Pharrell Williams has admitted his feelings were hurt when he was sued over chart-topping hit Blurred Lines because he’d “never take anything from anyone”.
Marvin Gaye’s heirs took Pharrell and Robin Thicke, who co-wrote and performed on the song, to court in 2015 after accusing them of copying their late father’s 1977 song Got to Give It Up for the hit. After winning the case, the Motown legend’s estate was awarded a massive $7.4 million (£5.2 million) verdict, but the figure was later reduced to $5.3 million (£3.7 million).
Pharrell opened up about the lawsuit during a conversation with producer Rick Rubin for GQ magazine, insisting that the verdict had affected him emotionally.
“It hurt my feelings because I would never take anything from anyone. And that really set me back,” he explained.
He also stuck to his guns that Blurred Lines and Got to Give It Up only share a “feeling”.
As Rubin said Blurred Lines is “nothing like” the Gaye track, Pharrell replied: “Nope. But the feeling was. You can’t copyright a feeling… All salsa songs sound pretty much the same.”
Rubin added that the case sets a dangerous precedent for songwriters and producers, explaining: “It’s bad for music because we’ve had an understanding of what a song is, and now based on that one case, there’s a question of what a song is. It’s not what it used to be because in the past, it would be the chords, the melody and the words … And your chords, your melody and your words – none of them had anything to do (with the Gaye song) It leaves us as music-makers in a really uncomfortable place making things because we don’t know what you can do.”