Pharrell Williams Reveals He Initially Wrote 'Frontin' For Prince

Pascal Le Segretain

He also says that his hit "Happy" was written for another rapper we love.
Paula Rogo Sep, 12, 2018

Imagine if Prince performed Pharrell Williams’ 2003 hit “Frontin’?”

That could have happened if the Oscar-winning producer had had his way. The “Girl” rapper recently revealed the song, which he ended up releasing himself with a Jay-Z feature, was written with the late Prince in mind.

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“All of my biggest songs were songs that I did with or for other people. Collaboration has always been part of my DNA,” he told Clash Music. “And, to be clear and to be honest, songs that I ended up putting out by myself were always songs that I wrote for other people. I made ‘Frontin’ for Prince, and even ‘Happy,’ I wrote that for CeeLo.”

“Frontin’” was Williams’ debut solo single, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2003. It also peaked at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs that same year.

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“Happy,” however, was a global phenomenon that was by far the most successful song of 2014. It gave Williams his first number one single as a lead artist and stayed at the top spot for longer than any other song in 2014. Williams also won two Grammy Awards for the song.

Despite the songs’ success, Williams is still curious about what they would have ended up sounding like if Prince and CeeLo had taken them on.

“Still to this day I feel like CeeLo would have done a much better job on ‘Happy’ than me,” he said. “And imagine if Prince had sung ‘Frontin’? I mean, come on!”

We feel you!