TIME Music

Pharrell Says He Did Not Copy Marvin Gaye with ‘Blurred Lines’

"Blurred Lines" Musicians Robin Thicke And Pharrell Williams Lawsuit By Children Of R&B Legend Marvin Gaye Trial - Departures
David Buchan—Getty Images Musician Pharrell Williams is seen outside the Roybal Federal Building on March 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Williams and co-writers of the song "Blurred Lines" are being sued by the children of singer Marvin Gaye for using elements of Gaye's song "Got to Give it Up" in "Blurred Lines."

The producer said he did not consciously copy Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up"

Pharrell Williams testified on Wednesday that his hit song “Blurred Lines” and the influential Marvin Gaye 70s track “Got to Give It Up” share the same “feel,” but that he didn’t infringe upon Gaye’s work.

Marvin Gaye’s children, Frankie and Nona Gaye, are suing the Grammy-winning producer over the song, claiming that it steals beats and chords from their late father’s song.

Pharrell spent over an hour describing his musical process to the court, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He said that he saw similarities between “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” when interviewers pointed it out after the song was released but that borrowing Gaye’s work wasn’t a conscious decision.

“I must’ve been channeling that feeling, that late-’70s feeling,” Pharrell testified. “Sometimes when you look back on your past work, you see echoes of people. But that doesn’t mean that’s what you were doing.”

The “Happy” singer’s testimony will play a crucial role in the jury’s decision. Though Robin Thicke and T.I. share writing credits on the song, which has earned $16 million, both admit that Pharrell wrote the music and almost all of the lyrics. Thicke testified in an earlier deposition that he was drunk and high on Vicodin in the studio.

“The reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song,” Thicke said, even though he had once taken credit for the song in interviews. “I felt it was a little white lie that didn’t hurt his career but boosted mine,” Thicke added in court on Feb. 25.

Pharrell told the jury that Gaye was one of his idols growing up and that he would never intentionally steal from him. “He’s one of the ones we look up to so much. This [court] is the last place I want to be right now,” he testified. “The last thing you want to do as a creator is take something of someone else’s when you love him.”

The trial has included an analysis of chords and notes from each track. Here is one of the many mashes of the two songs on YouTube:


TIME Music

Shania Twain Announces Farewell Tour

Shania Twain Performs At The Calgary Stampede - Calgary, Alberta
Melissa Renwick—Getty Images Shania Twain performs at the Calgary Stampede at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on July 10, 2014

Shania Twain, who first broke through with her 1993 self-titled collection before going on to sell over 75 million records and 17 top-10 singles over her four collections, is leaving Las Vegas and heading out on a farewell tour, the artist revealed to Robin Roberts Wednesday morning on Good Morning America: “I’m finally, after 11 years, going back on tour… This is going to be a big tour for me because it’s going to be my last. This is my last tour. I’m going to make the most of it.”

Tickets for the 48-date tour, kicking off in Seattle on June 5 and closing August 23 in Fresno, Calif., go on sale Friday, March 13.

To celebrate, let’s remember “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.” A full list of tour dates is below.

