April 30, 2014


Pharrell Reveals Cee Lo Green Passed on Singing "Happy"

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"Happy" is the biggest smash of Pharrell's career, and it's weird to think of anyone but him (and his big goofy hat) singing it.

But that wasn't how it was supposed to be. It turns out Cee Lo Green had recorded a version of "Happy" that Pharrell loved, but some logistics got in the way of the Voice judge releasing the track.

He laid it all out for Howard Stern, who asked Skateboard P if he'd thought about working with anyone else on "Happy." 

"[Cee Lo] sounded amazing on it," Pharrell told Stern's radio show. "He burns my version! But ... how do I say this diplomatically? 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 [Cee Lo's] album at the time, so they elected not to do that song."

The record in question, 2012's Cee Lo's Magic Moment, is a Christmas record that features cameos from Christina Aguilera and the Muppets. We're betting that Cee Lo kind of wishes he was involved with the mega-smash "Happy" instead of another cover of "This Christmas," but we respect his decision to remain committed to his Xmas project—and so does Pharrell.

"There was a much bigger agenda for [Cee Lo], he had an album to put out," Pharrell said. "It's not his fault—he was totally down with it ... He was one of the most gracious people about it when ['Happy'] came out."

Knowing this, we'd love to see a collaborative "Happy" remix come to fruition without the industry red tape. (We can do without more hats that look like they were yoinked from Smokey the Bear's closet, though.)