The Neptunes are an American songwriting and production duo composed of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, formed in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1992. Williams often provides additional vocals on records and appears in the duo's music videos, while Hugo tends to stay behind the scenes.
|Also known as||Williams and Hugo|
|Origin||Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.|
Since their inception, The Neptunes have produced songs for a multitude of artists, including Clipse, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kelis, N.O.R.E., Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Ludacris, T.I., Robin Thicke, Gwen Stefani, and Snoop Dogg, among others. In 2009, Billboard ranked the Neptunes number one on their list of the top 10 producers of the decade. In January 2020, the Neptunes were announced to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a part of the 2020 class, and in May 2021, Hugo and Williams received Honorary Doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Williams and Hugo met at a summer camp for the school of the Gifted and Talented in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where Williams played drums and Hugo played tenor saxophone. Upon entering a local talent contest in 1992 as the Neptunes, they were discovered by Teddy Riley, whose studio was close to Williams' school. Through working with Riley, the Neptunes wrote Wreckx-n-Effect's 1992 song "Rump Shaker" while still in school. They also worked with Riley's group Blackstreet, co-writing the single "Tonight's the Night" from their self-titled debut album.
In 1998, the Neptunes produced New York City-based rapper Noreaga's single "Superthug". They also produced Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1999 single "Got Your Money" featuring singer Kelis, for whom they would entirely produce her debut studio album, Kaleidoscope (1999), and her 2001 album Wanderland. The Neptunes produced hip hop duo Clipse's album, Exclusive Audio Footage (1999), which was intended to be Clipse's debut album before eventually being shelved. In 2000, the Neptunes produced Jay-Z's single "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)" from his fifth studio album, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, and Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass", from his fourth studio album, Let's Get Ready.
In 2001, N.E.R.D. released their debut studio album, In Search of..., featuring production from the Neptunes. In the same year, the Neptunes gained their first worldwide hit with Britney Spears' single, "I'm a Slave 4 U", for her eponymous third studio album, Britney.
The Neptunes wrote and produced NSYNC's final single, "Girlfriend", then wrote and produced most of co-lead singer Justin Timberlake's debut solo album, Justified (2002), including lead singles "Like I Love You", "Rock Your Body", and "Señorita".
Compilation albums Edit
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Light Your Ass on Fire"
(featuring Busta Rhymes)
|"It Blows My Mind"
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
Awards and nominations Edit
The duo has received numerous awards, such as from the Grammy Awards, where they were nominated every year from 2004 to 2007. The Neptunes have received three Grammy Awards: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, Best Pop Vocal Album for Justified and Best Rap Song for "Money Maker". Overall, the Neptunes have received six awards from eighteen nominations.
Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Edit
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2002||The Neptunes||Songwriter of the Year||Nominated|
|Producer of the Year||Nominated|
|2003||The Neptunes||Songwriter of the Year||Nominated|
|Producer of the Year||Won|
|2004||The Neptunes||Producer of the Year||Nominated|
|2009||The Neptunes||Producer of the Decade||Won|
Grammy Awards Edit
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2004||The Neptunes||Producer of the Year, Non-Classical||Won|
|Justified||Best Pop Vocal Album||Won|
|"Frontin'"||Best Rap/Sung Collaboration||Nominated|
|"Beautiful"||Best Rap/Sung Collaboration||Nominated|
|Best Rap Song||Nominated|
|"Excuse Me Miss"||Best Rap Song||Nominated|
|2005||"Drop It Like It's Hot"||Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|Best Rap Song||Nominated|
|2006||The Neptunes||Producer of the Year, Non-Classical||Nominated|
|2006||The Emancipation of Mimi||Best Contemporary R&B Album||Won|
|2007||"Money Maker"||Best Rap Song||Won|
|In My Mind||Best Rap Album||Nominated|
See also Edit
- "Mariah Carey, Neptunes Inducted Into Songwriters Hall of Fame". The Hollywood Reporter. January 16, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- Nigel D. (December 18, 2009). "Billboard's Top 10 Producers Of The Decade | RealTalkNY". Realtalkny.uproxx.com. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- "Celine Dion, Donald Harrison, the Neptunes, Chita Rivera, and André Watts to Receive Honorary Doctorates at 2021 Commencement | Berklee".
- "Pharrell Williams on meeting his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo". CBS Sunday Morning. April 13, 2014. Archived from the original on November 13, 2021 – via YouTube.
- "Like the song? These guys wrote it". The Age. May 15, 2004. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- "Chad Hugo: Rock Star Archived May 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, an interview with Yolk Magazine, 2002
- Bierut, Patrick (March 7, 2020). "'Kaleidoscope': How Kelis Rewrote The R&B Rulebook". Udiscovermusic.com. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- "On 'Exclusive Audio Footage,' The Long-Lost Clipse Album". Vinyl Me, Please. April 19, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- Bernstein, Michael (March 25, 2002). "N.E.R.D.: In Search of... Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- "The Neptunes produced Britney Spears 'Slave 4 U'". Capital Xtra. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- Kaufman, Gil (August 23, 2002). "Preview Of Justin Timberlake Album From Neptunes' Hugo". MTV. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- "The Neptunes earn long-overdue Grammy". Today. February 9, 2004. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- "The Neptunes Present... Clones – The Neptunes". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "RIAA – Searchable Database: Neptunes". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "The Neptunes Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "The Neptunes Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- References for "It Blows My Mind" and "Hot Damn":
- "The Neptunes Chart History: Rap Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Minsker, Evan (May 20, 2020). "deadmau5 and the Neptunes share new song 'Pomegranate': Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 22, 2003. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 2, 2003. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "Finalists & Winners". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "46th Grammy Awards – 2004". Rock on the Net. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "47th Grammy Awards – 2005". Rock on the Net. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "48th Grammy Awards – 2006". Rock on the Net. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "49th Grammy Awards – 2007". Rock on the Net. Retrieved September 15, 2008.