Artist Details

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams didn't only help change the face of pop music during the late '90s and early 2000s. He also was one of the faces of pop music -- as a charismatic star who often stole the show when producing and/or guesting on other artists' hit singles. His presence was unfading, whether he was in front of a music video or behind a beat. To trace the beginning of his ascent, you have to go back to 1992, when Teddy Riley tapped him to write a verse for Wreckx-n-Effect's "Rump Shaker." Since the late '90s, Williams and longtime friend Chad Hugo -- known together as the Neptunes -- began scoring songwriting and production assignments that slowly but steadily infiltrated mainstream music, whether it was via dance-pop (Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U"), hardcore rap (Clipse's "Grindin'"), or contemporary R&B (Babyface's "There She Goes"). Williams and Hugo were relatively obscure during the mid-'90s, doing spare work for the likes of SWV, Total, and Mase, but they would eventually develop a style that would become as recognized and as mimicked as that of fellow Virginia Beach native Timbaland. (Prior to stardom, all three producers were in a band together called Surrounded by Idiots.)