Pharrell Williams wears many hats (and no, that’s not a joke about his famous oversized hat). He’s a singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and TV personality. Now, Pharrell Williams is adding writer to his resume. Williams has signed a deal with Putnam Books to write a series of books aimed at children. The first project? A children’s book inspired by his hit song “Happy.” The book, which is also called Happy, will be published on September 22 and features photographs of children around the world “celebrating what it means to be happy.”
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) February 17, 2015
Putnam Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers, plans a first pressing comprised of 250,000 copies of the book.
In a statement released by Pharrell Williams, he says, “I’m humbled by the global success of ‘Happy,’ but especially in awe of the song’s young fans. My collaboration with Penguin allows me to continue a dialogue with these children in a fresh, new way. We’re both committed to feeding the curiosity of young minds with imagination.”
Don Weisberg, president of Penguin Young Readers, is also excited about the collaboration with Pharrell Williams. “This is the beginning of an incredible partnership with one of America’s most talented and beloved stars,” Weisberg said.
“Pharrell has an important and inspiring message about individuality and being your best self, and we’re proud to help him share that with young children.”
Pharrell Williams is only the latest musician to dabble into writing for children. Madonna, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Courtney Love, and many more, have written children’s books at some point in their careers.
“Happy” is considered as one of the biggest hits of 2014 and is probably Pharrell Williams’ most successful single to date. The song became a sensation, and in May of last year, seven youths from Iran posted a video of them dancing along to the song. The youths were then arrested and sentenced to 91 lashes and six months in jail. The punishment was suspended, but Pharrell still fired back at the Iranian government.
“There’s so much that I would love to do. But how do you do that, in country like that? I tweeted back at the Iranian prime minister – I just asked them why were these kids were being detained. And I don’t know if he responded,” Pharrell Williams said in an interview last year. “I don’t think he did. But I definitely tweeted to him. ‘Cause he [had] said: we shouldn’t frown upon people being happy, or people dancing, or expressing themselves. Or something to the effect that we can’t be too stringent. And I just responded, ‘well, let the kids go’.”
[Image via pharrell Instagram.]