It all started with a few blurred lines and ended up in divorce. Singer Robin Thicke was poised to have the best year ever when his hit song “Blurred Lines” was released in early 2013. After spending years stacking his resume with hits like “Lost Without You,” recording with Lil Wayne and Jay Z, touring with Alicia Keys and even doing a reality TV stint with Kevin Hart, Thicke’s career was at the tipping point. But to paraphrase Charles Dickens, the best of times quickly became the worst of times for the L.A. native.
If you’ve been having a hard time keeping track of just what the hell happened to the seemingly affable man who once sang for Oprah and rocked a Jesus Christ Superstar hairdo, we’ve laid things out for you in this neat timeline.
March 2013, So Many “Blurred Lines”
Building anticipation for his sixth studio album, Robin Thicke released the title track “Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I. and he immediately received flack from some feminists as lines like “I know you want it” were challenged as being inappropriate.
Later that month the ever so controversial video for “Blurred Lines” (above) was released and the debates over the record heightened. The public screamed “sexist” after watching three models parading around naked while Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. all keep their clothes on.
The video director, Diane Martel, attempted to explain it away in a Grantland Q&A:
“I wanted to deal with the misogynist, funny lyrics in a way where the girls were going to overpower the men. Look at Emily Ratajkowski’s [the brunette] performance; it’s very, very funny and subtly ridiculing. That’s what is fresh to me. It also forces the men to feel playful and not at all like predators. I directed the girls to look into the camera, this is very intentional and they do it most of the time; they are in the power position. I don’t think the video is sexist. The lyrics are ridiculous, the guys are silly as fuck. That said, I respect women who are watching out for negative images in pop culture and who find the nudity offensive, but I find [the video] meta and playful.”
August 16th, 2013 Robin Thicke Sues Family of Marvin Gaye To Protect “Blurred Lines”
The trio files a lawsuit against the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music. According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Hollywood reporter, “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.”
August 25th, 2013 Robin Thicke & Miley Cyrus’s Epic Performance At The MTV VMA’s
Robin Thicke joins Miley Cyrus for a performance of “Blurred Lines” at the MTV VMA’s, which would have been totally fine if Miley hadn’t been twerking on Robin’s crotch…awkward.
And if the twerking was totally fine for you, then let’s digress and talk about Robin’s suit….or not. The twerking was defintiely not okay.
October 2013, Marvin’s Family Sues Back
This is where the real turmoil begins…
Following the MTV VMA’s performance with Miley Cyrus, TMZ reported a countersuit filed by two of Gaye’s children accusing Thicke of plagiarism after mashing together a song by Marvin Gaye and a hit by Parliament to bring the song together. The suit, filed by Nona Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye, pointed to Thicke’s interviews with “Billboard” and “GQ” where he admitted to wanting to make something similar to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”
The Gaye family claimed that “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” “feel” or “sound” the same.
Take a listen below and be the judge for yourselves:
The Gaye suit makes further claims that Thicke’s “Love After War” is a replica of Gay’s hit, “After the Dance.”