You might know Pharrell Williams as a judge on NBC’s The Voice, or you might know him for his hit single, “Happy,” but chances are – you probably know him. The singer, songwriter and rapper has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight, but there are still some things about him that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Pharrell. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: He Went to Church With Timbaland. When Pharrell was younger, he actually went to the same church as Timbaland.
Number Fourteen: He Was Bullied as a Kid. When Pharrell was young, he used to hang out with white kids in school. Because of this, his classmates used to call him “oreo,” which is a derogatory term to describe someone who is black on the outside and white on the inside.
Number Thirteen: He Had an Encouraging Family. Specifically, an encouraging grandmother. If not for his grandmother, Pharrell might not be involved in music! It was his grandmother who originally encouraged him to become serious about the practice.
Number Twelve: He Met Chad Hugo in Seventh Grade. In case you don’t know who Chad Hugo is, he’s a part of N.E.R.D., and he is one-half of music production and writing outfit The Neptunes. The two met at band camp when they were in the seventh grade together. Cue the “awwwwwww!”
Number Eleven: His Nickname is Skateboard P. When Pharrell was growing up, he loved skateboarding as a hobby. Because he skateboarded so often when he was growing up, he earned the nickname Skateboard P. Some people still call him that to this day.
Number Ten: He Was Fired at Least Three Times. Pharrell worked at McDonald’s when he was a teenager; however, he was not a particularly good employee. Pharrell was fired from an impressive three different McDonald’s locations.
Number Nine: He Was Surrounded by Idiots. Before he blew up, Pharrell was in a band with aforementioned chad Hugo and aforementioned Timbaland. The trio called themselves Surrounded by Idiots.
Number Eight: He Lost His Virginity When He Was 16. Pharrell lost his v-card at the tender age of 16, and that’s not all! He lost it to an older woman. We bet 16-year-old boys everywhere were wishing they could be him right now.
Number Seven: He Experiences Synesthesia. Pharrell has said that he experiences synesthesia – a condition wherein people experience the blending of senses. For example, a lot of people who have synesthesia can see music in colors.
Number Six: He Helped Write “I’m a Slave 4 U.” As part of The Neptunes, Pharrell helped to write the iconic Britney Spears song, “I’m a Slave 4 U.” However, the song was originally intended for Janet Jackson.
Number Five: He Helped Write a Lot More Songs, Too. The Neptunes are one of the most prolific songwriting duos in the industry. In fact, at one point in 2003, up to 43 percent of the songs played on the radio throughout the United States could be attributed to The Neptunes.
Number Four: He Has Had Surgery to Remove His Tattoos. Pharrell has undergone painful laser surgery to remove some of his tattoos in the past.
Number Three: He Is Creative in Some Strange Places. Pharrell has claimed that he is most creative in the shower and on airplanes. In fact, he said that his best songs have been written in the shower or on a plane.
Number Two: He Named His Son After a Song. Pharrell’s son’s name is Rocket. The singer named his son after the Elton John song, “Rocket Man.”
Number One: He Wrote a Song on His Phone in Five Minutes. In case you weren’t convinced of Pharrell’s musical prowess, you will be now! Famously talented composer Hans Zimmer was there to witness Pharrell write a song in five minutes – on his cell phone, no less.