Pharrell’s single “Happy” has become a worldwide hit, but it almost wasn’t the Virginia native whose vocals ended up on the song.
“I actually did [give it to someone else]: Cee Lo,” Pharrell told Howard Stern earlier this week. “He did it, he did do it, but the ‒ how do I say this diplomatically? The powers that be at the time did not see it fit for him, and there was a much bigger agenda for him; he had bigger fish to fry, he had an album to put out.”
Not only did the Atlanta native record the song, but he did an incredible job, according to Pharrell. “He sounded amazing on it,” he said. “He burns my version.”
Though this potential collaboration didn’t hold up, two have something else in store. “I love working with him,” Pharrell said. “In fact, we have a song together on his next album. He is a tremendous, tremendously talented guy.”
He also been taken aback by how successful the track has become. The ubiquitous song has gone multi-platinum and hit #1 in dozens of countries. “’Happy’ has become a movement,” he said. “But when you think about that word, ’movement,’ what that means, aside from [an] assembly of people going in a certain direction, there’s actually really kinetic movement. People responded to the song by voting for it and requesting it and sharing it and downloading and uploading.”