Pharrell Williams not only will perform at this Sunday night’s Oscar Awards, but he also could make history.
The hitmaker’s infectious tune “Happy” from the animated film Despicable Me 2 is up for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture. If he wins, it will become the first Oscar-nominated song that has won while sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“Happy” is also the first Oscar-nominated song to hit #1 since Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself” more than a decade ago. And in the more than 50 years that the Billboard Hot 100 chart has been around, it’s only the 17th song to hit #1 and be nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar.
The feel-good tune also marks the first time that a black artist has topped the chart, as a lead artist, since Rihanna scored in December 2012 with “Diamonds.
Williams’ song is up against U2‘s “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “Let It Go,” sung by Idina Menzel from the animated Frozen soundtrack and “The Moon Song,” from the movie Her, by Karen O of the alt-rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Pharrell recently expressed his disbelief in the nomination during an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.
“I never dreamt of this because I just never even realized that it was possible,” he said. “I’ve just been so appreciative with what I’ve been able to get and experience in the music industry, you just don’t expect this. This is a whole different frequency.” Pharrell also revealed that despite the fact that he’s worked with the biggest stars in music, from Justin Timberlake to Madonna, he’s still starstruck by the movie industry. In fact, he’s still getting over the fact that he got to meet a certain Gravity star at the Oscar nominees luncheon.
“Sandra Bullock came up and said, like, the nicest things ever,” he told GMA. “I was like, ‘Wow!’ She [introduced herself as] ‘Sandy,’ I was like ‘Sandy?’ I mean, she’s another level!”
To see if he wins, tune in Sunday night to the 86th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and airing live on ABC.
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