The Neptunes
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The Neptunes

The Neptunes are an American production duo composed of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, formed in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1990. Williams often provides additional vocals on records and appears in the duo's music videos while Hugo tends to stay behind the scenes.

The Neptunes are considered one of the most acclaimed and commercially successful producers in music history. Throughout their career, they have produced hit songs for a multitude of artists, including Clipse, Britney Spears, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Beyoncé, Nelly, Gwen Stefani, and Snoop Dogg.[2] In 2009, Billboard ranked the Neptunes number one on their list of the top 10 producers of the decade.[3] The Neptunes were announced to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a part of the 2020 class.[2]


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.[4][5] Upon entering a local talent contest in 1992 as the Neptunes, they were discovered by Teddy Riley, whose studio was close to Williams' school.[5][6] Through working with Riley, the Neptunes wrote Wreckx-N-Effect's 1992 song "Rump Shaker" while still in school.[5] They also produced for Riley's group Blackstreet.[5]

In 1998, The Neptunes produced New York City-based rapper Noreaga's single "Superthug".[5] They also produced Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1999 single "Got Your Money" featuring singer Kelis.[5] The duo went on to produce the entirety of Kelis' debut studio album, Kaleidoscope (1999).[7] 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.[8] Williams and Hugo formed the band N.E.R.D. in 1999 with Shay Haley.[] 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.[5]

In 2001, N.E.R.D. released their debut studio album, In Search of..., featuring production from the Neptunes.[9] 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.[10] In 2002, the Neptunes produced Nelly's U.S. number one hit single, "Hot in Herre".[] The Neptunes wrote and produced the majority of Justin Timberlake's debut solo album, Justified (2002), including lead singles "Like I Love You", "Rock Your Body", and "Señorita".[11]

In 2003, the Neptunes released a compilation album, The Neptunes Present... Clones, featuring songs and remixes from various Star Trak artists. The album topped the US Billboard 200 Albums Chart.[] The Neptunes won "Producer of the Year" at the 2004 Grammy Awards.[12]



List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions [[List of music recording certificatio]
U.S. R&B
The Neptunes Present... Clones 1 1 7
"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
U.S. Hot 100
U.S. R&B
U.S. Rap
(featuring Jay-Z)
2003 5 1 -- Clones
"Light Your Ass on Fire"
(featuring Busta Rhymes)
69 23 12
"It Blows My Mind"
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
-- 68 --
"Hot Damn"
(featuring Clipse)
-- 58 --
(with Deadmau5)
2020 -- -- -- Non-album single
"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and nominations

The Neptunes awards and nominations
  1. ^ Certain award groups do not simply award one winner. They recognize several different recipients, have runners-up and have third place. Since this is a specific recognition and is different from losing an award, runner-up mentions are considered wins in this award tally. For simplification and to avoid errors, each award in this list has been presumed to have had a prior nomination.

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

The Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards are sponsored by Billboard magazine and held annually in December.[20][21][22]

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

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States.[23][24][25][26]

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 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


  1. ^ "Pharrell Williams". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Mariah Carey, Neptunes Inducted Into Songwriters Hall of Fame". The Hollywood Reporter. January 16, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ Nigel D. (December 18, 2009). "Billboard's Top 10 Producers Of The Decade | RealTalkNY". Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ "Pharrell Williams on meeting his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo". CBS Sunday Morning. April 13, 2014 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Like the song? These guys wrote it". The Age. May 15, 2004. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Chad Hugo: Rock Star Archived May 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, an interview with Yolk Magazine, 2002
  7. ^ Bierut, Patrick (March 7, 2020). "'Kaleidoscope': How Kelis Rewrote The R&B Rulebook". Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "On 'Exclusive Audio Footage,' The Long-Lost Clipse Album". Vinyl Me, Please. April 19, 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ Bernstein, Michael (March 25, 2002). "N.E.R.D.: In Search of... Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "The Neptunes produced Britney Spears 'Slave 4 U'". Capital Xtra. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ Kaufman, Gil (August 23, 2002). "Preview Of Justin Timberlake Album From Neptunes' Hugo". MTV. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "The Neptunes earn long-overdue Grammy". Today. February 9, 2004. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ a b c "The Neptunes Present... Clones - The Neptunes". Billboard. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "RIAA - Searchable Database: Neptunes". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "The Neptunes Album & Song Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "The Neptunes Album & Song Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ References for "It Blows My Mind" and "Hot Damn":
  18. ^ "The Neptunes Album & Song Chart History: Rap Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 20, 2020). "deadmau5 and the Neptunes share new song 'Pomegranate': Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 22, 2003. Retrieved 2008.
  21. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 2, 2003. Retrieved 2008.
  22. ^ "Finalists & Winners". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004. Retrieved 2008.
  23. ^ "46th Grammy Awards - 2004". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2008.
  24. ^ "47th Grammy Awards - 2005". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2008.
  25. ^ "48th Grammy Awards - 2006". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2008.
  26. ^ "49th Grammy Awards - 2007". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2008.

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