Wednesday 18 September 2019

Round Two: Marvin Gaye's family now claim Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' sounds like 'Ain’t That Peculiar'

Pharrell Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
Pharrell Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire

Daisy Wyatt

After winning their court case against Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and TI for copyright infringement of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”, the late singer’s family have now claimed William’s hit “Happy” borrows from Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar”.

“I’m not going to lie. I do think they sound alike,” Gaye’s daughter told CBS News.

“I heard the mash-ups – but I didn’t really need to hear them,” said Gaye’s ex-wife Janis. “I know ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’ and I’ve heard ‘Happy.’”

However, the family – who inherited the copyright to the soul legend’s music following his death in 1984 – said they did not intend to bring about further legal action. “We’re just in the moment today and we’re satisfied.”

Williams and Thicke were ordered to pay $7.3m (£4.8m) to Gaye’s family earlier this week following a ruling at the US District Court in Los Angeles Court.

Nona, who reportedly wept when the verdict was read, said: “Right now, I feel free. Free from…Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”


In a statement following the trial, Thicke and Williams’ lawyer Howard E King said: “There was no properly admissible evidence upon which the jury could have found copying. A comparison of the two songs readily reveals that there isn’t one note in the melody that’s the same, there isn’t one chord in the entire song that’s the same, and there are no more than three notes in the bass lines, out of 26 notes, that are the same.”

He added: “This matter is not finished by any stretch of the imagination”.

“Blurred Lines” earned more than $5m each for Thicke and Williams. Although both are credited as its songwriters, Williams reportedly wrote the song in about an hour in 2012, and the pair recorded it in one night.

William's hit single “Happy” became the best-selling song of 2014, selling more than 1.5m copies in the UK and 6.5m in the US.


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