Pharrell leaves Montreux festival fans wanting more

Mon Jul 7, 2014 9:25pm EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

MONTREUX Switzerland (Reuters) - Pharrell Williams gave a slick concert for a pumped-up crowd at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Monday night, but some fans were less than happy when he left the famed stage after just an hour.

The American R&B singer and producer, accompanied by his band, two vocalists and six female dancers, played tracks from his second album "GIRL", including "Marilyn Monroe" and "Come Get it Bae", before closing with his global viral hit "Happy."

Known simply by his first name Pharrell, he repeatedly voiced support for women's rights during the concert, declaring 2014 "The Year of the Woman" when things are going to change.

"My new album is an ode to women. From A to Z, I make no apologies for the way I appreciate women," he told the sold-out standing crowd who paid 135 Swiss francs ($150) per ticket. "I make no apology. I love women in every kind of way."

Minutes later he played "Blurred Lines", the raunchy R&B smash hit with Robin Thicke that was last year's top song across the U.S. Billboard music charts, followed by Daft Punk's Grammy-winning disco track "Get Lucky."

"I told you, it's all about women," Pharrell said.

For "Happy", from the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack, he was joined on stage by a young female fan whom he told: "We are depending on a girl like you to grow up and change the world."

The 41-year-old Pharrell, who has had four Grammy Awards and three mega hit singles, was appearing for the first time at the Swiss resort, one of Europe's most prestigious summer music festivals, whose 48th edition runs from July 4-19.   Continued...

U.S. singer Pharrell Williams (C) performs on the Stravinski Hall stage at the 48th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux July 7, 2014. REUTERS/Jean-Christophe Bott/Pool