By Mary Margaret. Pharrell Williams is spreading his special brand of joy in a new way: a children’s book. The Grammy winner has turned his hit “Happy” (which was featured in Despicable Me 2 and on Williams‘ lauded album G I R L) into a picture book, and PEOPLE has the first look at the adorable cover image and back jacket. “I’m so proud of my collaboration with Penguin and to be able to share my book Happy! with all the young readers out there,”.
Williams said about the project, which will be released October 6. “I love what I do and am grateful to all the people who felt that ‘Happy‘ resonated with them. My hope is that this book inspires a child’s imagination and creativity and that it teaches the importance of being happy and true to yourself.” The book will blend illustrations and photos of children celebrating what it means to be happy.
Some scenes depicted: riding a hot air balloon into outer space, dancing with clouds, laughing with emojis and rocking out as a band. When the news of the book was announced in February, Don Weisberg, president of Penguin Young Readers, noted that the singer “has an important and inspiring message about individuality and being your best self, and we’re proud to help him share that with young children.”
The podium at the United Nations in New York has been the scene of countless speeches both passionate and dull, but on Friday the audience was not world leaders but children, and they mobbed the speaker. Pop star Pharrell Williams – best known for his viral hit Happy – addressed the UN General Assembly on the International Day Of Happiness as he raised his voice on the dangers of climate change.
After he spoke, Happy came on the speakers of the normally solemn hall as dozens of teenagers and children raced toward him with their camera phones in the hope he would dance. UN security guards rushed into the crowd in fear of a stampede as an official took the microphone to urge everyone to step back.
Williams has been working with former US vice president Al Gore to organise global concerts in June to build public pressure for a UN-backed agreement on climate change. “You should know that happiness is your birthright,” Williams told the hundreds of assembled children, whose placards all read “#happyplanet” instead of the usual names of UN member states.
“If you don’t take care of your home, you don’t have a life, so we have to now transition from climate change to climate action,” he said. Environmentalist Philippe Cousteau Jr. joined Williams to warn that the effects of climate change were looking even worse than initially feared, pointing to Cyclone Pam, which ravaged the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu last week, as well as the rapidly melting Arctic ice. “One of the scary things about climate change is that all of our predictions have been too conservative,” Mr Cousteau, the grandson of legendary French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, said.
Here is the “world’s happiest playlist” as part of the celebrations for the International Day Of Happiness. The UN teamed up with some of the world’s most famous musicians — including Pharrell Williams to develop the playlist. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said in a statement that the ultimate goal of the initiative is to promote the happiness of all peoples.
“On this day, we are using the universal language of music to show solidarity with the millions of people around the world suffering from poverty, human rights abuses, humanitarian crises and the effects of environmental degradation and climate change,” he said. Ban took part himself, nominating Signed, Sealed & Delivered by Stevie Wonder for the list, though it didn’t make the final cut, check out the playlist below.
The World’s Happiest Playlist
01 – James Brown & His Famous Flames – I Got You (I Feel Good) (James Brown) (65’)
02 – Prince & The Revolution – Kiss (Prince) (86’)
03 – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Three Little Birds (Bob Marley & The Wailers) (77’)
04 – Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher (Carl Davis) (67’)
05 – Destiny’s Child – Independent Women Part I (Poke & Tone, Cory Rooney) (00’)
06 – John Legend – Made To Love (Da Internz, Dave Tozer, Nana Kwabena, Kanye West) (13’)
07 – Pharrell Williams – Happy (Pharrell Williams) (13’)
By Kathy Hieatt. Virginia Beach will be getting nearly 70 new jobs and a new official song, “Happy,” Mayor Will Sessoms announced at the annual State of the City address Wednesday. The jobs will come in the form of Haulotte Group North America – a French manufacturer of aerial work equipment and platforms, such as construction scaffolding – moving its North American headquarters here from Frederick, Md., this summer.
It’s promising 67 jobs within three years with average annual salaries of $70,000, Sessoms said. The song will come in the form of the hit tune by Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams, who Sessoms said has given his blessing and whose mother attended Wednesday’s event. She was joined by nearly 1,200 people – business and civic leaders, city department heads, council members, the mayors of Portsmouth and Chesapeake, and local members of the Virginia General Assembly – who joined in the luncheon at the Convention Center.
Pharrell Williams – Happy (3PM) (2013)
Remember when Scott Weiland used to have a Pharrell tune on his “Happy” In Galoshes’ album from 2008, well it never made the cut, and we never managed to hear it, til now. Thanks to ConsequenceOfSound.Net, we finally get to hear the first version of N*E*R*D’s ‘Happy’ from their ‘Seeing Sounds’ album also in 2008, check out both versions below, thanks to Hayabusa.
Scott Weiland – Happy (08′)
N*E*R*D – Happy (08′)
Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Leslie Brathwaite. The biggest hit of 2014 is a triumph of minimalism — and a triumph for mix engineer Leslie Brathwaite. Pharrell Williams enjoyed major success over the years, as featured artist on Snoop Dogg’s mega‑hit ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot‘ in 2004 and Ludacris’ ‘Money Maker‘ in 2006, as well as with hip‑hop band N*E*R*D and as one half of production duo The Neptunes, and in 2013 he hit a peak.
The two best‑selling songs of last year — Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky‘ and Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines‘ — both involved Williams as featured artist and co‑writer, while he also produced the latter song. Since then, ‘Happy‘, released under Williams‘ own name at the end of last year, has become the biggest hit of 2014 so far.
The song was made for the Universal Pictures animated movie Despicable Me 2, itself such a staggering success that it has become the fourth highest‑grossing animated movie of all time. In a clever bit of cross‑project marketing, ‘Happy‘ is also the lead single for William’s second solo album GIRL, which was released in early March, thanks to Spaceman.
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