The catchy summer tune of 2013, with models dressed in transparent plastic suits, illuminated our screens and played through cars on the street – Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams earned a Grammy nomination, generated more than $16m (£10.8) in profits and made more than $5m (£3m) for both stars. The catchy tune, one of the best selling of all time, was allegedly copied from Marvin Gaye, a legend who is in no need of an introduction, with music that spanned two successful decades and produced hits like Sexual Healing and How Sweet It Is.
A jury in United States ruled in favour of this accusation and awarded the Gaye family $7.3m in damages. Marvin Gaye, who passed away in 1984, was survived by three children who also took control of copyrights. It was the children, Nona, Frankie and Marvin III that sued the duo, Thicke and Williams.
On hearing the verdict, Nona spoke with reporters and expressing her sentiments on the ruling, “right now, I feel free, free from… Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.” Gaye’s family lawyer wants to stop sales of Blurred Lines.
Whilst in court, Williams admitted that Gaye’s music was an inspiration and key genre when during his childhood and he grew up with the singer’s leading soundtracks, however, when writing the song, Williams refused any inspiration from the Prince of Soul. On the other hand, Thicke testified that he had little to contribute towards the writing of the track.
Howard E King, lawyer representing Thicke and Williams said, “while we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward,” he further added, “we are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”