June 5: Seattle, WA @ KeyArena at Seattle Center

June 7: Vancouver, BC @ Pepsi Live! At Rogers Arena

June 9: Vancouver, BC @ Pepsi Live! At Rogers Arena

June 11: Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place

June 12: Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place

June 14: Saskatoon, SK @ SaskTel Centre

June 15: Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre

June 19: London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens

June 20: London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens

June 22: Hamilton, ON @ FirstOntario Centre

June 24: Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre

June 25: Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre

June 27: Ottawa, ON @ Wesley Clover Parks

June 28: Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre *

June 30: New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

July 1: Long Island, NY @ Nassau Coliseum

July 3: Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena

July 7: Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center

July 8: Boston, MA @ TD Garden

July 10: Pittsburgh, PA @ CONSOL Energy Center

July 11: Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena

July 13: Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse

July 15: Jacksonville, FL @ Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

July 16: Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena

July 18: Greenville, SC @ Bon Secours Wellness Arena

July 19: Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Arena

July 21: Washington, DC @ Verizon Center

July 22: Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center

July 25: Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills

July 26: Moline, IL @ iWireless Center

July 28: Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center

July 29: Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena

July 31: Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena

Aug. 1: Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena

Aug. 3: Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center

Aug. 4: St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center

Aug. 6: Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena

Aug. 7: Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center

Aug. 9: Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center

Aug. 10: Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

Aug. 12: Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena

Aug. 14: Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

Aug. 15: Salt Lake City, UT @ EnergySolutions Arena

Aug. 17: San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose

Aug. 19: Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center

Aug. 20: Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center

Aug. 22: San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center

Aug. 23: Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Music

Here’s Exactly How Much Money ‘Blurred Lines’ Made

The Graham Norton Show - London
Ian West—PA Wire/Press Association Images Robin Thicke and Pharrell performing in 2013.

An ongoing trial reveals the money haul for 2013's big hit

How much money a song makes for its performers, producers and writers is typically a secret, but the ongoing copyright lawsuit involving “Blurred Lines” has revealed the dollar amounts that Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. walked away with thanks to their 2013 hit.

“Blurred Lines” made $16,675,690 in profits, according to an accounting statement both sides of the lawsuit agree with. Of that, $5,658,214 went to Thicke — a lot of money for someone who testified that he was drunk and high on Vicodin in the studio and didn’t really help write the song. $5,153,457 went to Pharrell Williams (who has said it was Thicke’s voice that made the song what it was), $707,774 went to T.I. and the rest went to the various record companies behind the songs, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The numbers came to light as a result of a lawsuit from Marvin Gaye’s family, which alleges that “Blurred Lines” infringes on the copyright of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and that the family is therefor entitled to part of its profits, Thicke’s touring money and actual damages.


Read next: Robin Thicke Admits He Didn’t Really Write ‘Blurred Lines,’ Was High in the Studio

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Music

Kacey Musgraves Suggests That You ‘Mind Your Own Biscuits’ On Her New Song

Kacey Musgraves
Wade Payne—Wade Payne/Invision/AP Kacey Musgraves performs on stage at the CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

The two-time Grammy winner is back with the first single from her new album — and it's tasty

If The Real Housewives of Nashville were a show on Bravo, country artist Kacey Musgraves — otherwise known as the country musician for people who don’t think they like country music — has written the perfect tagline: “Mind your own biscuits, then life will be gravy.”

That’s the hook on her new song, “Biscuits,” which is also the first single from her follow-up to Same Trailer Different Park. That album won her two Grammy Awards and landed her on numerous best-of-2013 music lists, thanks to the fresh perspective of songs like “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Follow Your Arrow,” which found the Katy Perry-approved singer giving the judgment-free, you-do-you stamp of approval to gay couples and pot smokers. “Biscuits” is more of the same — but with Musgraves’ songwriting chops, that’s never a bad thing.

TIME Music

Hear Ariana Grande Return the Favor on Cashmere Cat’s ‘Adore’

The two recently debuted the song while on tour together

Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat has been on a roll in 2015, producing new material for Kanye West as well as “Drop That Kitty,” the infectious joint effort from Ty Dolla $ign, Charli XCX and Tinashe. He’s continuing his winning streak (and padding his enviable guest list) with the sultry Ariana Grande-assisted “Adore.” The twinkling, electro-tinged R&B track would have sounded right at home on the “Problem” singer’s latest album, My Everything, which isn’t exactly a surprise: not only did he work on her Grammy-nominated sophomore effort, he’s currently the opening act on her current tour.

In fact, the pair debuted “Adore” live the other night — and it’s good thing the song’s formidable bounce lives up to the promise of the grainy YouTube footage.

Read next: Ariana Grande: I Do Not Always Order a Grande at Starbucks

Read next: Ariana Grande Is Fully Aware That the Lyrics of ‘Break Free’ Make No Sense

TIME celebrities

You Can Now Buy Left Shark Onesies From Katy Perry

For only $129.99

For everyone out there who just really identified with Katy Perry’s Left Shark, you’re in luck: You can now buy a replica of the Super Bowl legend

On Monday, Perry announced via Twitter that onesies resembling the large uncoordinated dancing fish from this year’s Super Bowl halftime show were available for purchase on her website.
You can get The Katy Perry Left Shark Belovesie for $129.99 and the Katy Perry Status T-shirt (which features Left Shark) for $25.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME apps

Streaming Music Showdown: Spotify vs. Beats

Beats By Dre and Spotify logos
Emmanuel Dunand, Ethan Miller—Getty Images Beats and Spotify logos

How does Apple’s effort stack up against the most popular music service around?

