“This is by no means Pharrell Williams first time being a “hot n’ happenin'” artist. Although he has never appeared in LATF’s column, he has a resume of success accompanied with “street-cred,” unlike many of his contemporaries. Williams was discovered by “New-Jack-Swing” artist Teddy Riley in the early 90s and was signed to his production company. By 1994, Williams and his former band mate, Chad Hugo, had formed a production team named “The Neptunes” and produced “Tonight’s The Night” from Blackstreet’s self-titled album. The Neptunes were very busy over the next few years with varying degrees of success, but didn’t blow up until 2001 when they produced Britney Spears’ single “I’m A Slave 4 U,” gaining their first worldwide #1. Then in 2002, The Neptunes reached #1 in the U.S. with Nelly’s single “Hot In Herre.” After hooking up with Rapper Jay-Z, they produced several hit singles for him and two tracks on his “The Black Album.” The track “Frontin'” was a big hit (the 34th biggest of 2003 according to Billboard). A survey in August 2003 found that the Neptunes produced almost 20% of songs played on British radio at the time, a survey in the U.S. had them at 43%. In September 2004, Williams started doing some work without partner Hugo, and was featured on the Snoop Dogg single “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” The song would eventually peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 two months later, marking Williams’ first #1 single in the United States. The song was named “Rap Song of the Decade” by Billboard in 2009. With several collaborations and hit productions with such artists as Kanye West, Gwen Stefani, BeyoncĂ©, Madonna, Maroon 5 and Shakira, Williams composed the soundtrack to the movie “Despicable Me” in 2010, produced by Hans Zimmer and recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony. In March 2013, Pharrell appeared alongside T.I. on Robin Thicke’s monster hit “Blurred Lines.” The song has been a worldwide hit, has peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has also reached #1 in 13 other countries including the United Kingdom and Germany, making it Pharrell’s third Billboard Hot 100 #1 single. Pharrell became the 12th artist in the chart’s history to simultaneously hold the #1 and #2 positions with “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” respectively. Williams also earned a Grammy for “Producer of the Year,” his first as a solo producer. The Neptunes received the “Producer of the Year” award in 2004. Riding the wave of success, Williams “Happy,” is a #2 single on the Billboard Hot 100, from the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack and has been nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Original Song.” Maybe by the time y

The first thing you need to know about the artist “Passenger” is that it is not a group, but an individual. Michael David Rosenberg chose to keep the name for his solo work after the band dissolved in 2009. He was the main vocalist and songwriter during the time that Passenger was a group. Hailing from Brighton, England, Rosenberg learned classical guitar at a young age, and around 14 or 15 started to write songs. He did not apply himself at school in Brighton, spending most of his time on music. Rosenberg’s efforts began to pay off when he founded Passenger with Andrew Phillips in 2003 in Brighton and Hove. The five member band’s debut and only album, “Wicked Man’s Rest,” was released in 2007 on Chalkmark. Rosenberg wrote the majority of the album’s tracks, with the exception of “Four Horses,” which was written by Phillips. After the breakup of the group, “Passenger” became just Rosenberg and he began his solo career. The folk-rock musician migrated to Australia, where he supported acts such as Lior, Elana Stone and Brian Campeau, and then played “One Movement,” a major music industry-focused festival in Perth. This earned him a big following in Australia and he was selling out 500-seat venues across the country. His debut solo album, “Wide Eyes Blind Love,” was released in 2009 to tepid sales and reviews. The follow-up LP, “Flight Of The Crow,” also generated very little interest. It wasn’t until his latest album, “All The Little Lights,” released in 2012, that Passenger finally hit pay dirt with the single “Let Her Go.” The single exploded to number one in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden, while peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Let Her Go” has also been certified Platinum in all those countries and the album has reached Gold or Platinum status as well. And with this level of success, Rosenberg can’t just be a “Passenger,” he has to be considered the solo driver.ou’re reading this, Pharrell will have already added that Oscar to his trophy case filled with Grammys. You can’t get any more “Hot n’ Happenin'” than that.

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