As the “Blurred Lines” court proceedings are underway yet again, one thing both parties of the lawsuit can agree on is that the hit was the biggest thing poppin’ two years ago.
In fact, the record’s two top authors in Robin Thicke and Pharrell made enough money to actually retire off of.
Both sides agree with an accounting statement that attributes $16,675,690 in profits for “Blurred Lines,” which was the biggest hit of 2013. According to testimony, $5,658,214 went to Thicke, $5,153,457 was given to Williams and $704,774 came to T.I. The record companies (Interscope, UMG Distribution and Star Trak) took home the rest, with an executive at Universal Music testifying that overhead costs on the creation of “Blurred Lines” accounted for $6.9 million.
Few things are more closely guarded in the song business than financial profitability, and these types of details usually only leak out in accounting disputes that make it to trial. Here, the numbers are revealed as part of a copyright case where the family of Marvin Gaye asserts entitlement to a big chunk of money from “Blurred Lines” because it’s alleged to be a copyright infringement of “Got to Give It Up.”
As a result, such information as the $4.3 million that Williams got in publishing royalties and $860,000 he got in producer royalties has been disclosed.
Gaye’s family isn’t stopping at demanding money from sales of the song. The singer’s children Frankie and Nona Gaye are also targeting touring money, which, according to testimony, was about $11 million attributable to the success of “Blurred Lines.” Much of this information comes from Creative Artists Agency, which was served with a subpoena over Thicke’s income. To be awarded money on the touring front, the Gayes will likely have to establish a causal nexus between the infringement and the touring revenues.
Seems like T.I.’s contribution was shortchanged, no?