News

Pharrell reveals “Happy” was originally Cee-Lo Green’s song

on April 29, 2014, 6:19pm

Even as he continues a near-endless round of interviews in support of his latest album G I R L, Pharrell Williams still manages to divulge a few noteworthy tidbits from under his comically-large hat.

During an hour-long appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, Williams revealed that his chart-topping hit “Happy” wasn’t always his song. In fact, it only landed in Williams’ lap after Cee-Lo Green passed on it. (That’s the second occurrence Williams has benefited from Green, as he recently replaced the “Fuck You” singer as a coach for season seven of NBC’s The Voice.) Suffice to say, it would have been a much, much different song. Just probably not this different.

Before “Happy”, though, Williams was just a lowly little superstar producer, helming albums for Kanye West, Gwen Stefani, and Gloria Estefan. In fact, he almost added Michael Jackson to that sizable list. But for whatever reasons, the pair didn’t come together and instead, many of the songs Williams ended up writing were used for Justin Timberlake’s debut album, 2002’s Justified. If you thought “Happy” would’ve been a different tune, just imagine MJ crooning through, say, “Señorita” or “Rock Your Body”.

According to Williams, Jackson’s team actuatlly rejected the songs, despite the King of Pop later confiding that he personally enjoyed the material. “I did eight songs for him that never made it to him, that ended up on Justin’s record,” he told News.com.au recently. “Later he sang me all those songs and told me they should have been his and I told him they were for him.”

Replay the full interview below.

6 comments

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Anders Bakfeldt
May 9, 2014 at 6:41 am

Video is “Private”?

thefrontman
April 30, 2014 at 10:47 am

Yeah Pharrell definitely wrote the song, but I can definitely see why he’d try to give it to Cee-lo. To be honest though it probably wouldn’t have sounded that different.

Duh.
April 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

you do know Pharrell WROTE the song right? it didn’t “fall into his lap.”

purepatriot
April 30, 2014 at 2:30 am

Yeah well it sounds exactly like a Cee-Lo Green song. Why cant people today write their own damn material anyway?

dgrace27
April 30, 2014 at 9:42 am

He wrote the song for ceelo he didn’t want it so he kept it for himself. He was a song writer and he had his own band that he wrote foe. N.e.r.d

Anonymous
April 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm

He was not a lowly little superstar producer before happy… he had a band and a solo career you plebs

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