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Robin Thicke, Pharrell shed Multi-Million dollar ‘Blurred Lines’ Lawsuit

Marvin Gaye estate wins $7.3 million referee after month of legit drama


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Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have actually been bespeak to pay $7.2 million come Marvin Gaye's estate end "Blurred Lines."

Ethan Miller/Getty; Lester Cohen/Getty


UPDATE:A lawyer because that the estate of Marvin Gaye tellsRolling Stonethat he will try to block every future sales that “Blurred Lines” till anagreement is reached.

You are watching: Blurred lines got to give it up

Robin Thickenoticeablyrippedoff Marvin Gaye‘s 1977 struggle “Got to provide It Up” when he wrote the smash fight “Blurred Lines” v Pharrell Williams and T.I., a Los Angeles jury has decided. He and also co-songwriter Pharrell Williams must pay Gaye’s family members $7.3 million as component of the ruling, follow to Variety.The decision puts to remainder over a year’s worth of legal ago and forth in between Thicke and Gaye’s estate, in i m sorry the last sought $25 million in damages.


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“While us respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which set a horrible precedent for music and creativity walking forward,” Williams, Thicke and also T.I. Said in a joint statement. “‘Blurred Lines’ was created from theheart and minds the Pharrell, Robin and T.I. And not taken from anyone or all over else. Weare reviewing thedecision, considering our choices and you will hear much more from us soon about this matter.”


A representative because that Gaye’sestate wasnot immediately available for comment.

The decision, which hinged on the fact that Gaye’s household owned only elements of the paper music to “Got to offer It Up,” come from eight jurors that listened come testimony from musicologists, and Thicke and Williams. Marvin Gaye’s children, Nona, Frankie and also Marvin Gaye III, will obtain $4 million in damages and also $3.3 million of the earnings that “Blurred Lines” made, together with $9,000 in statutory damages, according toThe brand-new York Times. T.I., who was provided in the suit by genuine name Clifford Harris, Jr., was discovered not liable.

“I’m really grateful,” Janis Gaye, Marvin’s former wife and the mommy of Nona and also Frankie and stepmother the Marvin Gaye III, said the Times. “I hope people understand the this means Marvin deserves credit transaction for what that did earlier in 1977.”

The “Blurred Lines” legit drama started in august 2013, when Thicke, Williams and also T.I. Responded to risks of legal action by the Gaye estate and also publisher Bridgeport Music through preemptively suing them, together with Funkadelic, declare “Blurred Lines” to be “strikingly different” than “Got to provide It Up” and the last group’s “Sexy Ways.” “The intent in creating ‘Blurred Lines’ to be to evoke an era,” Thicke’s lawyers composed in the suit. “In reality, the Gaye defendants space claiming property of whole genre, as opposed to a certain work, and Bridgeport is declare the exact same work.” (“Sexy Ways” was dropped indigenous the lawsuitlast March ~ the parties reached a common agreement.)

The Gaye estate, which represents the singer’s kids Frankie and also Nona, fired back two month later, explain Thicke had pilfered not only “Got to give It Up” but additionally Gaye’s “After the Dance” and “I want You” on Thicke’s 2011 album Love ~ War. The familyalleged at the moment that the Canadian singer had a “Marvin Gaye fixation” andaccused the publisher that Gaye’s songs, EMI, of not protecting the heart icon’s catalogue since it had actually folded right into Sony ATV, i m sorry manages Thicke’s music. (They eventually settled for one undisclosed amount.) They also cited interviews wherein Thicke claimed he’d stolen from Gaye, including telling GQ that among his favourite songs was “Got to offer It Up” and that the told Williams that they have to write a song with the very same “groove.”


By April 2014, Thicke to be claiming in a deposition the he to be drunk and high on Vicodin when he taped “Blurred Lines” and that he to be barely affiliated in its production, declare Williams wrote “almost every single part of the song.” concerning his case to GQ, he declared that he to be jealous and also “wanted some of the credit.” His deposition also involved listening come a mash-up of the two songs, i m sorry he compared to “nails ~ above a fucking chalkboard” and the punishment-by-media scene in A Clockwork Orange. Williams, in his deposition, likewise complained at the time about the songwriting equity he provided up in the song.

The trial kicked off in February the this year. Throughout the opened remarks, the Gaye estate’s lawyer warned jurors, “ will certainly smile at you and also they will certainly be charming. Save one thing in mind: they are expert performers.” as soon as Thicke offered testimony that month, the performed the track – in addition to “Got to give It Up” and tunes by U2, the Beatles and also Michael Jackson – top top a key-board to demonstrate comparable chord progressions to jurors.

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As testimony progressed, the jury learned the the song of the summer deserve its composers close come $17 million, the which over $5.6 million saw Thicke, around $5.2 million visited Williams and around $700,000 checked out T.I. (the rest went to record companies). Williams likewise earned $4.3 million in publishing from the song and $860,000 because that being that is producer, follow to The Hollywood Reporter. The amounts were revealed since the Gayes were seeking a portion of those profits and some the Thicke’s touring revenue. They likewise discussed the reported$900,000 Thicke produced “Love ~ War,” the song that allegedly obtained from Gaye’s “After the Dance.” The Gayes’ lawyer asserted they to be owed in the ar of $40 million worth of damages.


In early on March, Williams testified that all “Blurred Lines” had actually in typical with “Got to offer It Up” was the “feel.” neither Gaye nor the song were in his head once writing the song, that told the court. At the moment he was working with Thicke, he said he was likewise working with Miley Cyrus and Earl Sweatshirt in the same studio. He said that working v Cyrus bled into “Blurred Lines,” since he had been plan on act a country-esque song with her. “It was favor blending this nation sound with this up-tempo groove,” he claimed of the Thicke song, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He additional testified that he wrote nearly every lyric and also melody top top “Blurred Lines.”

Williams additionally shrugged off the id that the “Blurred Lines” lyrics “Shake around, obtain up, obtain down” carefully resembled the heat “Move it up, rotate it round, shake the down” on “Got to give It Up.” “In the median black family members of the Seventies, that’s what we do as soon as a track comes on,” he said, according to THR. “That’s what my dad provided to say.”

Before the jurors left to deliberate, the Gayes’ lawyer said they to be seeking $25 million in damages, citing parts of the publishing, the profit from the song itself and record agency overhead, follow to The Hollywood Reporter. Thicke and Williams’ lawyer request the jury, “Why would certainly Mr. Williams have to copy anyone to produce a hit?”