Pharrell may have had a career-defining moment when he released “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack last year, but according to the solo Neptune, it almost was destined to be a hit for the same guy he’s replacing on NBC’s The Voice.
“I actually did, [to] Cee Lo,” Pharrell tells Howard Stern when asked if he ever considered giving away to one of his talented inner circle. “He sounded amazing on it. I mean, he burns my version! But the…how do I say this diplomatically? The powers that be, at the time, did not see it fit for him. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [Cee Lo’s] album at the time, so they elected not to do that song.”
CeeLo’s magnetic vocals do indeed seem like the popular track was sculpted just for him. After all this is the same guy who made a NSFW anthem in “F*ck You” a pop radio hit before it was morphed into “Forget You” for better censoring.
“There was a much bigger agenda for CeeLo; he had an album to put out,” Pharrell continued. “It’s not his fault–he was totally down with it, and he was one of the most gracious people about it when ‘Happy’ came out.”
Since its release, “Happy” has hit #1 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and 19 other countries and even spawned a 24 hour music video.
Last week, the song was also a catalyst in the death of a woman who was Facebooking and driving as she crashed her truck one minute after posting, “The happy song makes me HAPPY.”