Who will take home Grammy's biggest prize?
After owning 2013 by guesting on two of the year's biggest singles, Pharrell Williams kept the good times rolling in 2014. Announced in December '13 and released less than three months later, while Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" were still stuck in everyone's heads, G I R L was bound to blow up. For starters, it's a slick and sexy mash-up of pop, R&B, funk, and disco, and when Justin Timberlake shows up on "Brand New," even he struggles to match Pharrell's assured cool. G I R L is the best flat-out party record on the list of nominees for Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys.
Another reason the album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart: "Happy," the monster single that first surfaced on 2013's Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and further primed the public for more Pharrell. It's an irresistible track that earned him an Oscar nomination and shot to No. 1 on the Hot 100, establishing this longtime producer and frequent collaborator as a solo superstar in his own right. Although Pharrell didn't win the Academy Award, he performed "Happy" at the ceremony, which just so happened to take place the day before G I R L dropped.