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April 16, 2014

Scene and Heard: Pharrell Williams

Photo Credit: Christopher Polk for Getty Images

Editors' Notes

Pharrell Williams performs at Coachella.

Photo Credit: Christopher Polk for Getty Images

Editors' Notes

Gwen Stefani performs with Pharrell Williams at Coachella.

Photo Credit: Tim Mosenfelder for Getty Images

Editors' Notes

Pharrell Williams performs at Coachella.

Pharrell Williams, clad in his trademark Vivienne Westwood hat, proved that he is indeed the king of collaborations at his first appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival since 2003—when he performed with Chad Hugo as N.E.R.D.—as he stepped onto the Outdoor stage on Saturday, April 12. The multihyphenate singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and designer tapped a slew of friends and associates including Nelly, Busta Ryhmes, Sean Combs, Tyler the Creator, Snoop Dogg, Diplo, and Gwen Stefani to join him on the stage throughout his hour-long set.

After opening with Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance,” and two songs from his just-released album “G I R L” (Columbia Records) including “Come Get it Bae” and “Hunter” (during which his backup singers and dancers donned robes reminiscent of the new album cover), Williams began summoning collaborators onto the stage.

“Let’s take it back,” Williams hinted to the crowd before launching into “Hot in Herre” with Nelly, “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II” with Busta Ryhmes and Sean Combs, and two hits with Snoop Dogg: “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Beautiful.” The cameo-filled performance continued as Williams introduced Gwen Stefani as “one incredible, historical, most important incredibly talented, f**king awesome, rad girl in the world.” The duo performed “Hollaback Girl,” a tune Williams wrote with Stefani  in 2004.

Despite wind gusts clocked at speeds over 25 mph, which Williams cursed numerous times for robbing him of his voice, he continued the set with more hits from his past collaborations (“Aerosol Can” performed with Diplo and “Blurred Lines”). Williams interweaved soon-to-be-hits from his new album throughout the set, concluding with the lead single “Happy,” (the Oscar-nominated song from Despicable Me 2) while surrounded onstage by his many guest performers who served as spirited backup dancers.

“I know it’s dusty, it’s turned my voice into a whole other thing so I can only imagine what it turned your perception into,” Williams said. “But you all spent a lot of money… I see a lot of superstars here tonight. I see the Jays, the Beyonces, the Diplos, The Tyler the Creators, the Lordes…a lot of superstars you all paid your money for… Let’s have a little fun.”

By Megan Meyer

“Lose Yourself to Dance”
“Come Get it Bae”
“Hot in Herre” with Nelly
“I Just Want to Love U (Give It 2 Me)”
“Pass the Courvisier” with Busta Rhymes and Sean Combs
“Lapdance” with Tyler the Creator
“She Wants to Move”
“Brand New”
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” with Snoop Dogg
“Beautiful” with Snoop Dogg
“Aerosol Can” with Diplo
“Hollaback Girl” with Gwen Stefani
“Blurred Lines”
“Marilyn Monroe”
“Get Lucky”


Pictured: Pharrell Williams performs at Coachella. 
Photo by Christopher Polk for Getty Images

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