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Be Happy in Iran, Get Arrested

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Arrested for dancing to Pharrell’s Happy.

Six Iranians are behind bars after they appeared in a fan video set to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” the American hit song that has sold millions of downloads worldwide.

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia ordered the arrests of the three men and three women because they helped make an “obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace,” the Iranian Student News Agency reported Wednesday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may think differently, if a post on his Twitter account is any indication.

U.N. report: Iran developing new missiles Pharrell cries from making people ‘Happy’ Analyzing a region in flux Mother slaps, then forgives son’s murderer

“#Happiness is our people’s right. We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviors caused by joy,” the post read in what appears to be a restatement of a Rouhani comment from 2013, based on a date accompanying the tweet.
Pharrell himself denounced the arrests.

“It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness,” the Grammy Award winner said on his Facebook page.

Celebrities #Entertainment #Music

Pharrell Reveals CeeLo Green Originally Passed on ‘Happy’

Pharrell Williams
Craig Barritt, Getty Images

Pharrell surprised us all when he broke down in tears while speaking to Oprah Winfrey about the global success of ‘Happy’ earlier this month. However, that very well could have been CeeLo Green getting all teary-eyed since the movie soundtrack cut-turned-pop culture phenomenon was originally given to him to record.

The Neptunes producer revealed this gem of news during an interview with Howard Stern on Tuesday (April 29). CeeLo passed on ‘Happy’ before Pharrell made it his. The rest is history.

“The powers that be at the time did not see it fit for him,” he says. “There was a much bigger agenda for him, he had an album to put out. He wanted to do it but some folks on his team just felt the priority should have been on his album at the time.”

Though CeeLo didn’t record that track, he had a similar chart-topping reign with his smash hit ‘F— You,’ often censored as ‘Forget You.’ The track was inescapable in 2010, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Happy’ currently reigns at No. 1.

Another interesting tidbit is the story behind the Pharrell-produced songs on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Justified’ LP. He originally offered those songs to the late Michael Jackson before the King of Pop’s team turned them down. Jackson was still a fan of his work, however.

“Later he sang me all those songs and told me they should have been his and I told him they were for him,” Pharrell says.

Listen to Pharrell Speak on CeeLo Passing on ‘Happy’

Read More: Pharrell Reveals CeeLo Green Originally Passed on ‘Happy’

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Woman Posted How The Song ‘Happy’ Made Her Happy, Then Died in Car Crash

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Pharrell’s “Happy” song is loved worldwide by millions, including Courtney Ann Sanford from High Point, N.C. Her deadly mistake was posting how much she loved the song while driving.

At 8:33, Courtney Ann Sanford shared on her Facebook:

“The Happy Song makes me so HAPPY.”

At 8:34, the High Point Police Department was called with a report of the crash. Further investigation into Sanford’s online activity revealed she was also taking frequent selfies as she drove down the highway.

Sanford was letting her friends know how happy she was at that moment, and sadly that moment was one of her last.

Celebrities #Music #Television

‘I’m so happy!’: Pharrell Williams cries tears of joy during Oprah

He may have written the happiest song of the year, but Pharrell Williams was reduced to tears during his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Happy singer sat down with the talk show host for an upcoming episode of Oprah Prime on her OWN Network, and was moved by a video shown to him of people dancing to his chart-topping song.

‘I’m so happy!’ Pharrell, 41, cried before Winfrey showed some pictures of him as a child.

Happy tears: Pharrell Williams cries during Oprah Winfrey interview
Happy tears: Pharrell Williams cries during Oprah Winfrey interview
Little Pharrell: Oprah had managed to get pictures of the singer as a childLittle Pharrell: Oprah had managed to get pictures of the singer as a child
Cute 'do: They discussed the music that he had listened to as a child
Cute ‘do: They discussed the music that he had listened to as a child.

During the interview, Williams – wearing one of his many distinctive Vivienne Westwood hats – discussed his rise to fame, his song-writing process and the music that influenced him to become a seven-time Grammy winning recording artist and producer.

‘My best songs come from two different ways,’ he says. ‘Either when I have a really good gut feeling about something, it’s written in the shower or on a plane.’

 ‘Shower’s good, isn’t it?’ Oprah says. ‘There’s something about the water.’

‘The water attracts your ear,’ he says. ‘You get distracted, and your mind wanders.’

Welling up: The singer was moved by a video of fans Oprah showed to him

Tissue: Winfrey seemed to know the video would bring tears to Pharrell's eyes
Tissue: Winfrey seemed to know the video would bring tears to Pharrell’s eyes

But for his Despicable Me 2 song, Pharrell called it a ‘crazy, half-court shot.’

‘It’s not because you’re that good,’ Williams says. ‘It’s because you’re out of ideas.’

The interview also saw Pharrell talk about his critically-acclaimed new album ‘G I R L’, and his wedding last year to model and designer Helen Lasichanh.

But over the weekend, he was in Indio, California to perform at Coachella 2014, where he reminded the audience of just how many hit songs he’s been behind.

Read more: DailyMail

Entertainment #Music

Father and Son Gets Down to Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ at NCAA Game

It happened on Monday’s NCAA Championship game. The father’s name is Rob Maiden and his son’s name is Trey. Together, the dynamic duo stole the show… literally!

