It was announced on Tuesday that Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” from the movie Despicable Me 2 at the 2014 Academy Awards. Pharrell is an award-winning producer, rapper, singer, and songwriter who has contributed to some of the biggest pop music in the last twenty years. Most recently, he contributed to two of 2013′s biggest singles, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” He’s also responsible for older hits including Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” and Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” In addition, he has collaborated with Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Nelly, among many others.
“As a solo producer and as part of the prolific producing team The Neptunes, Williams has played a key role in creating a string of hits over more than two decades,” the Academy said in the announcement.
“Happy” was featured in the sequel to Despicable Me, which is also nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. As was first reported by Billboard, Pharrell created the world’s first 24-hour music video to accompany the song. The video, which can be viewed here, features a slew of celebrity cameos including Steve Carell, who voices the main character in the Despicable Me films. The website recognizes which time zone a viewer is in and starts the video at a corresponding time, though there is also the option to fast forward to different times of day.
Pharrell performed “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, Stevie Wonder, and Nile Rodgers at the Grammy Awards last month and he took home awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Album of the Year, and Record of the Year for his work with Daft Punk on their album Random Access Memories. In addition, Williams won Producer of the Year, an award that he also received ten years ago.
The other Oscar nominees for Best Original Song include “Let It Go” from Frozen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O’s “The Moon Song” from Her, and U2′s performance of “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. There was a fifth contender for the award up until last week, when the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the film of the same name was disqualified by the Academy after it was found that one of the song’s writers improperly campaigned to have it put in the running.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, if Pharrell wins an Oscar for Best Original Song, he will be the third rapper to do so, following wins from Eminem for the song “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile and Three Six Mafia for “It’s Hard Out There For a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow. Last year, Adele won for “Skyfall” from the James Bond film of the same title. The Academy Awards will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres and will air on Sunday, March 2.
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