Party Report: Pharrell Williams Casts Charity Backup Singers for $25,000 (Photos)

Generous donors gathered on Paramount’s backlot, drumming up $1.4 million for the Humane Society of the United States to aid farm animal welfare

Pharrell Williams
Michael Kovac/Getty Images

After Pharrell Williams popped up in Hans Zimmer’s much-applauded Coachella set last weekend, guests at Saturday night’s Humane Society of the United States’ “To the Rescue” Gala on the Paramount lot got the opportunity to join the”Happy” singer as a backup vocalist for his iconic song.

Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith hits the carpet at the “To the Rescue” gala. (Getty Images)

“I feel like I want to try something,” Williams said. “If I can be so humble… but also have the audacity to see if we can raise more money,” Williams made a real-time appeal with his stage as the incentive.

Moby and Rooney Mara
Moby (who is a regular) and Rooney Mara. (Getty Images)

Five people took him up on the $25,000 offer, as the producer-designer-ageless-wonder closed out a three-song set at the star-heavy event with the song that has become the all-ages crowd-pleaser at corporate events, on the charity circuit and even at the Oscars a few years ago.

Williams also performed “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky,” to cap an event that honored Senator Cory Booker and the late Christina Grimmie for their contributions to animal welfare.

Cory Booker Pharrell Williams

Several industry insiders banked photos with the New Jersey Senator, posting to Facebook that they could be posing with a future president.

Booker (above) is one of few visible rising stars in the Democratic party.

His itinerary outside of D.C. and New Jersey aligns with speculation on his higher ambitions. A frequent presence nationally, his appearance on this Hollywood backlot on one of the first weekends that felt like summer could be a template for future industry-related campaign events .

Wayne Pacelle, Diane Keaton, and HSUS' Tara Loller. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
Wayne Pacelle, Diane Keaton, and HSUS’ Tara Loller. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

“No living creature is so insignificant as to not be worthy of our kindness and compassion,” Booker said in accepting HSUS’ “Humanitarian of the Year” award.

“I’m energized by the progress we’ve already made, and I look forward to continuing to work on animal welfare issues in the United States Senate in the years to come.”

HSUS Scene

There was already one President in the room, HSUS’ Wayne Pacelle.

His group’s supporters feasting on a vegan dinner included Elizabeth Banks, Melanie Griffith, James Caan, Rooney Mara, Moby, Noah Cyrus, Daisy Fuentes, Jane Lynch and Ashley Olsen.

(Organizers did not know the famed Olsen was coming. She arrived unannounced as the “+1” of Hayden Slater, one of the founders of Pressed Juicery.)

Christina Grimmie's family.

With Skateboard P’s help, the night netted $1.4 million to amplify those who give a voice to a movement that will eliminate the worse abuses of farm animals in the supply chain.

Timed to Earth Day, this “To The Rescue” haul is a new record for the annual Hollywood event.