Despite featuring prominently in the one of the most controversial, sexist videos in the history of pop music, Pharrell Williams has called for gender equality in front of a packed London crowd.

Pharrell WilliamsPharrell Williams performs live on The Today Show

Pharrell told the 600-strong crowd at Brooklyn Bowl in London's O2 Arena for MasterCard Priceless: "In America, women are paid 77 cents to every dollar, this is the year everything changes. You guys are going to have to start voting different. When you see a woman naked, don't tear her down - it's about where she's coming from in her mind. Let's give women the equality they deserve."

Before the Gig, Pharrell revealed why his latest album G I R L is a testament of his "infinity [sic] to women":  “G I R L is about women ... Women are like the centrepiece to humanity. If there are no women, there is no humanity," he said. " G I R L is like a homage to women, that makes no apologies from A to Z about my infinity for women."

More: Williams in intimate gig

Williams, alongside Robin Thicke, was at the centre of controversy when Blurred Lines was released. Not only did the video – at least the NSFW one – contain mostly-naked women prancing around while the men in the video wore suits, it was also condemned for what many believed to be lyrics flirting with the subject of rape. 

Despite that Williams explained that he wants his music to represent the positive aspects of women. "I'll sing a song about looking her up and down, her smell and her eyes, her curves and her shape, but then there is the other end where there are things she deserve, things that women still go through,” he said.