Pharrell Williams Says CeeLo Green Sang “Happy” First

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 04.30.14 in News

Well this is awkward: In an interview with Howard Stern yesterday, Pharrell Williams revealed he wasn’t the first person to sing the chart-seizing single “Happy.” CeeLo Green was.

“He sounded amazing on it,” admitted Williams (via The Guardian). “I mean, he burns my version! But the … how do I say this diplomatically? Um … he … um … 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 [CeeLo's] album at the time, so they elected not to do that song.”

It’s unclear whether Williams means Green’s last proper LP — 2010′s The Lady Killer, which sold nearly 500,000 copies in the states — or his holiday album, 2012′s CeeLo’s Magic Moment, which generated some decent numbers and peaked with a Muppets collaboration. Either way, neither record cracked international charts quite like “Happy,” which has stayed atop Billboard‘s Hot 100 for nine straight weeks, broke records in New Zealand and the Netherlands, and made Williams the second artist in UK history (the last one was the Beatles!) to have three singles move 1 million copies in less than a year. (Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” were the others.)

So yeah; Green has to be at least a little sore over this…