Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has topped Playlist’s Song of the Year list.
The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as well as the R&B Songs chart. It was Thicke’s first song to reach number one on the Hot 100 chart. “Blurred Lines” also ranked at number two on Billboard‘s year-end Hot 100 chart, and was the UK’s best selling single of 2013, moving 1.44 million copies since its release. The song was certified six times platinum by the RIAA in September.
But the song wasn’t without its controversy. Not only was “Blurred Lines” blasted for its “rapey” lyrics, but it was also banned by several universities. The song was also parodied by feminist groups and a “boylesque” troupe. Lily Allen even mocked the song in her comeback single “Hard Out Here.”
In August, Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell filed a lawsuit against Marvin Gaye’s estate and Bridgeport Music after they were accused of copying Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” in the song. The lawsuit claimed that there were no similarities between Blurred Lines and the aforementioned songs “other than commonplace musical elements.” The trio sought a declaration that the “Gayes do not have an interest in the copyright to the composition ‘Got To Give It Up’ sufficient to confer standing on them to pursue claims of infringement of that composition.”
Nona and Frankie Gaye filed a countersuit against Thicke in October, alleging that he not only infringed upon “Got to Give it Up,” but also committed copyright infringement on “After the Dance,” for the title track from his 2011 album, Love After War. The siblings claimed that Thicke practically admitted to copying “Got to Give it Up” in interviews with GQ and Billboard.
The Gaye family also claimed that EMI breached a contract and its fiduciary duty by not protecting Marvin Gaye’s songs, and said the company attempted to intimidate the family against taking legal action.