Pharrell Williams is a highly successful recording artist, musician, producer, and fashion designer with a net worth of $250 million. Pharrell started producing with his longtime friend, Chad Hugo, in the early 90s. In the next ten years, the pair, called, The Neptunes, developed their sound.
By the early 2000s, they had already established themselves as a prolific and successful production team, producing lots of hits between 2000 and 2009, and winning many awards in the process. At some point, songs they produced made up 43% of the songs being played on the radio in the United States.
Apart from producing hit tracks, Pharrell Williams has also released many solo albums, and tours with his band, N.E.R.D. Also, he is a busy composer and has already composed the soundtracks for different television shows and films, including, “Chelsea Lately”, “Despicable Me”, and the 84th Academy Awards.
Whenever he is not writing, producing, or performing, the industrious artist also runs a clothing line, oversees a teen-oriented entertainment website, designs furniture, and serves as the Creative Director for KarmaloopTV, which is an online original content channel.
Pharrell Williams Early Life And Career
Born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Pharrell Lanscilo Williams is the son of Pharaoh, a handyman, and Carolyn Williams, a teacher. He went to Princess Anne High School where he played the snare drum in the marching band.
He attended Northwestern University for two years and then dropped out. The oldest of three sons, Pharrell started his career in partnership with Chad Hugo when they set up the production firm The Neptunes to promote and sell the work of hip-hop, pop, and R&B artists.
Williams and Hugo also created a four-piece R&B group with the same name. They got discovered by Teddy Riley while playing at a high school talent show. After graduation, the group signed with Riley Studios.
Pharrell Williams wrote a verse and helped produce 1992 hit “Rump Shaker” for Wreckx-N-Effects. In the same year, he performed a rap solo on Right Here (UK Remix) for SWV. The next year, Chad Hugo and Williams met the rap duo Clipse in Virginia Beach and later signed with Arista Records.
Pharrell and Hugo had already established themselves as a production duo by the time they helped produce a single for Blackstreet, Tonight’s the Night. In the three years that followed, they tried producing on the side until they gained small success with N.O.R.E’s “SuperThug” in 1998. That song reached number 36 on the Billboard chart and it gained the duo global attention for the first time.
The Neptunes produced a song for Jay-Z featuring a Pharrell chorus, “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” in 2000. That song caught the attention of Britney Spears, and The Neptunes produced the lead single for her third album, the popular hit I’m a Slave 4 U.” Later that year, Hugo, Williams, and Haley released their first album by the name N.E.R.D., “In Search Of…” The Neptunes surged to number 1 in the United States when produced Nelly’s single “Hot in Here”.
The band released their first studio album, ‘The Neptunes Present…Clones’ in 2003, and their second studio album “Fly or Die” in March 2004. Pharrell Williams got two Grammys in 2004, one for Best Pop Vocal Album for his collaboration with Justin Timberlake on “Justified” and another for Producer of the Year.
Williams was featured on Snoop Dogg‘s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” and the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart. Notably, The Neptunes also produced Gwen Stefani’s first hit single as a solo artist, “Hollaback Girl.” The track went to No. 1 in the United States.
Pharrell Williams launched his solo career in 2003 with a debut single “Frontin'”. His debut album, “In My Mind,” hit the charts in 2006. He also continued to produce solo, producing tracks for Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Madonna’s eleventh album, “Hard Candy,” in April 2008.
In 2009, he co-wrote and then produced the song “Fresh Out of the Oven” for Jennifer Lopez. He has already won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album, a Grammy for Producer of the Year, and a Grammy for Best Rap Song, “Money Maker.”
Pharrell Williams has got dozens of other nominations and awards. Williams composed the soundtrack that played in the movie “Despicable Me” in July 2010. In 2011, he collaborated with Adam Lambert on his new album. Three years later, he won four Grammys out of eight nominations. He won the Grammy for Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Best Group Performance, and Record of the Year.
He has worked on many other projects with many other renowned artists and celebrities and all his work has been highly successful. He even teamed up with Al Gore in June 2015 to set up a seven-continent Live Earth concert to help raise awareness of climate change.
Career Earnings By Year
2007 – $17 million
2008 – $20 million
2009 – $16 million
2010 – $13 million
2011 – $10 million
2012 – $7 million
2013 – $9 million
2014 – $22 million
2015 – $32 million
2016 – $20 million
2017 – $20 million
2018 – $18 million
2019 – $25 million
2020 – $23 million
2021 – $22 million
Total: $274 million
In 2008, Pharrell Williams co-designed glasses and jewelry for Louis Vuitton. He worked with Takashi Murakami on a famous sculpture of Art Basel in 2009. In May 2012, he launched I am OTHER, a multimedia creative collective and record label.
I am OTHER has a dedicated YouTube channel and apparel lines. He has also launched two clothing lines, Ice Cream Footwear and Billionaire Boys Club. Billionaire Boys Club has a flagship store in New York City and Ice Cream Footwear has a store in Tokyo, Japan.
In 2013, Williams developed a line of sunglasses for Moncler. Pharrell Williams worked as the executive producer for the 2015 film “Dope.” He partnered with Adidas the next year and released his “human race” collection on July 23, 2016.
Williams owns From One Hand to Another (FOHTA), which is a non-profit organization. Their main vision is to modernize the traditional community center to empower underserved children by offering them access to new media, technology, and art.
Pharrell Williams also partnered with Adidas and Chanel on a €1,000 sneaker in 2017. In April 2019, he partnered with Verizon to unveil a music curriculum in a nationwide campaign for Verizon Foundation Learning schools. The organization aims to offer internet access and free technology to under-resourced middle schools.
Williams married Helen Lasichanh on October 12, 2013. Their son, Rocket Williams, was born in 2008. He wrote the “Despicable Me” song, “Rocket’s Theme,” as a dedication to his son. In January 2017, Helen delivered triplets.
Apart from his philanthropy, Williams built a $35 million afterschool center in his hometown Virginia Beach. He also provided internships to 114 Harlem High School students. All of them were accepted to college and the purpose of Pharrell’s donation was to enable students to become the next leaders who will enact real change.
In 2001, Pharrell Williams paid $1.85 million for a 9,000-square-foot waterfront home located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
In 2007 he sold his Miami Beach penthouse apartment for $8.5 million. In the same year, he upgraded to a triplex penthouse in Miami that had more than 9,000 square feet of living space. The penthouse cost $12.5 million. In 2012, he listed the home for nearly $17 million. He eventually accepted $9.35 million in 2015.
Williams and his family moved in 2015 to a 17,000-square-foot home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles. He paid $15.6 million for that property, whose previous owner was Tyler Perry. Pharrell Williams listed the home for sale in March 2020 for $17 million.
In April 2020, Pharrell paid $30 million for a home in Coral Gables, Florida. This waterfront property sits on 3.5 acres and has a 17,000-square-foot mansion, which was in the past listed for $45 million.