Blurred Lines
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Blurred Lines

"Blurred Lines"
Robin Thicke Blurred Lines Cover.svg
Single by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams
from the album Blurred Lines
ReleasedMarch 26, 2013
Recorded2012
Genre
Length4:25
Label
Pharrell Williams
Robin Thicke singles chronology
"Love After War"
(2011)
"Blurred Lines"
(2013)
"For the Rest of My Life"
(2013)
T.I. singles chronology
"We Still in This Bitch"
(2013)
"Blurred Lines"
(2013)
"Pour It Up (Remix)"
(2013)
Pharrell Williams singles chronology
"Celebrate"
(2012)
"Blurred Lines"
(2013)
"Get Lucky"
(2013)
Music video
"Blurred Lines" on YouTube

"Blurred Lines" is a song by American singer-songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams and American rapper T.I., produced by Williams. It was released on March 26, 2013, through Williams's label Star Trak Recordings as the lead single from Thicke's album Blurred Lines.[2] Recorded in 2012, the drumming was inspired by the Marvin Gaye song "Got to Give It Up" and, apart from T.I.'s rap, was entirely the work of Williams.[3][4][5] However, Thicke claimed writing credits on the track, according to a Reuters article.[6] The song became the subject of a bitter legal dispute with the family of Gaye and Bridgeport Music, who argued the song infringed on copyrights to the song that inspired it. Williams and Thicke were found liable for copyright infringement by a federal jury in March 2015, and Gaye was awarded posthumous songwriting credit (based on the royalties pledged to his estate).

The song's music video was released in two versions: one featuring models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue, and Elle Evans topless, while the other censored the nudity. The uncensored version of the video was removed from YouTube for violating the site's terms of service, but restored with an age restriction.

The lyrics and music video to "Blurred Lines" were controversial, with some groups claiming they are misogynistic and promote a culture of date rape. It was banned in the United Kingdom from some institutions and students' unions at universities. Thicke offered numerous rebuttals, but also called the song "a bad joke". Williams initially defended his song, saying the accusers were selectively picking apart the lyrics and the song was actually meant to empower women. However, Williams came to later regret working on the song years later and subsequently disowned it.[7][8] Video director Diane Martel said the music video was meant to be silly and provocative, and the women in it were meant to be overpowering the men.

"Blurred Lines" peaked at number one in at least 25 countries and became the number one song of 2013 in several countries. It became Thicke's first, T.I.'s fourth, and Williams' third number-one single in the US, where it was also the longest running number one single for that year. It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with sales of 14.8 million,[9] simultaneously breaking the record for the largest radio audience in history.[10] The single was nominated for two Grammys at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.[11] The song has been parodied and covered numerous times.

Background and release

"Blurred Lines" was produced by Thicke and Pharrell with an intention of creating a sound similar to Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" (1977). The song was completed in less than an hour.[12] In an interview with GQ's Stelios Phili, Thicke explained: Pharrell and I were in the studio and [...] I was like, "Damn, we should make something like that ['Got to Give It Up'], something with that groove." Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about half an hour and recorded it. He and I would go back and forth where I'd sing a line and he'd be like, "Hey, hey, hey!" We started acting like we were two old men on a porch hollering at girls like, "Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!"[13] In an interview with The Daily Star, Thicke explained the meaning of the song, saying: "It is mostly throwaway fun, but naturally Pharrell and I, being in love with our wives, having kids, and loving our mothers, we have a lot of respect for women. So the way we were seeing it is, 'I know man tries to domesticate you but you're an animal, you are just like any man.' It is also about the blurred line between a good girl and bad girl, people who want to get naughty."[14] Thicke also said the song was about his sexual desires with now ex-wife Paula Patton that inspired the song.[14] In an interview with SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, Thicke said: "Blurred Lines is very much about my wife. It's about how she's a good girl, but she wants to be a bad girl. My wife is Mrs. Good Girl, but gradually over our marriage, I've turned her into a bad girl. I mean naughty, sexually, yeah. I won't get into too many details out of respect to her but she likes it all. We've done just about everything."[15]

