Blurred Lines jury awards Marvin Gaye family $7m

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke perform at the Grammy Awards - 25 January 2015

A jury in the United States has ruled that the writers of Blurred Lines – one of the best-selling singles of all time – copied a Marvin Gaye track.

Jurors in Los Angeles decided that the 2013 single by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke breached the copyright of Gaye’s 1977 hit Got To Give It Up.

The family of the late soul singer has been awarded $7.3m (£4.8m) in damages.

Thicke and Williams denied copying the hit, and their lawyer said musicians would find the ruling chilling.

Gaye died in April 1984, leaving his children the copyright to his music.

His children – Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III – sued the singers in 2013. Nona wept as the verdict was read in court.

“Right now, I feel free,” she told reporters after the ruling. “Free from… Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”

In court, Williams had told jurors that Gaye’s music was part of the soundtrack of his youth but he insisted it was not on his mind when he wrote the song.

But the musician recognised a likeness between the songs and agreed he was “channelling… that late-70s feeling” when he co-wrote the song.

Thicke testified that he had contributed little to the writing of the song.

The hit, which earned a Grammy nomination, generated more than $16m (£10.8) in profits and made more than $5m (£3m) for both stars.