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Marvin Gaye's Family Sues Robin Thicke For 'Blurred Lines'

Arash Zandi |
October 31, 2013 | 2:35 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Robin Thicke in 2012 (Wikimedia Commons)
Robin Thicke in 2012 (Wikimedia Commons)
The hit song of this past summer, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke is once again at the center of controversy, this time in a courtroom.

The children of the late Motown singer Marvin Gaye filed a copyright infringement lawsuit Wednesday against recording artists Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr., better known as T.I., claiming that the songwriters used compositional elements from a Gaye song in the hit single.

They are also targeting the song’s publisher, EMI April, which has ties with both Thicke and Gaye, accusing them of promoting “Blurred Lines” at the Gaye estate’s expense.

Gaye, famous for his 1982 song, “Sexual Healing”, and as the posthumous winner of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, died in 1984. He has been referred to as “The Prince of Soul.”

READ MORE: Banning 'Blurred Lines' Won't Kill Rape Culture

The lawsuit comes two months after Thicke, Williams and Harris filed a suit against the Gaye estate seeking to establish that “Blurred Lines” does not plagiarize Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give it Up.”

In a May interview with men’s magazine GQ, Thicke said he and Williams had written “Blurred Lines” in just 30 minutes, after listening to “Got to Give it Up” and deciding that “we should make something like that, something with that groove.

Various music reviewers, such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Vice, found that highly likely, noting that the two songs were similar to each other.

However, after filing the preemptive suit in August, Thicke took back his comments in a September interview with TMZ, citing that his song and Gaye’s had no relationship. Gaye’s children also say in the suit that they filed, that Thicke had plagiarized another Gaye song, “After the Dance” for his 2011 hit, “Love After War”.

The Gaye family is asking that EMI April discard their rights to manage Gaye’s catalog of songs as well as to surrender all profits from Thicke’s music. The plaintiffs are also seeking $150,000 in damages for each act of copyright infringement. The Gaye family’s lawsuit also names actress Paula Patton who is Thicke’s wife, who is featured in “Love After War”, Star Trak Entertainment, Interscope Records, and Universal Music Group Recordings, among others.

Reach Executive Producer Arash Zandi here. Follow him on Twitter here.



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