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Pharrell says Cee-Lo almost released 'Happy' first

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Pharrell CeeLo Green
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Yesterday on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM, Pharrell Williams confessed that Cee-Lo Green actually recorded “Happy” years before he took the song to the top of the charts, but that “the powers that be at the time did not see it fit for” the Goodie Mob rapper turned four-letter-word crooner and star of The Voice.

“It didn’t fit his agenda,” Pharrell told Stern, in an endearing attempt at staying vague. “He had bigger fish to fry. He had an album to put out.” When Stern called him out on not exactly answering the question, Pharrell laughed, “I danced around it pretty good though.”

Apparently Cee-Lo’s team felt like his 2012 album should be the priority and that “Happy” wasn’t right for him, which still doesn’t explain exactly why it wasn’t right. Frankly, the song sounds exactly like something Cee Lo would sing. Jazz up the beat, maybe add a bit more Motown, and voila, Cee-Lo.

But it wasn’t Cee-Lo’s fault. “He was totally down with it,” said Pharrell. “And he sounded amazing. I mean he burns my version.”