Further Dealings: Pharrell Joins 'The Voice,' Relativity Takes a Slice of Downtown

Pharrell Joins "The Voice"

Pharrell Williams' domination of pop culture continued with NBC's March 31 announcement that the singer-songwriter/producer will serve as a celebrity coach for the seventh season of The Voice. Williams, who first appeared on the show in season four as a guest mentor for Usher's team, will replace the departing Cee Lo Green. Williams has become ubiquitous in recent months by racking up wins and deals in music and fashion. In addition to ruling the charts in 2014, he took home four Grammys, including record of the year for his work on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"; had his hit song "Happy" from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack nominated for an Oscar; and released his second album, Girl, on March 3. He also worked with Hans Zimmer, Kendrick Lamar and others on the Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack, and on March 27, Adidas Originals announced Williams will collaborate on an eco-friendly sneaker/apparel line.

-Frank DiGiacomo

Relativity Takes a Slice of Downtown

Relativity Media, a producer of such films as The Social Network and Mamma Mia!, has acquired a stake in Downtown Records, opening the door for the label to handle soundtracks for Relativity films and TV shows. The deal also could put Downtown artists on the inside track for synch placement possibilities. Founded in 2006 and best-known as the label home to Gnarls Barkley, Santigold and Cold War Kids, Downtown is expected to use the capital infusion to sign new artists and acquire and market other catalogs. The label's catalog contains more than 5,000 songs. Relativity COO Happy Walters will oversee the investment. Relativity's empire already includes Relativity Music, which offers music supervision, publishing and soundtrack services. While Relativity has expanded into athlete management, digital content and fashion/design, this represents its first foray into the area of label services.

-Phil Gallo


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