It’s been almost nine months since Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats catapulted the Dr. Dre-backed streaming music service into the limelight for casual music listeners. And while Apple is reportedly working on an overhaul of the service, I spent the last nine months as a paid Beats Music subscriber, after having used Spotify exclusively for more than a year.

Beyond the music, the differences between the two services are stark. Here is what you need to know in comparing the two most prominent (with apologies to all the other players) streaming music services on the market:

Musical Selection

This is a largely subjective category, because it really depends on what you’re looking for. For instance, some tracks, such as “Jungle” by Jay-Z, appear exclusively on Beats before rolling into other services, while other artists, like Led Zeppelin, appeared on Spotify first, then elsewhere next.

Whether these exclusives will affect you is a matter of what kind of music you prefer, but it’s hard to know in advance of subscribing which artists will strike what deals with which service. And the end, most albums end up being available everywhere. Except for Taylor Swift — she pulled her latest tracks from every subscription streaming service.

Winner: Tie

User Interface

One of the biggest differences between these two services (specifically their apps) is the way users interact with them. Spotify has a menu-driven interface that requires a lot of taps to dive into an artist’s catalog from the main screen. Meanwhile, Beats has a visual-driven interface with large tiles that spring users right into the content they want to listen to.

Once a track is playing, Beats transforms into a full-screen player, with large buttons and progress meters, making it ideal for skipping songs on the fly, like when you’re driving (tsk, tsk). Spotify, meanwhile, shrinks the track down to a mini-player that takes up the smallest ribbon at the bottom of the screen. Tapping on the song’s tiny album art will expand it to a full-sized player, but that’s hardly intuitive — and pretty inconvenient, considering the image’s size.

Winner: Beats

Free Accounts

Spotify will let you listen via its mobile app without paying for an account, but that only provides you with a shuffle mode. If you want to listen to an exact song, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium service. Spotify also says “on tablet and computer, you can play any song, any time,” but I found this to be untrue. In fact, this frustration led me to resubscribe to the service. (Tricky move, Spotify.)

Meanwhile, technically, Beats Music does not have a free version. But Apple does offer iTunes Radio gratis, though it doesn’t come close to the free version of Spotify.

Winner: Spotify

Social Integration

Both Beats Music and Spotify offer social integration, letting you post your favorite songs on Twitter and Facebook for your friends to enjoy. But Spotify, which has historically used Facebook Connect to power login information for its service, gives music fans a much richer social experience by allowing you to see your friends’ listening activity.

At first, when Facebook was allowing Spotify to publish activity to the sites News Feed, Spotify seemed hyperactive, alerting every friend to every song that was played. But through some toning down and refinement, Spotify’s social feed is much calmer — you really only see it on a sidebar on the Spotify desktop app unless you dive into the “activity” menu on the service’s mobile app.

Beats, meanwhile, doesn’t show friends’ activity, which could be a selling point if you’re embarrassed by your musical taste, or don’t care to know what your friends are listening to. But it’s hard not to look at Beats’ lack of social integration and see Apple’s failures in this space. The company’s Ping social networking feature in iTunes was one of the company’s most high-visibility failures, and even Game Center, which many iPhone users have logged into (but relatively few use) isn’t very popular.

Winner: Spotify

Desktop App

Don’t spend too long looking for a desktop version of the Beats app — it doesn’t exist, not even on the Mac App Store. Instead, the service is meant to run through your web browser, though good luck with that. Personally, as hard as I push my browser (I have 14 tabs open right now, and that’s below average for me), I’d rather have a separate application chewing on the RAM-intensive music streams. And comically, early on, I couldn’t get Safari to play audio from the Beats service at all — I had to switch to Google Chrome. But that brings up an interesting point: If you really do want a Beats Music app, you can find one on the Chrome Web Store.

Spotify, meanwhile, might be the best desktop music app I’ve ever used. More than just a music player, it’s actually a platform for the service, which allows other programmers to make software that interacts with Spotify. For example, you can link your Spotify account to Last.fm to generate personalized music choices, or you can view lyrics to the song you’re listening to through MusiXmatch.

