Last week, news hit that singer Robin Thicke was taking Marvin Gaye’s family to court, filing a lawsuit to protect his hit single, “Blurred Lines“. The 36-year-old singer was joined by his contributors, T.I. and Pharrell Williams, in filing a suit against the estate of late singer Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music. Apparently, there are similar comparisons between Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye’s ’70s song “Got to Give It Up”. In Thicke’s lawsuit, the singer reportedly wrote:
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.
In turn, Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, is now speaking out against Thicke’s actions. He recently chatted on TMZ Live, responding:
We’re all fans of Robin Thicke’s, as well as he’s a fan of my father’s. Our point is that there’s a way to do business and a way not to do business. We’re not happy with the way he went about doing the business, let alone suing us over something where he clearly got his inspiration from at the least. That’s caused my family a lot of due duress, and myself also. I’m under kidney failure, as well as I’m promoting my own album. I have better things to do than to be sitting here trying to defend my father’s legacy, which I’m glad to do cause that’s my position.
If you listen to the music, I’m sure anyone will see the similarities clearly between what my father does and what Robin Thicke has been trying to do. What would he want to be protected from if he didn’t do anything?
Meanwhile, everyone (even TJB readers) are weighing on who is right and wrong in this situation. Over the weekend, actress Tichina Arnold chimed in, suggesting that Thicke is all sorts of wrong and did not do the right thing from the start. She wrote:
Since singing in church at the age of 3 and just plain being born unto this world, as an avid lover of all types of music, I must release my thoughts. There has been so many amazing artisans of the music industry that have literally created their own genre of incredible lyrics, scores, melodies and vocals such as Marvin Gaye. So I type these words and thoughts with fervor and true honesty from a loving place, but why one initiate a lawsuit that obviously displays an avoidance of just simply doing good, honest (and at the very least) fair copyright business practices with a great song that clearly has been inspired, derived, influenced by (or whatever you want to title it) then turn around and make an offer to settle on an issue that should have been handled honestly and fairly at it’s inception?
When I heard the song for the first time, not only did I start snapping my fingers and tossed my body back and forth swaying and grooving to the familiar rhythm and beat…I also immediately became happy for the Marvin Gaye estate for collecting some passive (but very well deserved) copy right income for one of Marvin Gaye’s most classic and familiar songs. The song is a hit. I enjoy the song, but when first hearing it, I immediately thought the song was a remix of ‘God to Give It Up’. I pray that both parties in this lawsuit can walk away happy and fairly compensated…..It’s always easier to just (do the right thing) from the start. The Gaye family should not have been sued in the first place. The ‘writing’ is on the wall. Pardon the pun. But it’s time that the artists in every area of music in the arts treat other artists and musicians the way they would like to be treated.
What are your thoughts on Tichina’s comments?