LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pharrell Williams, the R&B singer of the hit song “Happy” and a music producer, will join NBC’s singing contest “The Voice” as a coach for its seventh season in the fall, the network said on Monday.
Williams, 40, will join the show’s fall jury panel replacing longtime judge Cee Lo Green, who left the show for other ventures with the Comcast Corp-owned network.
Williams is expected to join country singer Blake Shelton, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and pop singer Christina Aguilera on the season seven panel.
The producer has seen his star rise in the past year as a performer on Robin Thicke’s smash hit “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s Grammy-winning disco track “Get Lucky.” Williams was also nominated for an Oscar for “Happy,” the lead song from the “Despicable Me 2″ animated film on which he composed the music.
Williams has also carved out a niche as an arbiter of urban style, with such fashions as a tuxedo with shorts at this year’s Oscars and a giant brown hat at the Grammys.
“The Voice,” which averages about 13.8 million viewers per episode, has outpaced its Fox rival “American Idol” this season by about 3 million viewers per episode.
The show’s celebrity panel of judges has been credited with helping it rise in the ratings against “American Idol.” It is also considered a top spot within the music industry to promote songs, such as Maroon 5 and Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger,” that became a hit in 2011 after the singers performed it on the show.
The spring panel consists of Shelton and Levine with R&B singer Usher and Colombian pop singer Shakira.
(This story has been refiled to correct name in paragraph three to Adam Levine from Adam Lambert)
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Shumaker)