Pharrell Williams Responds to Controversy Over Native American Headdress

Pharrell Williams in Native American Headdress: Singer Responds to Controversy
Pharrell Williams on the cover of Elle U.K.
Doug Inglish/Elle UK

updated 06/04/2014 at 07:00 PM EDT

originally published 06/05/2014 10:15AM

There are a lot of people who are not "Happy" with Pharrell Williams.

The singer and producer has incited a slew of angry Tweets and online criticism after he was photographed wearing a Native American headdress on the cover of U.K.'s Elle.

A post on the magazine's website states that the "Happy" singer "has never looked so good," but some are outraged over what they call the misappropriation of Native American culture.

Interestingly, in 2012 Williams told Oprah magazine in South Africa that his family tree included Native American lineage.

But the Grammy winner, 41 – who's better known for wearing an enormous vintage Vivienne Westwood hat – released a statement on Wednesday in response to the controversy.

"I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture," he said, according to the New York Daily News. "I am genuinely sorry."

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