Pharrell Williams will expand his “Happy” empire to the world of children’s picture books. The musician signed an agreement with Putnam, an imprint of Penguin, to pen four new books for young readers, starting with one inspired by his hit song, Billboard reports.
A 250,000-copy run of Happy, the book, will be published on September 22nd, and feature photographs of children from around the world “celebrating what it means to be happy.”
“I’m humbled by the global success of ‘Happy,’ but especially in awe of the song’s young fans,” Pharrell said in a statement. “My collaboration with Penguin allows me to continue a dialogue with these children in a fresh, new way. We’re both committed to feeding the curiosity of young minds with imagination.”
Pharrell originally released “Happy” in 2013 as part of the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, later creating the world’s first 24-hour music video to accompany it and adopting it for his own solo LP, Girl. The song topped the Hot 100 in March of 2014, where it remained for 10 straight weeks. “Happy” became Pharrell’s fourth Hot 100 number one, but his first as a lead artist.
“Happy” also earned Pharrell an Oscar nomination in 2014 for Best Original Song (it lost to Frozen‘s “Let It Go”), and this year it won two Grammys: Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video (Girl also won Best Urban Contemporary Album). Pharrell performed a dramatic new rendition of the song at the Grammys as well, where he was joined by classical pianist Lang Lang, film composer Hans Zimmer and a cadre of dancers wearing hoodies and raising their hands in the “hands up, don’t shoot” motion.
In an interview with Oprah last year as “Happy” reached its peak cultural ubiquity, Pharrell turned misty-eyed after the talk show magnate showed him a collection of videos people had made of them dancing to to the track: “It’s overwhelming because it’s like, I love what I do and I just appreciate the fact that people have believed in me for so long that I could make it to this point to feel that.”