you happen to be Pharrell Williams, at any rate). 2014 also promises to be memorable, as it was recently announced that he will be releasing his first solo album for eight years. Rob Stringer, Chairman of Columbia Records, was quoted as saying: “We are preparing to launch Pharrell as a global solo superstar in 2014. Happy is just the beginning.” Well, you’ve got to start somewhere…..