After losing a lawsuit for his part in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” song, Pharrell Williams has been accused once again of copying the work of Marvin Gaye. The Gaye family now says that Williams’ song “Happy” sounds similar to one of the late R&B singer’s songs. However, they have no plans to sue.
According to International Business Times, the new allegation comes right after Marvin Gaye’s family won $7.4 million in a copyright trial in which both Thicke and Williams were found liable for for copying the 1977 song, “Got to Give it Up.” The family alleges that “Happy,” Williams’ 2014 smash hit, sounds a lot like Gaye’s 1966 song, “Ain’t That Peculiar.”
Yet, with an exhausting trial just ending, there is a good chance that the Gaye family will not be pursuing another lawsuit against Williams, although Gaye’s sister Nora, feels that that two songs sound the same.
“I’m not going to lie. They do sound alike.”
Janis Gaye, Marvin Gaye’s ex-wife, touched on the topic of “mash-ups” of “Happy” and “Ain’t That Peculiar,” in which the two tracks were mixed together to make one song.
“I heard the mash-ups — but I didn’t really need to hear them. I know ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’ and I’ve heard ‘Happy.'”
Even though a future lawsuit against Pharrell Williams isn’t planned, the Gaye family does have a request. According to Yahoo Celebrity UK, the family would be delighted to have him perform at a Marvin Gaye tribute show. For now, though, they are satisfied with the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit verdict and hold no ill will towards Thicke or Williams.
In fact, according to Nona, there is nothing wrong with people feeling inspired by another artist’s work, yet the problem arises when that work turns into copyright infringement.
The “Blurred Lines” lawsuit against Thicke and Williams isn’t quite over just yet. The singers’ lawyer, Howard E. King, plans to file an appeal on the $7.4 million verdict. The appeal may take years, however, with no guarantees of success.
Meanwhile, Williams continues to act as a coach and mentor on the NBC show, The Voice. Returning for his second year on the show, Pharrell Williams has already been praised for his kind and gentle words to contestants, along with his good nature and comradery with his fellow judges, particularly Adam Levine. The two are said to be just as good of friend outside of The Voice as they seem to be during each week’s shows.
(Photo Courtesy of David Buchan/Getty Images/Stringer)