Marvin Gaye’s Family Doubles Down on Robin Thicke Lawsuit
By Scott T. Sterling
For the uninitiated, the battle began earlier this summer, when the Gaye estate charged Thicke and song co-writers T.I. and Pharrell Williams for cribbing the monster smash “Blurred Lines” from Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got to Give it Up.” Bridgeport Music, which holds the copyright to a chunk of past Funkadelic recordings, also filed suit against the song for alleged similarities.
The family went on to reject a six-figure sum from Thicke, compounded by the pop star filing a countersuit to the Gaye family’s claim, stating, “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists. Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions.”
Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Gaye’s family has fired back with counterclaims of their own, amended with the added charge that Thicke also hijacked the soul legend’s 1976 track, “After the Dance,” for “Love After War,” the title track to his latest album and its’ first single.
The new suit also calls out song publisher EMI April for a host of offenses, including not protecting Gaye’s catalog from such breeches, as well as “attempting to intimidate the family against filing any legal action.” In return, the suit is looking to relieve EMI from all money generated by “Blurred Lines,” as well as rights to “administer” Gaye’s song catalog.
The Gaye family goes so far as to use Thicke’s own words against him in the suit, pulling quotes from interviews they feel illustrate that the pop singer knew he was ripping off “Got to Give it Up” when he recorded “Blurred Lines.”
“Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got to Give it Up,’ Thicke told GQ in one such interview. “I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.’ Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it.”
Stay tuned to Radio.com for ongoing updates of the Thicke/Gaye lawsuit.