Robin Thicke Sues Marvin Gaye’s Family to Protect ‘Blurred Lines’
By Kia Makarechi
Many have noted the similarity between Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Robin Thicke’s song-of-the-summer smash hit “Blurred Lines,” and now Thicke has gone on the offensive to ensure that the sonic likeness of the two songs doesn’t end up costing him any money.
Thicke, along with Pharrell Williams and T.I., filed a lawsuit against Gaye’s family and Bridgeport Music. In the case, the trio of music makers say they have “the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies,” but must “reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists.”
Gaye’s family and Funkadelic (the relevant compositions of whom are owned by Bridgeport), have insisted that “Blurred Lines” is too similar to their original songs.
The suit claims the Gaye family is alleging that “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” “feel” or “sound” the same, and that the “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”
As for Funkadelic, there’s said to be claimed similarity between Thicke’s hit and Funakedlic’s “Sexy Ways.”
“But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” states the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.
“Blurred Lines” is currently in its tenth week atop the Billboard Hot 100, making it summer’s biggest song. The lawsuit, however, isn’t the first controversy to hit the track — an earlier dust-up with critics who found the lyrics and x-rated music video to be misogynistic was eventually brushed aside by Thicke himself.