The music producer’s latest venture is designing tennis kit for the US Open – but, he tells Sophie Heawood, this is just the start. So there I am, gorging on yellowtail sashimi at Nobu in Malibu, waiting for Pharrell Williams to turn up for this interview, when his assistant arrives to tell me the good news — he’s outside! The bad news, though, is that he can’t come in, so she is going to drive me to her house (which turns out to be his house, a rented weekend retreat) where we will talk instead. Paparazzi? Sulking? Nerves? No. Apparently, Williams can’t leave his black SUV to enter the restaurant because he hasn’t eaten all day and the man is ravenous.
Leaving a restaurant because you’re hungry — it all makes perfect sense in Celebrityville. Not that I’m complaining. The house turns out to be a minimalist haven, with a wall of glass 80ft wide overlooking the Pacific Ocean and nothing else. On arrival I am asked to remove my shoes, so I plop my sandals into an outdoor basket beside a pair of multicoloured Adidas sneakers that say Pharrell Williams on the back. He is here! Barefoot, wearing a printed lilac T-shirt, baggy jeans and casual gold jewellery, the superstar musician and producer comes to greet me, noticeably polite. In fact, apart from the solid minute he spends deep in prayer to bless the big plate of Southern soul food brought by the chef (his head is down and his lips are moving), Williams doesn’t break eye contact for our entire conversation.
Coldplay and Pharrell Williams also join Grande’s event to benefit victims of the attack on Manchester Arena. Ariana Grande will play her charity concert in Manchester on Sunday and will be joined by big names including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Niall Horan and Take That. The “One Love Manchester” show will be held at the city’s Old Trafford cricket ground just under two weeks after a bomber killed 22 people at a Grande concert in Manchester.
Proceeds will go to an emergency fund set up by the city of Manchester and the British Red Cross. The concert will air live on BBC TV, BBC Radio and Capital Radio Networks and a streaming partner will be announced soon, Billboard reports. Tickets go on sale June 1 and fans who were at the Manchester show can register for their free tickets HERE. Grande first announced plans to return to Manchester for the benefit event last week.
Famed Seattle grunge band Soundgarden will be one of three big-ticket acts playing at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 4 when the Seattle Seahawks kick off the 2014 NFL season by hosting the Green Bay Packers. Soundgarden and Grammy Award-winning musician Pharrell Williams will perform at a free concert for the 12th Man outside the stadium gates before the Seahawks’ season-opener at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. The music begins an hour beforehand, at 4:30, and will be broadcast on the NFL Network for the league’s festivities begin at the home of 2013′s Super Bowl champions.
Pop singer Ariana Grande is slated to sing the National Anthem before kickoff. The game will be nationally televised on NBC. The outdoor concert is free, with the CenturyLink Field North Plaza opening to the public at 2:30 p.m.
The Seahawks will begin the defense of their Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sept. 4, playing the Packers in the first game of the NFL Season. Seattle will have already played four preseason games, the first of which is this Thursday, Aug. 7, against the Broncos in Denver. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J.
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