you're reading...
Diversity & Inclusion, Numbers

“Happy” by the Numbers

vivienne-westwood-hat-wornbyPharrellatGrammy'sIt might seem crazy what I’m about to say – Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break – I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space – With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way… {Verse 1 of Happy}

It’s hard to go anywhere, a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e , in the U.S. or as stats will later show, elsewhere in the world, and not hear the opening verse of the song, Happy, by Pharrell Williams being played. Happy has a catchy tune and uplifting lyrics that are appealing to every generation. Whether you are two (2) or 92, when you hear the song, most folks want to stand up and dance!

More remarkable is that Happy hit the air waves last year in 2013, but didn’t really gain much traction here in the U.S. until the video was made. What are Happy’s stats and numbers? According to aCharts.com.us, a website that provides weekly summaries of the history of performers, songs and albums from 41 international music charts, Happy is still trending very nicely in the world of music. Here are some aChart stats for this song:

– Portugal Singles Top 50: first aired in Week 20 of 2013 (around July 22, 2013), has been on the charts for 41 weeks, and reached the No. 1 Spot for 5 weeks, currently in No. 2 spot
– France Singles Top 100: first aired in Week 48 of 2013, has been on chart for 22 weeks, is currently in the No. 1 spot and has been there for 19 weeks
– U.S. Singles Top 100: first aired in Week 3 of 2014, has been on the chart 16 weeks, and is currently in the No. 1 spot and has been there for 9 weeks
– New Zealand Top 40: first aired in Week 52 of 2013, 18 weeks on chart, and is currently in No. 1 spot and has been there for 16 weeks.

What’s even more interesting for the international stats, Happy is currently trending in the Top 10 for all 41 charts. Now, believe it or not, as fantastic as Happy’s stats are, there are haters on the block. One person said, “I really liked this song when I first heard it, however, after 1,000 times of listening to it play, it is about to drive me nuts.” I’m sure there are a few who share this sentiment, however, for most of us, we still get the urge to sing and/or dance. The lyrics for Happy were written by Pharrell Williams who also sings the catchy tune. Pharrell and Heitor Pareira composed the music. Happy is one of many songs on the sound track for the movie , Despicable Me 2.

220px-Despicable_Me_2_soundtrackIn Pharrell’s interview with Oprah Winfrey on Oprah Prime (OWN Network) about two weeks ago, he shared that it took 10 drafts to get it right. He struggled with how someone (I am assuming he was speaking of the movie’s despicable character, Gru) with such an evil spirit and who had done many horrible things in his life, could also have good in his heart. Williams shared that after the ninth draft, he was spent, and had nothing left. However, being the musical genius that he is, he also knew that this cleared the deck to allow something new and fresh to enter his creative space. At this point, he was ready to make that “crazy half-court shot”, or go for broke as some folks would say.

There are lots of Happy videos trending in social media. It is one of the few songs that has caught the viral wave and everyone is either singing, lip-singing, and/or dancing to it. It shares a rare spot with music videos like Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Psy’s Gagnum Style that created some outrageous views and record setting trends within the recording industry.

Inputting “Happy Pharrell” as a search term on YouTube produced the following results on April 26, 2014:
– original music video: over 204 million views
– over 1, 800,000 different video entries
– lots of colleges, universities, high schools and even grade schools have produced their versions of Happy
– a number of remixes with slight changes to the words, but usually bopping to the Happy beat

Note: The above stats or just for You Tube. There are lots of Happy videos that have been posted elsewhere on the internet other than YouTube.

….and here are three of my favorites.

I was delighted to watch the Happy British Muslim [Ref 1] video that has been trending recently. The video was developed by a group of young British Muslims called Honesty Policy. Their simple objective in creating the video was to spread positivity and a bit of empowerment along the way. The first two days that the video was posted, it received over 570,000 views on YouTube.

Then there’s the 24 Hours of Happiness video. Pharrell teamed up with the United Nations to promote the second International Day of Happiness. He lent his voice and the Happy song to the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2014. #HappyDay Supercut is the best of videos from around the world that were shown during the 24-hour period. Pharrell encouraged all those who were watching to support the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) [Ref 2]. CERF is one of the fastest ways to directly support critical aid operations for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts.

Last but not least, I like the Happy video that was made by students at my alma mater, Howard University. Mia Miller, a graduating senior in the School of Communications is the brainchild behind Howard Happy. Howard Happy was included in several videos that were featured on Oprah Prime during the interview with Pharrell Williams on Sunday, April 13, 20114.

Mia will be graduating next month on May 10th, and will be heading to France for the Cannes Film Festival. Congratulations Mia! You have made your fellow students and alums Howard Happy!

And a reminder to the reader’s of this post, being happy is a choice. In spite of what is or is not going on in your life or what is not right with the world, we can choose to be happy.

Because I’m happy – Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof – Because I’m happy – Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth – Because I’m happy – Clap along if you know what happiness is to you – Because I’m happy – Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do…{Hook for Happy}

Thank you Pharrell for reminding us to be happy!

1. Happy British Muslims: The video that made me dance for joy, by Remona Aly, April 18, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/music/shortcuts/2014/apr/18/happy-british-muslims-video-pharrell-williams, last viewed on 04.26.2014
2. United Nations Foundation, CERF, http://www.24hoursofhappiness.com
3. Howard Happy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCD4gBNOD28&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHCD4gBNOD28&app=desktop


About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: