UPDATE: Janis Gaye has released a statement refuting the rumors that the Gayes are planning on targeting “Happy” in a copyright suit similar to “Blurred Lines.” “This is 100 percent false,” she says. “We have absolutely no claim whatsoever concerning ‘Happy.'”
Although the family of Marvin Gaye was already awarded $7.3 million from the “Blurred Lines” verdict, they’re now deciding whether to broach a similar case against another of Pharrell Williams‘ chart-toppers, “Happy.” Videos posted on YouTube have pointed out alleged similarities between Pharrell’s Grammy-winning hit and Gaye’s 1965 single “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and the soul singer’s family admitted to CBS News that they have heard the mash-ups.
“I’m not going to lie. I do think they sound alike,” Gaye’s daughter Nona Gaye said. Gaye’s ex-wife Janis added, “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.'” However, the Gaye family have not taken any steps towards another lawsuit yet.
The Gaye family told CBS News about their emotions right before and after the verdict was read. “My heart started pounding, but I still had faith that the verdict was going to go our way,” Janis Gaye said, noting that when she heard what the jury had decided, “That’s when I lost it completely. And I was filled with incredibly powerful emotion.”
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After the verdict, which Pharrell and Robin Thicke plan on appealing, the “Blurred Lines” duo’s attorney Howard King argued that the court’s decision would set a “horrible precedent” in the music industry by making artists reticent about creating songs inspired by previous works. However, Nona Gaye disagrees with that notion. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being inspired,” she said. “I’ve been inspired when I made music before. Inspiration’s fine, but the line is when you decide to take the complete and utter essence out of the song. When you take all the meat, and leave the bones.”
While Gaye defended the decision from a protein prospective, King used a textile metaphor when Rolling Stone asked about the case. “The main misconception was what Pharrell said: ‘Silk and rayon feel exactly the same but are completely different materials,'” King said. “The owner of rayon better have his eyes turned toward the owner of silk because if this decision really stands, he’s going to get sued.”