Pharrell Williams just received a book deal to release a series of books. The artist-producer reached an agreement with Putnam Books for Young Readers, which will publish four picture books. The first book entitled Happy will be published on September 22nd, and it will feature photos of kids all over the world. The book will showcase what it means to be happy, and Putnam will print 250,000 copies of Happy. The book was inspired by Williams‘ hit song “Happy,” which reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The record won two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video. “Happy” was also nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards last year for its contribution for the film Despicable Me 2. Williams’ also put “Happy” on his 2014 album, Girl. The project was the singer’s second solo album, and it has been certified Gold after selling close to 600,000 copies. To date, “Happy” has sold over twelve million copies worldwide.
Williams and several other musicians have threatened to sue YouTube for $1 billion dollars, if the video company does not remove over 20,000 music videos. The musicians’ lawsuit claims YouTube does not have the performance rights to thousands of songs. Their attorney, Irving Adolf, is representing forty clients in this lawsuit including John Lennon, the Eagles, and Smokey Robinson. The issue with music streaming and video hosting companies like Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube are the company’s payout systems for songwriters. Pandora and Spotify claim they should only have to pay the majority of their payouts for recording costs, which does not include songwriting and music publishing. Pandora is currently battling out these issues against BMI in court. BMI is one of the biggest songwriting licensing companies in the music industry.
Pharrell Williams has been named the creative director of Live Earth 2015, which will be held on June 18th. “Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once,” Williams said in a statement. Live Earth spreads environmental awareness and climate change concerns around the world. Co-founders Al Gore and Kevin Hall began the Live Earth music festival in July of 2007. This year’s festival will feature 100 artists performing across seven continents. The artist lineups have been announced yet, but the festival will take place in New York, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, China, and Paris. Williams performed at Live Earth’s first event, and he is expected to perform at this year’s event as well.