Marvin Gaye’s family sues Blurred Lines writers for “blatant rip-off”

(November 08, 2013)


Three of the Motown legend’s children claim that R&B stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams stole from Gaye’s 1977 hit Got to Give it Up.

CALIFORNIA, United States, Friday November 8, 2013 – “Blurred Lines" topped the charts for 12 weeks running this summer; sold more than six million digital copies, and is said to be a hot contender at the American Music Awards later this month.

But according to the family of Motown music legend Marvin Gaye, Robin Thicke’s megahit is also something else: stolen.

In a lawsuit, three of the late soul singer’s children have said that "Blurred Lines" is a blatant rip-off of their father’s 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up."

"If you listen to the music, I'm sure anyone will see the similarities clearly," Gaye's son, Marvin Gaye III, said.

The suit was filed as a counter-claim to a case brought pre-emptively by Thicke, who went to court in August to ask a judge to stop the Gaye family from implying that "Blurred Lines" was stolen from Gaye.

Now the family is formally claiming copyright infringement, usually proved by making direct comparisons of the written music.

According to the Gaye family: "The shared departures from convention, such as the unusual cowbell, instrumentation, omission of guitar, and use of male falsetto, all contribute further to the finding of substantial similarity here."

Thicke is on record as saying that he's a fan of Marvin Gaye and even that he was inspired by "Got to Give It Up."

He told GQ magazine in May that he and co-writer Pharrell Williams were in the studio “and I told him [Williams] that one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give It Up.' I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.'"

Four months later, Thicke recanted when threatened with legal action. When asked by a cameraman from celebrity website TMZ if he thought of Gaye when he wrote the music, Thicke said "No."

Gaye’s daughter, Nona Marvisa Gaye, and his sons Frankie Christian Gaye and Marvin Gaye III also said in the suit that Thicke’s 2011 hit “Love After War” amounted to “unlawful copying” of Gaye’s 1976 song “After the Dance.”


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