Spotify’s willingness to open itself up to these outside developers is a key difference between it and Beats Music, and (other than its great library) might be its best feature.

Winner: Spotify

Killer Feature

While most people like Spotify mostly for its music and social features, its platform-like interactivity with other services (described above) is truly its killer feature, letting the service expand and morph in new ways. For instance, if used with certain apps, Spotify’s desktop app can become a karaoke screen, or with other apps it can compete with music-suggesting services like Pandora.

Meanwhile, what made Beats unique was a pair of features. Firstly, expertly-crafted playlists created by humans, not computers, instantly gave users a trove of mixes to choose from. But this feature was quickly aped by Spotify through its ability to let people share their playlists and via expert-driven apps like Rolling Stone Recommends.

Beats’ other killer feature was a fun way to make your own mix called “The Sentence,” where users could tell the app what they are doing (“working out,” “cooking,” hanging out,” etc.) with whom (“my friends,” “my bff,” etc.) and to what kind of music they wanted to hear (“hip-hop,” “bluegrass,” “metal,” etc.). At first, it seems like a great idea, but once you realize you want to chill, party, nap, and barbecue to 90’s rock, it becomes clear that you really don’t need a suggestion engine that caters to every musical genre. The gimmick gets old, quick.

Winner: Spotify

Overall Winner

While Beats user interface is far and away more friendly, over the past nine months with the service I found myself discovering fewer new artists and listing to less music than when I used Spotify. I wanted Beats to be better than it really is, so much so that I probably kept my subscription longer than I otherwise would have. But one week back with Spotify, and I’m back in the fold with all my old playlists — which, ironically, I exported from iTunes.

Maybe Apple’s next iteration of Beats, whether it’s under that name or folded back into iTunes, will be better. But it would take a massive shift in attitude from Apple, because they’d need to embrace social networks that they don’t own and third party developers in a way they currently don’t.

Winner: Spotify

TIME Music

Listen to Kanye West’s New Single ‘All Day’

It's dark, triumphant and provocative

After months of false starts and exponentially increasing hype — interview quips, leaked demos, a performance at the Brit Awards last week backed by dozens of UK henchmen and a mighty flamethrower — Kanye West is releasing the official version of “All Day,” the lead single from his upcoming new album So Help Me God. Working with contributions from stylish Brooklyn polymath Theophilus London and rising, gritty Minnesotan Allan Kingdom, Kanye splits the difference between the abrasiveness and dark colors of 2013’s Yeezus and his gift for lyrical hooks and radio-friendly structure. It’s not hard to imagine the song’s chorus, and its titular bark, streaming from open car windows around the country by rush hour this evening. (The closing minute, a bizarre stew of cheery whistling and frenzied electronics, seems less likely to land on top 40 playlists.)

Of course, “All Day” is still ripe with the sort of incisive statements about class and race that have marked Kanye’s work from the beginning. Even grandstanding, throwaway lines are wrapped in barbed wire, like his hollered proclamation that, “Like a light-skinned slave boy / we in the motherf—king house!” If this really is “cookout music,” it’s cookout music that demands your attention. So Help Me God still doesn’t have a release date, but with an official single on the books and a promotional machine roaring to life, the release of even more new Kanye West music seems imminent.

Read next: Listen to Haim and M83’s New Song for the Insurgent Soundtrack

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Music

Listen to Haim and M83’s New Song for the Insurgent Soundtrack

"Holes in the Sky" sets the moody, epic tone for the second movie in the Divergent series

Divergent fans can get excited for the second movie in the series with the release of “Holes in the Sky,” the first song from the Insurgent soundtrack.

The collaboration between French electronic band M83 (who performed “I Need You” on the first movie’s soundtrack) and indie rock sister act Haim is a pretty conventional take on the dystopian soundtrack genre, heavy on strings and smooth harmonies. Still, it’s nice to see both groups getting even more mainstream exposure — especially if it sends new fans to worthier examples of their work.

Insurgent, starring Shailene Woodley and her The Fault in Our Stars co-star Ansel Elgort, hits theaters March 20.

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