Celebrities #Music

Pharrell Williams And UN to have International Day of Happiness

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Pharrell Williams is partnering with the United Nations Foundation to celebrate this year’s International Day of Happiness.

The Grammy Award winner’s song “Happy” will be this year’s anthem, encouraging “people to take action to support the UN and to create a happier world for people everywhere,” according to the UN Foundation’s website.

You can join the celebration from anywhere in the world by submitting photos or videos of yourself dancing, singing or just being happy with the hashtag #HAPPYDAY to Williams’ website: www.24hoursofhappiness.com/.

The singer will share the best submissions on March 20 at noon in each time zone.

“Happy,” which was featured in 2013′s Despicable Me 2, was nominated for an Academy Award. Williams performed at the awards show but lost the Oscar to Frozen‘s “Let It Go.”

Happy

democrats #Politics

What We Know: The Calm After the Election

Oh, that 20/20 hindsight. Now that the election’s over, didn’t we just know it was going to end the way it did? Wasn’t it painfully obvious that President Obama was going to be reelected and win every swing state by recount-resistant margins? Elizabeth Warren? Claire McCaskill? Heidi Heitkamp? Marriage equality?

Of course not. That’s the fun of a campaign. But the polls were right and the right was very wrong. And the sweetness of the Democrats’ victories will stay with progressives until the reality of the fiscal cliff descends on the country.

What did we learn from this election? So many lessons.

Obama’s Osawatomie speech in December, 2011 set the tone for his campaign. He staked himself out as a true Progressive and claimed the middle class for his own. Romney, meanwhile, was becoming “seriously conservative” while trying to outflank those political dynamos in the GOP nomination field.

Defining your opponent before they define themselves is an essential component of a victory. Obama was able to define Romney as a job-busting, China-outsourcing plutocrat while Mitt was still aglow from his primary victories. The lead that Obama built in the summer polls became a crucial buffer for him come the fall.

The Citizen’s United decision was a bad one, but it didn’t alter the race in ways that Democrats feared. As a matter of fact, the two parties raised about the same amount of money, but the Obama campaign was more frugal and strategic about how they spent it. Campaign finance laws still need to be amended and adjusted because the effect of all the money was just as corrupting and polluting as ever, but the spending gap never materialized.

Conventions still matter. The Democrats had a terrific convention that highlighted the right message and leveraged the speaking talent that resides in the party. It also helps to have a former President at your disposal who is far more popular now that he was when he left office. The Republicans, by contrast, had a terrible convention that didn’t highlight the candidate and was remembered more for an empty chair and Paul Ryan’s untruths than full-throated rhetoric.

Debates still matter. There was considerable chatter before the debates about how they don’t move the polls much. President Obama’s Denver performance proved that wrong as Mitt Romney got a nice bump out of the first debate, simply for showing up and being coherent. The great fallacy about the bump, though, was that it morphed into momentum. It did not. Romney’s bounce lasted approximately 3 days, then settled down with him still behind the president in both national and swing state level polls. The lead that Obama built with his summer advertising held even though Romney showed that he wasn’t quite the monster the Obama campaign asserted he was.

Debates still matter. Obama’s performance in the second and third debates not only stopped any movement to Romney, but actually provided the president with a bounce of his own. Obama won both debates, and he exposed Romney for having few ideas, few details and a woefully inadequate grasp of foreign policy. Romney also lost his cool, which had to turn off some voters who were giving him a second look.

Unscripted comments can derail a campaign. Romney’s 47% comment and the unconscionably disgraceful Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are all you need to know.

The polls were right. I’ll repeat that. The polls were right. In fact, if you looked at the polls in July, you would see that it would take a mammoth effort by the Romney campaign just to make up the margin to achieve a tied race. Even Mitt’s debate bounce only brought him within one percent of the president in the poll aggregator’s computations. The right wing math deniers even came up with anti-math to show that Romney was going to win 315+ electoral votes. Meanwhile, real math people at fivethirtyeight, Pollster, Votamatic, Princeton Election Consortium, PPP, IBD and yours truly were analyzing and conducting polls that reflected exactly where the race was going, who would win, and by how much. Rasmussen and Gallup took the biggest lumps and will have two years to repair their reputations.

The campaign of ideas, promised by the right when Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate, didn’t materialize. There was some initial talk about Medicare and the Ryan budget, but when both proposals turned out to be unpopular they disappeared from the discussion on a national level. In the same way, Barack Obama did not run a high-minded campaign of ideas as much as undertaking a slog that dragged Romney through the mud and segmented the country into gender, ethnic and racial groups. Obama won those groups. By a lot. That was the difference.

There was/is a gender gap. And a Latino gap. And an African-American gap. And all three went in Obama’s favor. Romney was left with a declining demographic of older white men and younger people without college degrees. If you wanted to chart the fall of a political party, like the Federalists or the Whigs, you couldn’t start with a more disastrous demographic time bomb. The Republican Party had better reorient itself quickly, though I doubt they can do it in time for 2016. In fact, some of the talk today is that Romney was not conservative enough to win. Evidently the GOP only wants to win 140 electoral votes next time around.

There are more lessons, but they are subjects for another day. It’s time to celebrate the victories and look forward to the next four years.

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