Ellen: Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Kids Perform “Happy”


Ellen: “Happy” Kids Giveaway

Ellen wanted to celebrate an elementary school class whose version of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” went viral. Ellen decided to surprise all 40 kids and their choir director. The kids all go to a charter school in Detroit called the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences, and many of the kids are very poor or even homeless. Ellen sent her friend Jeannie to Detroit, and she was waiting outside the charter school with Maurice, who was the only person at the school who knew what was happening. He said the school has 1,000 kids and about 98 percent of their kids are poor and under-privileged. 80 percent live at or near the poverty line. The school’s mission is to teach the kids about the arts and inspire them.

Ellen: Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Kids Perform "Happy"

Ellen and Pharrell Williams gave $50,000 to kids at a charter school in Detroit who performed Pharrell’s song “Happy.”


Maurice also said that the choir director, Miss Angela, runs the show choir and the music department. She also works nights and weekends and every bit of extra time so that the kids have a great education. The kids were really surprised to see Ellen on the TV screen, talking directly to them.

Ellen TV: Pharrell Williams Happiness Advice

Pharrell Williams also talked to the kids through the TV screen and the kids couldn’t believe it was really him. He said their performance was amazing. “Sometimes you go through things and you forget that you’re important that you have a right to be happy and that happiness doesn’t cost anything. It’s a perception. And every once in a while, we just need someone to hold up the mirror, and I can tell you right now you guys are lifting people’s spirits,” he said.

Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences: Disney World Gift

Ellen and her friends at Shutterfly gave Angela and Maurice a check for $50,000 to help them raise money for a trip to Disney World. The kids all laughed and screamed for joy, but Angela and Maurice looked absolutely stunned. They couldn’t believe it.


Pharrell Williams said he wanted to see the kids perform. So the kids performed “Happy” and did their silly dance moves.


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