Celebrity Then And Now
Pharrell-Williams
Name: Pharrell-Williams
Birthdate: January 1, 1970
Famous Years: 2004 - Present
Currently Known For: NBC's "The Voice"
Networth: $150 MillionFamous For: "Happy," "Blurred Lines," "Get Lucky"
Pharrell-Williams
Name Pharrell-Williams
Birthdate January 1, 1970
Famous Years 2004 - Present
Currently Known For NBC's "The Voice"
Networth $150 Million
Famous For "Happy," "Blurred Lines," "Get Lucky"

Even if he hasn’t had that many hit songs as a solo artist, Pharrell Williams is still one of the most successful people in music over the past 20 years. As a collaborator and producer, there are few that have the track record that Williams does, and he’s worked hard to get to this point.

Born on April 5, 1973, Williams started playing music while in a marching band in his pre-teen years. A self-proclaimed nerd who skateboarded almost everyday (and still has a skateboard half-pipe inside of his house), Williams wasn’t born into a famous family, but it still seemed that he was destined for musical greatness. In hist late teenage years, he formed an R&B band that didn’t fit the genre’s typical mold, calling themselves the Neptunes.

He and friend Chad Hugo were the founding members of the group, and the two also got into writing and producing music before they found success on their own. By the turn of the century, the Neptunes (and Williams in particular) were widely known for their productions, making a name for themselves without actually singing a hit song.

When the new millennium started, Williams and Hugo formed a group with Shay Haley that they would dub N*E*R*D, releasing their first album. The first time that many music fans were introduced to Williams as a singer came in 2004 when he was part of the song “Drop It Like It’s Hot” with Snoop Dogg that reached the top of the charts.

Despite having a lot of success throughout his music career, nothing could prepare Williams for the year he was going to have in 2013. That year, he would have a solo hit with the song “Happy” that reached the number one spot in every major country chart, becoming one of the biggest hits of the decade. As if that weren’t enough, his collaboration with Robin Thicke and T.I. on “Blurred Lines” achieved the exact same feat, while “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk reached either number one or two on the major charts.

Following the wave of success, Williams released his next album called “Girl” in 2014 and the subsequent tour was one of the biggest of the year. We’ve seen Williams change up his style over the years, as he develops a new sound from a lot of different inspirations, but always has his own unique (and now distinct) tune. Williams has even composed scores for major films, even outside of “Despicable Me 2” that contained his smash hit “Happy”.

Success shouldn’t come as a surprise for a guy like Williams, who is one of the hardest working men in all of entertainment. It wasn’t always that way when he was growing up, though. “I got fired - every time,” he had a job he said. “I had good managers, I was just lazy. The school system isn’t spending a lot of time looking for certain potential...I spent a lot of time in school not paying attention.”

With the mindset that Williams has, he’s going to be in the music business and be very successful for a long time. At first, “I didn’t know who I was,” he said. “I thought I knew who I was. (I thought I was) this competitive guy in the music industry, who admired my peers and felt he needed to compete with the races that they designed. But in life, you’re meant to race against yourself,” while describing himself as a workaholic.

Even outside of music, Williams has found himself on the successful side of things. He’s worked in several different ventures, with a lot of them coming from the world of fashion. Williams himself is a fashion icon, who has designed a lot of different clothing articles. “Fashion is great,” he says. “As a performer, you’re on stage wearing a lot of different outfits and there’s always been a connection for me. I love the way fashion helps people express their individuality.”

Music remains the “main interest and passion” for Williams, though. He is still busy teaming up with other artists and making smash hit songs, while also working for multiple seasons of “The Voice”. At 45 years old and now a married father of four (that recently had triplets in 2017 and a son named Rocket born in 2008), Williams knows he’s not the youngest man in the music game, but the executive and production side of things doesn’t have an age limit. Even if it did, Williams would be bound to work well beyond that limit.

“Music brings people together,” he said. “Music is a force that reaches people wherever they are and at any time. Nothing gets in the way because it’s able to fill up all the space around us. Music is an incredible power and I am deeply grateful that I can write songs that communicate with people all over the world.”