Exclusive: Marvin Gaye’s Estate Denies Lawsuit Against Pharrell’s “Happy”

Despite similarities to “Ain’t That Peculiar,” the family has no plans to sue


No more lawsuits. That’s the word from team Marvin Gaye.

“We’re not suing Pharrell over ‘Happy’,” Marvin Gaye’s ex-wife Janis told me, exclusively, on the phone earlier today. “We are pleased with the verdict but contrary to reports in the media, we have absolutely no claim concerning Pharrell’s song, ‘Happy’.”

Earlier this week, the Gaye family was awarded more than $7 million in a copyright infringement suit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, in which the latter pair were found to have copied Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up” in their 2013 song “Blurred Lines.”

Nona Gaye and Janis Gaye with attorneys on March 10, 2015

Speculative reports in the media have suggested that a second lawsuit is forthcoming over Pharrell’s song “Happy,” which is said to bear similarities to Gaye’s 1965 hit “Ain’t That Peculiar,” but according to Janis, those reports are 100% wrong.

“That is false,” she said.

Janis, who sounded calm, contemplative and relieved on the phone, hammered that point home, and said that the past week has, as expected, been a whirlwind experience.

She reiterated that, by and large, happiness is the word to describe how they’re feeling, and while she’ll take the weekend to rest, there will be more information available directly from the Gaye family early next week.


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