Cee Lo Green originally recorded Pharrell Williams’ hit single “Happy.” Sound surprising? Well, its actually not.
It happens more times than not. One singer may write and/or record a cover version only to have it placed and released by another artist. However, what is surprising is that Green and his executive production team actually turned the song down!
According to Press Association, Williams recently shared details about the ever-popular, Academy Award-nominated record. On Tuesday, April 29, Williams spoke about the record during an interview on Sirius XM with Howard Stern.
When Stern asked if Williams had ever considered placing the song with another artist, he opened up about the history of the famous record. Williams revealed that it was intended for Cee Lo Green.
“[Cee Lo Green] wanted to do it… and he did do it,” said Williams, who also penned and produced Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit single, “Blurred Lines”. “But… how do I say this diplomatically? The powers that be, at the time, did not see it fit for him,” he said of Green’s decision not to take the song.
“He wanted to do it. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [his] album at the time, so they elected not to do that song,” the Grammy Award-winning producer added. “He was one of the most gracious people about it when [Happy] came out he congratulated me. It’s not his fault – he was totally down with it. He sounded amazing on it, he burns my version!”
Its quite easy to see why Williams had chosen that particular song as a suitable record for Green. Back in 2006, Green released a popular record entitled “Smiley Faces” with famed producer, Danger Mouse. The song, which is quite similar to “Happy,” was released as the second single on Gnarls Barkley’s debut album, St. Elsewhere. The highly lauded, platinum-selling album received five Grammy nominations.
The song’s eclectic, “mockumentary-style” music video brought the record to life. The video, which was based in the 1920s and 30s insinuated that Gnarls Barkley had been around since the beginning of time, serving as pioneers of sound and music. The “Smiley Faces” video went on to win the 2007 MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing.
Image via Cee Lo Green, Facebook