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Pharrell Reveals CeeLo Green Originally Passed on ‘Happy’ [VIDEO]

Pharrell Williams
Craig Barritt, Getty Images

Pharrell surprised us all when he broke down in tears while speaking to Oprah Winfrey about the global success of ‘Happy’ earlier this month. However, that very well could have been CeeLo Green getting all teary-eyed since the movie soundtrack cut-turned-pop culture phenomenon was originally given to him to record.

The Neptunes producer revealed this gem of news during an interview with Howard Stern on Tuesday (April 29). CeeLo passed on ‘Happy’ before Pharrell made it his. The rest is history.

“The powers that be at the time did not see it fit for him,” he says. “There was a much bigger agenda for him, he had an album to put out. He wanted to do it but some folks on his team just felt the priority should have been on his album at the time.”

Though CeeLo didn’t record that track, he had a similar chart-topping reign with his smash hit ‘F— You,’ often censored as ‘Forget You.’ The track was inescapable in 2010, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Happy’ currently reigns at No. 1.

Another interesting tidbit is the story behind the Pharrell-produced songs on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Justified’ LP. He originally offered those songs to the late Michael Jackson before the King of Pop’s team turned them down. Jackson was still a fan of his work, however.

“Later he sang me all those songs and told me they should have been his and I told him they were for him,” Pharrell says.

Listen to Pharrell Speak on CeeLo Passing on ‘Happy’

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