×

‘Blurred Lines’ Jury Orders Pharrell, Robin Thicke to Pay $7.3 Million to Marvin Gaye Family

In a landmark decision for the music industry, a jury in Los Angeles ordered “Blurred Lines” songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye for copyright infringement on Tuesday.

Gaye’s family had argued that the 2013 smash hit “Blurred Lines” copied their father’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up” and sued Thicke, Williams and Clifford Harris Jr., aka T.I., whom all contested the infringement.

Overall, the Gaye family sought more than $25 million in damages.

“Right now, I feel free,” Marvin Gaye’s daughter, Nona Gaye, said after the verdict. “Free from … Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”

The attorney for the Gaye family, Richard Busch, will also seek to halt sales of “Blurred Lines,” and said he will file official paperwork by next week.

Nominated for record of the year at the 2013 Grammys, “Blurred Lines” was no. 1 on the Billboard single charts for 10 consecutive weeks. Since it was released, “Blurred Lines” has earned nearly $16.5 million in profits according to court documents, with Williams and Thicke raking in over $5 million each.

Gaye died in 1984.

Both Thicke and Williams appeared in court during the past week to defend their case, with much of the trial featuring comparisons between the songs. Listening to the juxtaposed bass lines of the two songs in question, Williams even admitted the similarities, saying, “It sounds like you’re playing the same thing.”

Still, while testifying last week, Williams said the two songs share “feel — not infringement.”

The proceedings were perhaps most notable for the presence of Thicke, who sang and played the piano as he defended the work as original and said he was intoxicated when he gave media interviews in which he talked about Gaye’s influence on the works. He also said that he was mistaken when he claimed credit for writing part of the song.

The eight-person jury closed its full day of closed-door deliberations on Friday after hearing a week of testimony, with court resuming on Tuesday.

Ted Johnson contributed to this report.

More Music

  • Chambers Brothers

    George Chambers, of 1960s Hit Group the Chambers Brothers, Dies at 88

    George “Pops” Chambers, singer and bassist for the Chambers Brothers, best known for the 1968 hit “Time Has Come Today,” died Saturday at 88. “The best big brother you could ever have,” Willie Chambers wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night. “I am so sad, and at the same time, I’m so glad to have [...]

  • Stock market

    Trading In Music's Futures: How to Cash In on the Industry's Gold Rush (Guest Column)

    The music industry is entering a time of financial prosperity thanks to the widespread use of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. According to a recent report by Musicwatch, 77% of all internet users in the U.S. stream music, while Goldman Sachs projects a revenue pot of $34 billion by 2030. Finally, the [...]

  • Vampire Weekend - Brian Robert Jones,

    Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, Rufus du Sol to Headline Okeechobee Festival

    Today, Insomniac Events announced the lineup for the fourth edition of Florida’s Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. The four-day event will return to Sunshine Grove in Okeechobee, Florida March 5-8, 2020 with a multi-genre lineup led by Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, Rufus du Sol and Bassnectar, along with over 100 other artists across a [...]

  • Member of South Korean Girl Group

    Korean Pop Star Sulli Dies at 25

    Korean pop star Sulli was found dead at her home near Seoul on Monday. She was 25. Her manager found her body and alerted the police. The manager reported that the star, whose real name was Choi Jin-ri, suffered from depression, and police said that they were working on the assumption that she had died [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Jay Frank, UMG Senior VP and Digital Music Veteran, Dies at 47

    Universal Music executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 47. UMG chief Lucian Grainge remembered him in a message sent to the company. “Dear Colleagues,” it reads. “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our colleague and friend Jay Frank has passed after a recurrence of [...]

  • Boomtown Rats Feature Doc Launches From

    Boomtown Rats Feature Doc Launches From New Music Banner BeyondTNC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bob Geldof and the re-formed Boomtown Rats will talk about their legendary punk band in a new feature doc, “Boomtown.” It is one of the first two films from a new music producer-distributor that has been formed by Beyond Entertainment and TNC Media – BeyondTNC. BeyondTNC will be launching “Boomtown” to international buyers in Cannes, [...]

  • Zedd

    DJ Zedd Banned From China After Liking 'South Park' Tweet

    Zedd has been “permanently banned” from China after the German DJ liked a tweet from the “South Park” Twitter account. Zedd, whose real name is Anton Zaslavski, announced the news via his own Twitter account: “I just got permanently banned from China because I liked a @SouthPark tweet,” he wrote. I just got permanently banned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content