Although he's been around for longer than you might know (he produced SWV's Right Here in 1992!), it's only been in his 40th year that Pharrell has become a true superstar. Last year, his involvement with both Blurred Lines and Get Lucky made him the most heard voice of the summer while he's still experiencing worldwide success with the Oscar-nominated Happy.
But aside him his work in N.E.R.D. and some limited solo siccess, Pharrell has been consistently busy working with others throughout the 00s and beyond. We've trawled through his back catalogue to find eight of his finest songs that you might not be aware of...
Put It On Ya
(with Missy Elliott and Teyana Taylor)
Back in 2009, we were impatiently waiting for new music from Missy Elliott and while we're sort of still waiting, this one-off track dropped without much fanfare and disappeared in a similarly mysterious fashion. Which is a damn shame. Along with Pharrell and GOOD Music member Teyana Taylor, she turns this song into a 4-minute reminder that she's still the finest female MC around.
My Drive Thru
(with Julian Casablancas and Santogold)
On paper, a Converse-funded music project doesn't sound like a great place for true creativity to thrive. But, despite the heavy focus on what shoewear is being worn in the video, this ingenious song was a pleasant surprise back in 2008. The combination of Pharrell, Santigold and, unexpectedly, Julian Casablancas works a charm and the track is as achingly cool as you'd hope.
Ain't No Doubt About It
(with Justin Timberlake and The Game)
If there was any justice in the world, this would have been as big as Blurred Lines. Originally leaked in 2010, this Neptunes-produced track was a radio-friendly summer song that was intended to be the first single from The Game's R.E.D Album but was strangely removed from the track listing, despite a video being made and then dumped a year later. While it might have been unloved by The Game, it's a nostalgic burst of RnB for anyone who grew up with every other song produced by Pharrell and his crew.
Let's Stay Together
A natural fit for these two, who later both worked on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2, this underrated soul song marries the styles of the pair rather perfectly. It appeared as an album track on CeeLo's 2004 album Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine.
After a few years of gaining some credibilty by working with Justice and Mr. Oizo, 2010 was finally the year when Uffie was being pushed towards the mainstream. Her big new single was this catchy pop song, with help from Pharrell. Despite a much-hyped premiere on Radio 1 and some decent reviews, the single failed to do that much and her career stalled.
Wanna Love You Girl
(with Robin Thicke)
Before they topped the chart and offended feminists with Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke and Pharrell had scored a slightly smaller hit with this 2006 lead single from Thicke's second album. And when we say smaller, this one failed to chart in the Billboard Hot 100 at all. Unfairly as it's an interestingly paced RnB track that, despite a rather generic video, doesn't fall into clichéd territory.
Contemporary RnB and a lot of hip hop can be easily classified as: loud and annoying. Songs "for the club" now trump songs for any other environment so Guetta-esque beats have replaced Timbaland ones. Which is why this throwback track from Usher and Pharrell was such a treat in 2012. Utilising that classic "Neptunes sound", it was sadly relegated to just an album track.
(with Tyler, the Creator)
Okay so even though IFHY stands for I F***ing Hate You, this single from Tyler, The Creator's last album is actually a dreamily romantic song about accepting the imperfections of a relationship. It combines Pharrell's more laidback style with Tyler's, ahem, passion and was easily the strongest song from the album. Interestingly, Tyler apparently turned down an offer from Kanye West to also appear on the track.