Pharrell Takes a Knee at Charlottesville Unity Concert

Pharrell Williams took a knee during his set at the Charlottesville unity concert held in the aftermath of the white nationalist rallies that took place in Virginia earlier this summer.

"If I want to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state, that's what this flag is for," the 44-year-old musician said.

The former Voice coach, who is from Virginia Beach, then got down on both knees and spoke of the "potential" he sees in the country.

"And when I think about the potential of this country, the potential of this state, the potential of these people, the potential of this amazing, amazing university, there's only one word that comes to mind," he continued.

The Grammy winner then burst into a rendition of his hit song "Happy."

Sunday night's event was held at the University of Virginia's Scott Stadium and was organized by Dave Matthews, whose band got its start in the Virginia college town.

While tickets for the concert were free, concertgoers were asked to donate to a charity fund for victims of the white nationalist rallies.

Other performers included Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande, The Roots, Stevie Wonder, Cage the Elephant, Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes and Chris Stapleton, according to Billboard.

Matthews thanked all the performers for coming together on short notice for the concert that he explained was about "music and unity."

Director Brett Ratner filmed the concert and spoke out about what the "synergy" he felt taking place at the gathering.


"I think there's a synergy and the connection to what's happening now with football and what's happening in Charlottesville," he told Huffington Post. "There's a reason why it's all happening because I think the positivity and the love are becoming viral. People want to make a change.