Marvin Gaye’s Family Says It’s Not Planning to Sue Pharrell Williams Over ‘Happy’ [Video]
Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke may have been dealt a huge blow after a California federal jury ruled that their 2013 hit single, “Blurred Lines,” sounded a little too similar to Marvin Gaye‘s “Got to Give It Up.”
The pair must fork over $7.3 million to the Gaye family, and the ruling might be just the beginning of the war.
Apparently, there have been whispers that Pharrell’s ubiquitous hit, “Happy,” could also be in the Gaye family’s legal crosshairs being that the joyous anthem sounds similar to another Marvin Gaye classic, “Ain’t That Peculiar.”
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Nona Gaye, who is Marvin Gaye’s only daughter, stated, “I’m not going to lie. I do think they sound alike.” However, when asked about any plans for additional lawsuits, she was mum on the topic, only responding “We’re not in that space.”
In another interview with Detroit News, Marvin Gaye’s widow, Janis Gaye, denied reports that they are planning to sue Skateboard P.
“We’re not contemplating any claims against Pharrell and ‘Happy’ at all,” she said. “None. I can’t think of anything that could be further from the truth.”
Back to the ET interview, when asked what is the difference between finding inspiration in a song and an all-out jacking, Nona Gaye offers the following: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being inspired,” Nona explains. “I’ve been inspired when I made music before. Inspiration’s fine, but the line is when you decide to take the complete and utter essence out of the song. When you take all the meat, and leave the bones.”
Nevertheless, the verdict has sent shockwaves through the music industry and put songwriters and producers on notice. Music experts believe the ruling could open up a pandora’s box of lawsuits over “genre and feel” instead of legitimate infringement.
“If you are a songwriter you have to be a little nervous,” Atlas Music Group CEO Rich Stumpf tells Billboard. “You have all of these years of influence in your sub conscience, it can be a scary situation when you think you own some song you created and then you find out otherwise. And as times goes on and more songs come out, there are sonic things going on in your sub conscience.”
What do you think? Does Pharrell’s “Happy” sound like Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar”? Tell us in the comments below.