During an interview with NPR, Pharrell defended the song, highlighting the lyric "that man is not your maker", saying, "I don't know anything that could be more clear about our position in the song" and "... if you're looking at the lyrics, the power is right there in the woman's hand. That man--me as a human being, me as a man, I'm not your maker, I can't tell you what to do."[16] Pharrell reiterated and expounded on his defense during an interview with Pitchfork, in response to the idea of the song being "sexually predatory".[17] He expressed confusion on why it was so controversial.[17] In "Blurred Lines", He says "The Robin Thicke lyrics are: "You don't need no papers," meaning, "You are not a possession. That man is not your maker," meaning he is not God--nor can he produce children or women, for that matter. He's a man, so he definitely did not make you. What I was trying to say was: "That man is trying to domesticate you, but you don't need no papers--let me liberate you." But it was misconstrued. When you pull back and look at the entire song, the point is: She's a good girl, and even good girls want to do things, and that's where you have the blurred lines. She expresses it in dancing because she's a good girl. People who are agitated just want to be mad, and I accept their opinion. We got a kick out of making people dance, and that was the intention."[17]

Composition

Music journalists described "Blurred Lines" as a pop and R&B track.[18][19] Its instrumentation consists of bass guitar, drums, and percussion.[20] According to Emily Bootle of New Statesman, the song has a "bouncing bassline", "tongue-in cheek background yelps", a "comically low pitch of the refrain 'I know you want it'" and a "laughter that follows the lyric 'What rhymes with 'hug me'?'".[19] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times noted the songs use of "plasticine funk" and "warbly bass".[21]

Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian, "Blurred Lines" is about a "woman in a nightclub who may or not be interested in [Thicke],"[22] while Jason Lipshutz of Billboard magazine commented that the song is about Thicke "trying to convince a 'good girl' to shed her plain-ass boyfriend and give in to the outlandish sexual temptations that he knows rumble deep within her."[20] Sezin Koehler of Pacific Standard said the lyric suggest that "women are supposed to enjoy pain during sex or that pain is part of sex." She continues, saying: "The woman's desires play no part in this scenario--except insofar as he projects whatever he pleases onto her--another parallel to the act of rape."[23]

Critical reception

Jim Farber, writing for New York Daily News, called the song "irresistible" and mentioned it had an "utter lack of pretense".[24] In her review for The Christian Science Monitor, Nekesa Mumbi Moody labeled the song as "undeniable", and wrote that it had become a "cultural flashpoint".[25] The staff of The New Zealand Herald lauded the track as "cool" and "inventive".[26] The Ledger James C. McKinley Jr praised "Blurred Lines" as a "catchy come-on".[27]

Callie Ahlgrim and Courteney Larocca of Insider commented that "If you could cancel a song the way fans cancel artists, 'Blurred Lines' deserves to be that song." They continued, saying its "existence is a huge injustice to women everywhere."[28] Writing for Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield described "Blurred Lines" as "the worst song of this or any other year." He said he couldn't "remember the last time there was a hit song this ghastly - the sound of Adam Sandler taking a falsetto hate-whizz on Marvin Gaye's grave."[29] Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club highlighted the song as an "old-man lecherousness and boys'-club friskiness" and said it "comes off as uncomfortable and demeaning."[30] Spin magazines Keith Harris remarked the song as "a consensual two-way flirtation, a game both players get to win, with Thicke desperately launching goofball compliments at a woman who paws at him and prances away."[31] Andy Kellman of AllMusic depicted "Blurred Lines" as an "marginalized genre of R&B".[32] The Daily Beast Tricia Romano described the track as "kind of rapey."[33]

Greg Kot from the Chicago Tribune described the song's lyrics as "dunderheaded", while saying Thicke "scrapes bottom with his single-entendre come-on's."[34]

Chart performance

"Blurred Lines" debuted at number 94 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[35] The track rose from number 11 to number 6, giving Thicke his first top 10 hit in the US.[36] The song would later rise from number six to number one in June 2013, giving T.I. his fourth, Pharrell his third, and Thicke's first number one hit in the US.[37][38] It gained a 44 percent jump in chart points, displacing Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Can't Hold Us", which featured Ray Dalton.[37] "Blurred Lines" topped the Hot 100 for 12 consecutive weeks before being displaced by Katy Perry's "Roar".[39] The single was certified 10× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting track-equivalent sales of 10,000,000 units in the US based on sales and streams.[40]

In Canada, the song reached number one for 13 consecutive weeks, becoming the longest-running number-one single of 2013. Since the launch of the Canadian Hot 100 in 2007, the song has become third with most weeks at number one, tying "Apologize" by Timbaland featuring OneRepublic, and just behind "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars and "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas, with 15 and 16 weeks on top of the charts respectively.[41] It was Canada's best-selling song of 2013 with 692,000 copies sold (706,000 for all versions combined).[42]

In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart on June 2, 2013 - for the week ending date June 8, 2013 - selling 190,000 copies in its first week and becoming Britain's fastest-selling single of the year, though it was later passed by Avicii's "Wake Me Up" on July 21, 2013.[43] "Blurred Lines" then remained at number one the following week, selling even more than it did in its first with 199,000 copies sold.[44] On its fifth week in the charts, the single dropped a place to number two although it shifted a further 100,000 copies, having the fastest one-week sales at number two of 2013 so far. After a two-week break from the top spot, the song returned to number one on July 14, 2013 - for the week ending date July 20, 2013 - to claim its fifth week at the top, becoming the first song to spend two weeks off the top-spot before reclaiming the position, since Calvin Harris' and Rihanna's single "We Found Love" in 2011. "Blurred Lines" was confirmed to have sold 1 million copies on its 50th day of release, becoming Pharrell's second song in only a month to achieve that feat in Britain (the other being Daft Punk collaboration "Get Lucky").[45] According to the Official Charts Company, the single became Britain's best-selling single of 2013 with sales of 1,472,681 copies.[46]

On April 21, 2014, it was announced that "Blurred Lines" was the most downloaded song of all time in the UK,[47] with digital sales of more than 1.54 million, a total since surpassed by Pharrell Williams' own single "Happy". Its current UK sales stand at 1,630,000.[48]

"Blurred Lines" is Thicke's most successful song, being his first to reach number one on the Hot 100 (he previously peaked at number 14 in 2007 with "Lost Without U"). It also marks Pharrell's third Hot 100 number one, after "Drop It Like It's Hot" with Snoop Dogg in 2004 and "Money Maker" with Ludacris in 2006, and T.I.'s fourth Hot 100 number one after "My Love" with Justin Timberlake in 2006, and his own singles "Whatever You Like" and "Live Your Life" in 2008.[49]

In the United States, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for twelve consecutive weeks, becoming the longest running number one single of 2013 and of the 2010s decade, surpassing Rihanna's "We Found Love" (2011),[50] but was later replaced by Mark Ronsons "Uptown Funk" in 2015.[51] This feat also gave him the eighth lead male solo artist in Billboard history to rack ten or more weeks at the number one spot for a single.[50] It sold over 5 million copies in just 22 weeks in the US, and 6 million in 29 weeks, faster than any other song in digital history.[52][53]

According to the IFPI, by the end of 2013, the song had sold 14.8 million copies, becoming the best selling song of the year worldwide.

As of August 2016, it is currently the seventh best-selling digital single of all time. It was the second best-selling song of 2013 in the US and the best-selling song of 2013 in the UK.[54][46]

Music video

Background

A music video for "Blurred Lines" was directed by Diane Martel and was released on March 20, 2013,[55] while an unrated version was released on March 28, 2013.[56] After being on the site for just under one week, the unrated version of the video was removed from YouTube on March 30, 2013, citing violations of the site's terms of service that restricts the uploading of videos containing nudity, particularly if used in a sexual context.[57][58] However, it was later restored on July 12, 2013.[59] The unrated video remains available on Vevo, while the edited version is available on both Vevo and YouTube.[60][61][62] The unrated version of "Blurred Lines" generated more than 1 million views in the days following its release on Vevo.[63] As of November 2020, the unrated version of "Blurred Lines" is available on YouTube and has gathered over 69 million views.[64]

"I wanted to have beautiful bodies and crazy, fucked-up sets. I thought about cheap props, crappy fun stuff. The video is goofy and innocent. I was channeling Benny Hill and 1960s variety shows."

--Diane Martel Q&A with Eric Ducker, Grantland, June 26, 2013.[65]

During a Q&A for Grantland Diane Martel explained that her desire was "to make videos that sell records" and "not to make videos that express my own obsessions, but to make videos that move units." Martel at first turned down the offer to direct the video after being told there could be no nudity but agreed to direct when it was decided to shoot two versions. The video was shot as a white cyclorama. Martel favorably referred to the large hashtags that flash throughout the video as "awkward" and noted she enjoyed their obstructive quality. The fashion in which the women in the video are dressed was in part inspired by the work of photographer Helmut Newton. When asked about what references she drew from for the video, Martel cited the ballets of George Balanchine as performed by the New York City Ballet, noting their minimalism, as well as the work of Richard Avedon. The manner in which Martel directed the action and interaction of those in the video was intended to convey playfulness while also presenting the women "in the power position." Martel also sought out intentionally "gross" and "oversized" props to utilize in the video.[65]

Synopsis

The video features Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell casually standing in front of light-pink backdrop as they flirt with models (Emily Ratajkowski, Elle Evans and Jessi M'Bengue) who pose and dance. At various points, the hashtag "#THICKE" flashes, while towards the end, "ROBIN THICKE HAS A BIG DICK" is spelled out in silver balloons. He has two versions: the unrated version and the edited version. In the unrated version of the video, the models wear just thongs. In the edited version, they are scantily clad and the hashtag "#BLURREDLINES" is seen at various points. This is the second time that director Diane Martel and Pharrell join together for a music video project involving two differently rated versions. The 2001 video for the N.E.R.D single "Lapdance" also featured models in two variant editions, one of which, like "Blurred Lines", is a topless version.[66][67] The video was filmed at Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake.

Reception

Kat Bein of Miami New Times described the visual as "misogynist", and said that it "objectifi[ed] naked women."[68]

Controversies

Content, banning, and subject matter

In the United Kingdom, more than 20 universities banned the song from use at student events. At the University of Edinburgh, students' association officials stated that the song violates its policy against "rape culture and lad banter" and promotes an unhealthy attitude towards sex and consent.[69] It was also banned at other British institutions, including Plymouth University, Leeds University,[70] University of Derby, Queen Mary University of London, Kingston University, University of Bolton, Queen's University Belfast, University of Birmingham, University of East Anglia, University of the West of Scotland, and a number of Oxford and Durham colleges.[71] Students at the University of Exeter voted for a condemnation of the lyrics to be issued by the Students' Guild.[72] In Marshfield, Wisconsin, Lisa Joling, head coach of the Marshfield High School dance team, was fired in August 2013, three days after a halftime performance by her dance class to the song.[73]

Thicke, noting that all three male singers are married and have children, said that the Diane Martel-directed video was tongue-in-cheek.[74] When defending the song on NBC's The Today Show, the 36-year-old singer explained that encouraging conversation about the song's content was his intention, saying "It's actually a feminist movement within itself. It's saying that women and men are equals as animals and as power".[75] After its banning at University College London, Thicke declared the song was about his wife and that, after 20 years together, he indeed knew she wanted it from him.[76] In 2013 and 2014, Thicke and his wife Paula Patton's separation and divorce were covered extensively by the tabloid press including Thicke's efforts to reconcile with Patton.

In a Q&A for Grantland.com, video director Diane Martel had this to say about the music video:[65]

I wanted to deal with the misogynist, funny lyrics in a way where the girls were going to overpower the men. Look at Emily Ratajkowski's performance; it's very, very funny and subtly ridiculing. That's what is fresh to me. It also forces the men to feel playful and not at all like predators. I directed the girls to look into the camera, this is very intentional and they do it most of the time; they are in the power position. I don't think the video is sexist. The lyrics are ridiculous, the guys are silly as fuck. That said, I respect women who are watching out for negative images in pop culture and who find the nudity offensive, but I find [the video] meta and playful.

-- Diane Martel, Interview with Grantland

Thicke at first appears to contradict his claims that the song is about women empowerment in an interview given to GQ in May 2013, stating:[77]

We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, "We're the perfect guys to make fun of this." People say, "Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?" I'm like, "Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women."

-- Robin Thicke, Interview with GQ

When asked about this, Diane Martel denied that there was any such intention calling the idea that it was ever discussed and Thicke's GQ statement "crazy".[65] Thicke later clarified his comment during an interview for Oprah's Next Chapter, describing it as a "bad joke", noting that the GQ interview that was published did not mention that he had been joking back and forth with the interviewer and doing an impersonation of Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy character while making the remark, thus not providing the facetious context.[78]

In an interview for CBC Radio's Q, Thicke dismissed the idea that the song is about a man forcing himself sexually onto a woman as "an impossible reality".[79] Thicke continues, "For them to take that lyric [I know you want it] and not take the lyrics that man is not your maker, you're an animal, and we're equals, and all of the other lyrics that are in the song and only to take I know you want it from a guy like Ron Burgundy who's standing there going, [does impression of Ron Burgundy] 'I know you want it, baby'. It's a joke. If they can't get the joke, I feel bad for them, but I'm not going to change the joke."[79]

In the interview, Thicke noted that part of video director Diane Martel's intention was to generate attention, but Thicke defended the song, saying: "The song and the video are two completely different things. The song has nothing to do with belittling a woman or misogyny or anything. Obviously, when a guy's standing there fully clothed and the girls are naked, I totally welcome the conversation of what does this video say about men and women, but the song itself, the title, 'Blurred Lines', is about men and woman are equals."[79]

In 2019, Williams stated he regretted working on the song and disowned it as he felt it came off as chauvinistic and was being used for men to take advantage of women.[7][8]

Marvin Gaye lawsuit and authorship questions

In August 2013, Thicke, Williams, and Harris (T.I.) sued the family of Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music for a declaratory judgment that "Blurred Lines" did not infringe copyrights of the defendants. Gaye's family accused the song's authors of copying the "feel" and "sound" of "Got to Give It Up" (the song that Thicke personally claimed was an influence on "Blurred Lines"), while Bridgeport claimed that the song illegally sampled Funkadelic's song "Sexy Ways". The litigation over the songs drew comparisons to that of the 1970s case between George Harrison and Bright Tunes Music over the song "My Sweet Lord", which a judge ruled had similarly plagiarized the earlier "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons; Harrison later bought the rights to "He's So Fine".[80] Ultimately, Thicke and Williams (but not T.I.) were found to have infringed the Gaye estate's copyright and, in 2018, the Ninth Circuit affirmed liability for millions of dollars in damages.[81]

In the lawsuit, Gaye's family was accused of making an invalid copyright claim since only expressions, not individual ideas can be protected.[82] Pharrell Williams responded to the lawsuit by calling the two songs "completely different", further stating: "Just simply go to the piano and play the two. One's minor and one's major. And not even in the same key."[83] In an interview, Questlove also echoed Williams' statement, saying:[84]

Look, technically it's not plagiarized. It's not the same chord progression. It's a feeling. Because there's a cowbell in it and a Fender Rhodes as the main instrumentation--that still doesn't make it plagiarized. We all know it's derivative. That's how Pharrell works. Everything that Pharrell produces is derivative of another song--but it's a homage.

-- Questlove, Interview with Vulture

In September 2014, The Hollywood Reporter released files relating to a deposition from the case. Within the deposition Thicke stated that he was "high on Vicodin and alcohol when [he] showed up at the studio" and that, as a result, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song".[85][86] Within Williams' respective deposition file, the producer noted that he was "in the driver's seat" during the song's creation and agreed that Thicke, in past interviews, "embellished" his contributions to the songwriting process.[87][88]

On October 30, 2014, United States District Court for the Central District of California Judge John A. Kronstadt ruled the Gaye family's lawsuit against Thicke and Williams could proceed, stating the plaintiffs "have made a sufficient showing that elements of 'Blurred Lines' may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of 'Got to Give It Up'." The trial began on February 10, 2015.[89] Williams and Thicke filed a successful motion in limine to prevent a recording of "Got to Give it Up" from being played during the trial.[90][91] The motion was granted because the family's copyright covered the sheet music and not necessarily other musical elements from Gaye's recording of the song. Judge Kronstad remarked: "I don't expect Marvin Gaye's voice to be part of this case."[91]

On March 10, 2015, a jury found Thicke and Williams, but not T.I., liable for copyright infringement.[92] The unanimous jury awarded Gaye's family US$7.4 million in damages for copyright infringement.[93] The response among some observers regarding the decision was that it was incorrect; bassist and entertainment law attorney Joe Escalante stated that the jury's verdict "must have been based on emotions because it is not based on any notions of what is protectable under copyright law today."[94] Singer-songwriter Keith Urban said: "My initial reaction from it, I was shocked, honestly. Seems more like a sound and a feel and a style and a genre and an era, none of which can be copyrighted."[95] Comedian and music parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic (who made a parody of the song with his 2014 "Word Crimes") described the ruling as "a raw deal", calling the song "Marvin Gaye pastiche."[96] Songwriter Burt Bacharach commented that "bad decisions were made" and that "the current situation was messy".[97] The verdict was also questioned by recording artists and musicians John Legend,[98] Nile Rodgers,[99] and Bill Withers.[100] Classical music critic Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times pointed out that many classical composers used material from previous composers, saying that "John Williams all but lifted the core idea of his Star Wars soundtrack score from the scherzo of Erich Korngold's Symphony in F-sharp Major, written 25 years earlier."[101] However, Motown legend Smokey Robinson stated that it was a mistake to use the same melody, and that he thought "Blurred Lines" was "absolutely a rip off."[102]

In August 2016, Thicke, Williams, and T.I. appealed the judgment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.[103][104] Later that same month, more than 200 musicians - including among others Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, John Oates of Hall & Oates, R. Kelly, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Hudson as well as members of Train, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Black Crowes, Fall Out Boy, The Go-Go's and Tears for Fears - filed an amicus curiae brief, authored by attorney Ed McPherson, in support of the appeal, stating that "the verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works."[105][106] In March 2018, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's finding of infringement against Williams and Thicke.[81]

Live performances

On May 14, 2013, Thicke performed the song for the first time live on NBC's The Voice alongside Pharrell and T.I. The website of Rap-Up magazine described Thicke as looking "dapper" in "black suit", and that the trio were joined on stage by "sexy ladies during the steamy set".[107] Thicke also performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 16 with Pharrell and three models doing backup.[108] Thicke performed the song live at the finale of Germany's Next Topmodel, Cycle 8 on May 30, 2013, at SAP Arena in Mannheim. The performance featured the top 20 contestants of the cycle who danced to the song on chairs. The four finalists walked the runway during the performance, as well as performing a burlesque-like dance on different items of furniture.[109] On June 7, 2013, Thicke performed the song alongside Pharrell on the British television chat show The Graham Norton Show.[110] He also performed the song (with recorded T.I. and Pharrell backing vocals) on Australian The Voice season 2 finale on June 17, 2013.[111] Thicke performed the song on the 2013 BET Awards on June 30, 2013.[112] Thicke also performed the track solo on British morning TV show Lorraine and BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge on July 8, 2013, as well as This Morning on July 10, 2013.[113][114] Thicke also performed the song complete with dancers in studio on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Radio July 29, 2013.[115] He also performed the song on The Colbert Report on August 6, 2013.[116] On September 20, he performed Blurred Lines at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival. On November 10, Thicke performed the song with Iggy Azalea at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards.[117] In December, he performed the song at Jingle Ball 2013 concerts. In May 2014, Williams performed the song as part of a medley at the iHeartRadio Awards where he received the iHeartRadio Innovator Award.[118] In May 2017, he performed the song at 4th Indonesian Choice Awards.

MTV Video Music Awards

Thicke performed Blurred Lines as a duet with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, medleyed with Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" and "Give It 2 U", featuring 2 Chainz. The performance began with Cyrus performing "We Can't Stop" in bear-themed attire. Following this, Thicke entered the stage and Cyrus stripped down to a small skin-colored two-piece outfit. Cyrus subsequently touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch.[] The performance drew extensive reactions and became the most tweeted about event in history, with Twitter users generating 360,000 tweets about the event per minute; breaking the previous record held by Beyoncé's Super Bowl XLVII halftime show performance six months earlier.[119][120]

In popular culture

An ad was created for Radio Shack to market the Beats Pill, a small stereo, that showed Thicke, Pharrell, and the models repeating the look of the (clothed) music video, but with the models holding up the Beats Pill.[121] A cover featuring Thicke himself with classroom instruments was performed by Jimmy Fallon and the Roots, with Black Thought filling in for T.I.'s verse.[122]

Parodies

On June 12, 2013 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, in which Thicke and Pharrell were both guests, they aired a parody version of the "Blurred Lines" video in which host Jimmy Kimmel and his sidekick Guillermo attempt to join Thicke, Pharrell, and the dancers but keep getting rebuffed.[123] On August 2, 2013, Bart Baker released a parody of "Blurred Lines" on his YouTube channel.[124] On September 11, 2013, the drag queen group DWV (Detox, Willam Belli, and Vicky Vox), released a parody called "Blurred Bynes." The song is about Amanda Bynes and her behavior in the previous months.[125] On November 5, 2013, Dave Callan, as part of his review of Just Dance 2014 on the ABC show Good Game performed a parody of the music video in response to the incorrect choreography of the song in the game.[126][127] On December 19, 2013, the Canadian sketch comedy group Royal Canadian Air Farce released a parody of the music video called "Rob Ford's Blurred Lines" highlighting the recent admissions by Toronto mayor Rob Ford of public drunkenness and using crack cocaine.[128] On July 15, 2014, "Weird Al" Yankovic released a parody of the song entitled "Word Crimes" from his album Mandatory Fun. A music video for the song was released the same day.[129]

Track listing

  • Digital download
  1. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.) - 4:22[130]
  • Colombia single
  1. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and J Balvin) - 4:22[131]
  1. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.) [Clean] - 4:22
  2. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell & T.I.) [Laidback Luke Remix] - 4:39
  1. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams) [No Rap Version] - 3:50
  2. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell and T.I.) [Laidback Luke Remix] - 4:40
  3. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.) [Music Video] - 4:33
  4. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.) [Music Video - Clean] - 4:33
  1. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell and T.I.) [Laidback Luke Remix] - 4:40
  2. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell and T.I.) Will Sparks Remix] - 5:08
  3. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell and T.I.) [DallasK Remix] - 5:00
  1. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.) - 4:23
  2. "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell & T.I.) [Laidback Luke Remix] - 4:40
  3. "When I Get You Alone" - 3:36
  4. "Lost Without U" - 4:14
  5. "Magic" - 3:53
  6. "Sex Therapy" - 4:35

Credits and personnel

Credits and personnel adapted from Blurred Lines album liner notes.[136]

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[241] 9× Platinum 630,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[242] Platinum 30,000*
Belgium (BEA)[243] Platinum 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[244] 9× Platinum 706,000[42]
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[245] Platinum 30,000^
France (SNEP)[246] Diamond 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[247] Diamond 1,000,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[248] 4× Platinum 120,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[249] 3× Platinum 180,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[250] Platinum 20,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[251] 5× Platinum 75,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[252] 2× Platinum 20,000*
South Korea (Gaon Chart)
Single version
-- 86,552[253]
South Korea (Gaon Chart)
Album version
-- 101,293[253]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[254] Gold 20,000^
Sweden (GLF)[255] 2× Platinum 80,000double-dagger
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[256] 3× Platinum 90,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[257] 3× Platinum 1,630,000[48]
United States (RIAA)[40] 10× Platinum 10,000,000double-dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Radio and release history

Country Date Format Version Label
Australia March 26, 2013 Digital download Main version Star Trak
United States
Germany[258] March 27, 2013
Italy April 5, 2013 Contemporary hit radio Universal
United States
April 16, 2013[259] Rhythmic hit radio Star Trak
May 21, 2013[260] Contemporary hit radio
United Kingdom[261] May 26, 2013 Digital download
Germany[262] May 31, 2013 CD single
Colombia[131] July 23, 2013 Digital download J Balvin remix

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Gaye was not credited as a songwriter, but a court later ruled that the song plagiarized Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up".

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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