Entertainment Published: November 16, 2017 Updated: February 19, 2019  |  WORDS: Staff

Pharrell Sings at Alibaba Singles Day Event and it’s Awkward as Heck

Pharrell sings at Alibaba Singles Day event with Chinese mega star Kris Wu, and the outcome is awkward as anything.

Pharrell and Chinese mega star Kris Wu sing a song about Singles Day
Screenshot/Ad Age via Alibaba Group

You already know Jack Ma takes the Singles Day (November 11) online shopping event seriously. This year was no different – in fact, Alibaba Group enlisted the help of stars like Pharrell Williams, Kris Wu, Jessie J, Maria Sharapova and Nicole Kidman.

The host of international and Chinese stars were engaged to perform in a four-hour televised variety show leading up to the start of the online shopping, which commenced at midnight.

It’s shiyi shiyi

Part of the night’s line-up was a duet performed by Pharrell and Kris Wu. The awkward pairing led to an equally awkward performance of a song about Singles Day. And we know this because at one point, Kris ends up singing “It’s shiyi shiyi” (shiyi being the pronunciation of the Chinese word for “eleven”).

The song lyrics makes no effort to mask its references to the online shopping event, Singles Day
Screenshot/Ad Age via Alibaba Group

The song’s lack of effort to mask the references to the online shopping event, Singles Day, is what’s most striking. At about 1:15, Pharrell sings, “If you could believe/And organize like the bees/You can do it you’ll see there’s strength in numbers”.

We’re not able to embed the video here, but it’s really worth your time. So head over to Ad Age to watch the full thing.

And, by the way, before you’re quick to brand this entire exercise cringeworthy, it’s worth remembering that Alibaba Group made US$25 billion on Singles Day. So who’s laughing now?

Pharrell sings at Alibaba Singles Day performance – thoughts? 

Read More: Singles Day 2017: Websites to Shop from, What to Buy