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January, 17

Pharrell speechless over Oscar nod

A week before his big night at the Grammy Awards, Pharrell Williams is happy - and speechless - over his Oscar nomination.

The producer-rapper-singer's Happy, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, is nominated for best original song at this year's Academy Awards.

"Uh, speechless," Pharrell said in an interview after the nominations were announced. "Man, I am over the moon."

He was then speechless, trying to recall what he was doing when he got the news.

"Man, I'm sorry, I don't know," he said.

Pharrell was writing a "thank you" speech to radio stations for playing the upbeat song, which jumped 42 spots to number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week. The song is a number one hit in the UK, Australia, Ireland, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The Oscar nomination is another highlight in his massively successful year: He was the producer of two of 2013's biggest anthems - Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines and Daft Punk's Get Lucky. Both songs are nominated for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance at the Grammy Awards.

The 40-year-old has seven nominations, tied in second place with Daft Punk, Macklemore And Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar. Jay Z, the Grammy leader, has nine nominations.

Pharrell's also up for producer of the year and has two nominations for album of the year for producing on Daft Punk and Kendrick Lamar's albums.

He said the success of Happy nicely ties in all of his achievements, adding that he was meticulous about getting the song right - recording it nine times before nailing it.

His competition for the Oscar includes U2's Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, which won a Golden Globe, and the Top 40 hit Let It Go from the Frozen soundtrack. Other nominees are The Moon Song by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for Spike Jonze's Her and Alone Not Yet Alone by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiege.

"I used to stare at the TV as a child watching your actors and favourite actresses take it home," he said of attending the Oscars. "That's where Jack Nicholson stands or the guy that I look up to majorly, Wes Anderson. That's where his work is considered. I cannot believe we get to go."

Pharrell has produced hits for Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. He's in the studio working with Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Kendrick Lamar and Jennifer Nettles, and scoring the upcoming Spider-Man film with Hans Zimmer. He recently signed with Columbia Records - home to Beyonce, Adele and One Direction - and will release an album this year.

"It's some of my best work and that's because in the process I made it with my eyes closed," he said. "That's not a reflection of any sort of superiority in any way, shape or form. I didn't do a lot of looking around to try and figure it out. I just closed my eyes and made it by feeling it and I think that's why I am most proud of it."

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