He may have just turned 41, but age hasn’t slowed this over-achiever. Now the happy-go-lucky singer/ song­writer, rap­per, pro­ducer and all-around en­tre­pre­neur is fi­nally a huge star in his own right.

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1. For years he and buddy Chad Hugo worked as The Nep­tunes. They orig­i­nally met as 12-yearolds at sum­mer camp for budding mu­si­cians in Vir­ginia Beach. They were spotted at a high school talent show, signed in 1992 and had their first brush with suc­cess on Wreckx - N - Ef­fect’s Rump Shaker that same year all about, you guessed it, booty twerk­ing. 2. Af­ter years of small hits and pro­duc­ing cred­its, Phar­rell and Chad pro­duced an al­bum for R&B singer Kelis, Kalei­do­scope, that gar­nered lots of at­ten­tion. So much so, that in 2001 Brit­ney Spear’s people (look­ing to sex-up her im­age) man­aged to snatch their I’m A Slave 4 U away from Janet Jack­son. It gave them their first world­wide num­ber one. Soon af­ter, Phar­rell and Chad pro­duced Nelly’s Hot In Herre, which be­came a dance clas­sic. 3. In 2003, The Nep­tunes remixed Daft Punk’s Harder, Bet­ter, Faster, Stronger which fea­tured Phar­rell rap­ping. It was just a hint of a ma­jor col­lab­o­ra­tion still a decade away. 4. Chad and Phar­rell de­cided to start their own band, chris­tened N.E.R.D. (which stood for “No One Ever Re­ally Dies”). They scored a fist­ful of hits, most no­tably 2004’s R&B/rock clas­sic She Wants To Move, guar­an­teed to even get straight guys dancing. The band is cur­rently “on hia­tus” while Phar­rell works on his myr­iad of other projects al­though he promised the next N.E.R.D. will be, erm, “na­ture based”. 5. In 2007 Madonna came call­ing, as she does. Af­ter Phar­rell worked on her earth love an­them Hey You for Live Earth, he tin­kered with much of her 2008 Hard Candy al­bum fea­tur­ing Give It To Me where he also had a cameo in the video.

7. A true en­tre­pre­neur, Phar­rell owns a YouTube chan­nel and “cul­tural move­ment ded­i­cated to thinkers, in­no­va­tors and out­casts” called i am OTHER (not to be con­fused with 6. Other artists who have ben­e­fit­ted from Phar­rell’s magic touch have in­cluded Mariah Carey, Janet Jack­son, Bey­oncé, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Tim­ber­lake, Adam Lam­bert, Mi­ley Cyrus, Frank Ocean, Scis­sor Sis­ters and co­me­dian Chelsea Han­dler (he com­posed the mu­sic for her Chelsea Lately show). 8. Phar­rell has also branched out into cloth­ing with the brands Bil­lion­aire Boys Club and Ice Cream. To launch them, he worked with Ja­panese fash­ion icon Nigo, founder of A Bathing Ape (BAPE), and has now moved into wom­enswear with Bil­lion­aire Girls Club. He has also co-de­signed jew­ellery (un­der the name Bla­son) and glasses for Louis Vuit­ton. 9. 2013 proved to be a break­through for Phar­rell as he ap­peared on the year’s two big­gest tracks. First was Daft Punk’s un­stop­pably catchy Get Lucky and the sec­ond was Robin Thicke’s risqué Blurred Lines. 10. By the end of the year, Phar­rell was back at #1 but this time on his own with the jaunty Happy from De­spi­ca­ble Me 2 which scored a nom­i­na­tion for Best Orig­i­nal Song at the Academy Awards. 11. Be­sides an im­pend­ing solo al­bum, Phar­rell is also due to deliver The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man 2 sound­track, as well as hav­ing worked on a new Kylie Minogue track called The Win­ners. 12. Voted Best Dressed Man In The World by Esquire mag­a­zine, Phar­rell mar­ried long-time girl­friend He­len La­sichanh last year. The two have a six-year-old son with the El­ton John-friendly name of Rocket Man Wil­liams. Phar­rell’s dad’s name is Pharaoh, so Phar­rell and Rocket Man may not be as wacky as you first thought. 13. He has his own char­ity, From One Hand To An­other, which as­sists at-risk kids with learn­ing pro­grams in the US and his own or­ganic tex­tile com­pany, Bionic Yarn. 14. Phar­rell is also rather hot. Yay. And straight. No­body’s per­fect, right? He lost his vir­gin­ity at age 16 when he worked at McDon­ald’s. In 2009 there were ru­mours he and Kanye West were a gay cou­ple. This was likely not true. 15. The good news is he’s pro-equal­ity. “I make mu­sic for hu­man be­ings. There’s dif­fer­ence all across the board but at the end of the day we’re all hu­mans,” he clar­i­fied in 2012. “You don’t gotta like ev­ery­thing. Live and let live, man!”

more: Phar­rell’s new al­bum will be re­leased by Sony Mu­sic. phar­rell­

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