Many songs sound the same, it’s unavoidable. Not every single artist can be 100% original and neither can their work. Years ago, teen pop duo, Aly and AJ, received criticism when they released their hit song “No One” because the chorus sounded a little too close to Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You”. Another case occurred just over the summer, Sam Smith was forced to pay a good amount of money to Tom Petty because Petty thought Smith’s hit, “Stay With Me” was sounded vaguely like his song, “Won’t Back Down”. Now the late Marvin Gaye’s family is suing Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for their 2013 Top 40’s chart topper, “Blurred Lines”.
“Gaye’s children insist that their father’s 1970’s song, “Got To Give It Up” was the victim of plagiarism for Thicke and Williams’ modern day track. While Pharrell Williams, the writer of the single, admitted to being a fan of Gaye’s music, he denied having stolen lyrics and/or instrumental parts for “Blurred Lines”.
This statement was contradicted several times by Robin Thicke declaring in interviews that the pair had found inspiration in Gaye’s song. When asked about these comments in court, Thicke admitted to having been under the influence of drugs and alcohol during most, if not all, of those interviews two years ago.
The lawsuit began upon the song’s release in 2013 and has finally been resolved with a judge ordering Thicke and Williams to pay a whopping $7.3 million to Gaye’s children.
Fresh off their victory, the Gaye children are now looking into another one of Pharrell Williams’ popular songs, “Happy” which they claim sounds a little too much like another one of their father’s hits, “Ain’t That Peculiar”.
If Williams really is taking inspiration from Marvin Gaye’s old hits, he may want to slow his roll. Gaye’s children are out and looking for blood when it comes to protecting their father’s legacy. While they haven’t announced another lawsuit yet, Williams should hope that the Gaye family will be content with the $7.3 million they just won rather than trying to race back into court to drain Williams’ bank account even more.