Entertainment Pharrell Williams Wrote a Song About a Music Legend He'd Never Even Met for 'The Black Godfather'

08:45  22 november  2019
08:45  22 november  2019 Source:   thewrap.com

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Pharrell pays tribute to legendary music executive, Clarence Avant on his new song "Letter to My Godfather ." The inspiring ballad dropped in time for the release of Netflix's latest music documentary, The Black Godfather , which follows the life and legacy of Avant.

Written by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo for “ The Black Godfather ”, a Netflix documentary. The song gives praise to Clarence Avant, who is Avant is credited as one of the biggest innovators for African Americans in the music industry. Pharrell pays homage to Avant, as he sings about how he

A version of this story about Pharrell Williams and "The Black Godfather" first appeared in The Race Begins issue of TheWrap's Oscar magazine.

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Pharrell Lanscileo Williams (/fəˈrɛl/; born April 5, 1973) is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur.

Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo are back together again on a new track from Netflix’s The Black Godfather documentary about influential music executive Clarence Avant. Titled “Letter to My Godfather ,” the song — written by Williams and Hugo — finds an auto-tuned Pharrell singing over

Music-business executive Clarence Avant may have helped launch or sustain the careers of a long list of luminaries, including Quincy Jones, Bill Withers and athletes like Muhammad Ali and Hank Aaron, but his reach only extended to Pharrell Williams secondhand.

Pharrell Williams standing in front of a stage © TheWrap Pharrell Williams

"I know a lot of people that he was responsible for bringing into the industry, people who have directly affected my life and given me entrée into the industry," said Williams, who co-wrote and performed the song "Letter to My Godfather" for the documentary about Avant, "The Black Godfather."

"But I didn't meet him until later. I had always just heard his name — all these people that he opened doors for talked about his immense power, his business acumen and the energy he brought to a room."

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Song Kang-ho, Bong Joon-ho, Park So-dam posing for a photo: race begins © Provided by The Wrap News, Inc. race begins

Williams came to do the song, he said, when director Reginald Hudlin reached out to him. "He asked me to take a look at the documentary, and I just thought, 'OK, cool,'" he said. "I thought it would be a typical music doc and give you the history. But when you realize all the backstory — where he came from, how he became the person he became, why he made the decisions he made — it painted a completely different picture for me."

And that picture, he said, went straight into the song, an unapologetic tribute to Avant. "When I started working on the music," he said, "I tried to pretty much paint what I experienced for the first time in the movie."

"It came right out," Pharrell said of writing the song. "I just knew it needed to have a choir in it, and I felt like the choir needed to do something staccato, which is the ooos. It needed open space so I could say what I really wanted to say, who he was and why he needs this now. And the song pretty much flowed."

This is one in a series of interviews with songwriters in this year's Oscar race. 

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