H is for “Happy”

Pharrell Williams is a successful singer/songwriter/producer who was associated with a lot of hit songs in the past decade, including 2013’s “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.

He wrote and recorded HAPPY for the Despicable Me 2 movie soundtrack, with a video featuring characters from the movie released that summer. The song was disappointing, commercially, in the US.

Then in November 2013, Pharrell decided to make a new video with “appearances by Magic Johnson, Steve Carell, Jimmy Kimmel, Jamie Foxx, Miranda Cosgrove, Janelle Monáe, and many others.” It had “received approximately 5.5 million views as of Christmas Day, 2013,” and over 140 million by now. In case you missed it, LISTEN to the 24-hour version of HAPPY.

For all his previous success, it was the breakthrough of HAPPY that made Pharrell Williams most emotional. “Pharrell’s reaction is the one many of us have had to the remixes of his video: he cries for a long time, overwhelmed not only by his success but by the experience of watching a simple idea—film yourself being happy—as it spreads around the world.”

It was #1 for four weeks on the Billboard charts, starting March 29, 2014.

The song even made news when some Iranian young people were briefly arrested for appearing in a remake of the video.

Here’s Rico and Rebecca’s JibJab version. (Rebecca’s my first niece.) It was used in this Daily Show with Jon Stewart segment.

LISTEN to Jeremy Green’s viola cover of HAPPY. PLUS Weird Al Yankovic’s parody, TACKY.

WATCH this Soul Train mashup:

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BTW, song titles aren’t copyrighted. LISTEN to HAPPY by the Rolling Stones.

In honor of ABC Wednesday’s Leslie getting married to Lorne recently, LISTEN to HAPPY TOGETHER by the Turtles.


ABC Wednesday, Round 15


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