It is safe to say that Happy was the single of 2014. Performed, written and produced by Pharrell Williams, it became the year’s best-selling single with 14 millions units sold worldwide and its most enduring charter. Though originally gaining fame as part of the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, Happy only topped the charts when released as the lead single from Pharrell’s second solo album, Girl.
Rolling Stone classified the song as a “sprightly neosoul funk groove that brims over with hand claps and bustling percussion” while also comparing Pharrell’s falsetto delivery to Curtis Mayfield. Billboard predicted its lasting commercial success by dubbing Happy as “Contagiously peppy and brilliantly simple, it seems likely to dominate radio for weeks to come.” Contact Music emphasized the song’s catchiness, stating that it is “the kind of song that makes you want to dance and sing along.”
Another important ingredient adding to the song’s success besides positive critical reception was the tribute videos trend consisting of people from different cities throughout the world dancing to the song. This became such an international phenomenon that a French couple dedicated a website to documenting all the tribute videos. As of now, 1950 videos from 153 different countries have been made and can be watched on their website.
Happy spent 10 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by John Legend’s All of Me.