Update: Following the verdict, Us Weekly received the following statement on behalf of Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, and T.I.: “While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. ‘Blurred Lines’ was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have to give it up — millions of dollars, that is. The two artists, who collaborated on the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines,” have been ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s family $7.3 million after a jury ruled that their track ripped off Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.” The verdict comes after a yearlong trial, during which Thicke even went so far as to claim he was drunk and high on Vicodin while producing the jam.
“Right now, I feel free,” Marvin Gaye’s daughter, Nona Gaye, said after the verdict, Variety reported on Tuesday, March 10. “Free from…Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”
During the trial, Thicke’s lawyers argued that the song was meant to “evoke an era.” “In reality, the Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work,” they argued.
The Gaye estate, in turn, argued that Thicke had a “Marvin Gaye fixation” and that “Got to Give It Up” wasn’t the only song he’s ripped off. The iconic singer’s kids claimed he also used “After the Dance” and “I Want You” for his 2011 album Love After War.
According to Rolling Stone, when the trial kicked off, the Gaye estate’s lawyers warned the jury: “[Thicke and Williams] will smile at you and they will be charming. Keep one thing in mind: They are professional performers.”