Pharrell Williams testified on Wednesday (Mar. 4) that he tried to channel Marvin Gaye on “Blurred Lines,” but the singer denied directly copying the Motown legend’s “Got To Give It Up” on the 2013 track.
“He’s one of the ones we look up to so much. I respect his music beyond words. The last thing you want to do is create something of someone else’s when you love them,” Pharrell said, adding that he grew up listening to Marvin Gaye’s music.
Pharrell made the testimony as part of an ongoing legal dispute with the family of Marvin Gaye over whether Blurred Lines lifted beats and rhythms from Marvin’s 1977 track Got To Give It Up.
The 41-year-old’s testimony is crucial because he wrote the song and most of the lyrics. He admitted that while he believed the two songs had a similar feel, there was no infringement.
Pharrell collaborated on the track with rapper T.I. and Robin Thicke, who testified in the case in January.
As part of his testimony Robin said that he had nothing to do with writing the song, claiming that he lied in multiple interviews out of career jealousy.
“After making six albums that I wrote and produced myself, the biggest hit of my career was written and produced by somebody else, and I was jealous and wanted some of the credit,” he stated.
The publishing royalties he receives for the track – around 20 per cent – is down to Pharrell’s generosity.
“(I get) a larger percentage of publishing than I deserve,” he said.
As part of the court case it was revealed that Blurred Lines has earned more than $16 million in profits and more than $5 million each for Pharrell and Robin, while T.I. received more than $700,000 for his part in the song.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, is expected to be among the case’s final witnesses on Thursday.