Name: Pharrell Williams
Born: April 5, 1973
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer, Fashion Designer
Most often identified just as Pharrell, Pharrell Williams was one of the busiest men in music in 2014, writing hits for other artists and making his own.
Pharrell’s musical collaborations with Neptunes partner Chad Hugo began when the two met in 7th grade at band camp. Both men were part of the marching band with Pharrell playing drums and keyboards. In high school they entered a talent show and were discovered by Terry Riley. After graduation, the duo signed with Riley and began making music together professionally.
Pharrell is the oldest of three sons of a handyman and a school teacher and has thus far won 11 Grammy Awards. What started as a career in music has blossomed to included several different types of creative pursuits, under the umbrella of his i am OTHER label. Pharrell, who was nicknamed Skateboard P in high school, is a clothing designer, operates a textile company and has a hit YouTube channel.
Part of Pharrell’s widespread appeal is that he is interested in and performs almost every type of music imagineable. In 2004, he performed The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There,” with Sting, Dave Matthews and country artist Vince Gill. He has worked with many of the biggest names in music, including Madonna, Britney Spears, and Jennifer Lopez, as well as releasing two solo albums.
Pharrell’s also the creative genius behind the soundtrack for Despicable Me. His biggest solo hit was the single “Happy” and he has been active in a number of celebrity causes including his continuing commitment to raise awareness of global climate change. In January, 2015, he announced he would partner with Al Gore to create a “Live Earth” concert on all seven continents on June 18. Pharrell will serve as music director for the project.
Unfortunately, he was also hit with controversy in March, 2015, when a Los Angeles jury determined that he had unintentionally plagiarized Marvin Gaye when he wrote Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” The jury ordered he and Thicke to pay $7.2 million each to Gaye’s estate.
Pharrell’s shrewd business practices and prolific music career have gained him an estimated net worth of $80 million.
How much is $80 million?
With travel to Antarctica costing an estimated $5,000 per person and $80 million, Pharrell could invite 16,000 of his closest friends to join him for the Live Earth show in Antarctica and cover all their travel expense.