Pharrell Williams, the popular singer, songwriter and producer performs the hit “Marilyn Monroe” off his record “G I R L” live on the plaza as part of TODAY’s summer concert series.
Pharrell Williams – Happy (Live On Today Show)
Pharrell Williams – Come Get It Bae (Live On Today Show)
Pharrell Williams – Marilyn Monroe (Official Video) (2014)
Last week, the ever-“Happy” Pharrell dropped a new video for his new single “Marilyn Monroe.” Following the controversy surrounding the absence of brown skinned women on his G I R L album cover, fans and critics alike had much to say about the image of the stunning Khadijah Nicholas chosen for the single art, which features her dressed in red and looking much like a chocolate version of the late actress.
Born in Trinidad and raised in Brooklyn, 26-year-old Nicholas is a professional dancer who recently traveled the world with Rihanna on her “Diamonds” world tour and has danced with Beyoncé. EBONY caught up with the brown-skinned beauty to talk about her experience working with Pharrell, the message behind the song and music video and how she felt about all the chatter.
EBONY: How did this all come together for you?
Khadijah Nicolas: I got an email about an audition for Pharrell’s “Marilyn Monroe” video…after getting the booking, we went to the video set and it was like a “Who is that girl?” moment. Pharrell saw me in the red leotard and said “Yo, I think I have this vision.”
As we already know, Pharrell’s next single off ‘G I R L’ is ‘Marilyn Monroe’, and after all those discussions why Pharrell haven’t had any black chicks on the Album Cover, which he has, he decided to release a lovely Black Marilyn Monroe for the next single, check out the artwork above and make sure to get the album ‘G I R L’ on iTunes if you haven’t yet.
Pharrell Williams has gone on the record numerous times defending Blurred Lines, a collaboration with Robin Thicke and T.I., in which half-naked women are trotted around the trio. In his sit down on The Ellen Degeneres Show on Thursday (April 10), the pop producer takes a moment to use the platform to express his opinion on equal rights.
“Instantly, I knew I wanted to give back to a demographic that had been giving to me and my family for over 20 years,” he says, referencing his newly released G I R L record, “and that was women. I needed that word to read differently in any text, that it would be lucky enough to be written about. I wanted that word ‘girl’ to be bigger than anything else in that entire paragraph.”
Pharrell Williams – Marilyn Monroe (Live On Ellen) (2014)
“First of all, I have a huge affinity for [women], but at the same time, there’s a lot of inequality,” he adds. “You know how that goes. Still to this day, it’s what, 73 cents to every man’s dollar? Last I heard, the only way for this entire species to come into existence is through the portal of a woman’s body. We’re a species that has had a space station floating around the Earth for over 20 years. We even have a rover on the surface of Mars.”
“How can we be the same species…that tells women what they can and can not do with their bodies? How is that possible” he asks. Good question. Well, we are the same species that tells LBGT individuals who they can and can not marry. He addresses that, too. “When I say equality, I mean equality for everybody. Who are they telling who they can marry and who they can’t? What is this? This is 2014.” Amen.
Detroit Academy Of Arts & Sciences Is Happy
Also during his appearance, host Ellen Degeneres gifted him with a brand new (super-sized) ranger hat. “When you started wearing that Vivian Westwood hat, I was like, ‘man, that’s a big hat,’” she quips. “Now, I’m so used to it, it doesn’t look that big. So, I got you another hat that I think you should start wearing.” Enter: jumbo the-biggest-hat-you’ve-ever-seen hat.
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