Reflections: The ‘Blurred’/Gaye connection [VIDEO]


The hottest record in the nation, in both the R&B and pop markets, is the pulsating and catchy “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. I love it, but there is no denying that it sounds very similar to Marvin Gaye’s classic and still exciting “Got To Give It Up.”

However, the question is whether or not it sounds enough like it to justify a legal challenge. The family of Marvin Gaye is alleging that “Blurred Lines” sounds so much like “Got To Give It Up” that they have reportedly been attempting to claim “ownership” (which would mean collecting a lot of money).

The New York Times said “Blurred Lines” is “influenced heavily” by Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”

Thick and co-writers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. have filed a lawsuit to stop this from going any further — that is, counteract any lawsuit from the Gaye family.

Similarities notwithstanding, I think the family of Marvin Gaye should probably back off because it is unlikely they can come out on top in this situation.

Think about it. Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real” sounds very much like the Emotions’ “Best of My Love,” the Pointer Sisters’ “He’s So Shy” is patterned after the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes,” and on it goes.

But where is the dividing line between “similar sound” and “outright theft”?

SPEAKING of Robin Thicke, he and actress Paula Patton have been married for eight years and according to all sources are still going strong. (They have a son named Julian.)

Paula and Robin just seem right together, and the fact that he is white and she is black is irrelevant.

Although he has been around for quite some time, I just recently heard about (and heard) gospel singer Joshua Nelson. Among other things, he is known for doing an amazingly accurate channeling of the legendary Mahalia Jackson singing “How I Got Over.”


What sets Nelson apart is that he is Black and of the Jewish faith. He has jokingly referred to himself as “the KKK’s worst nightmare.” Often he sings Jewish hymns but arranges them in Black gospel tradition.

Which brings to mind the fact that India.Arie has an album completed (no release date has been given) titled “Open Door” which features her singing in English and Hebrew. Will her fans go for that? Time will tell, but it is important to be true to one’s self.

KEVIN HART, the popular comedian, like so many people in show business, gets tired of people feeling they have a right to “get all up in” the personal business of entertainers.

He said sarcastically, “It’s people’s opinions. You just take ’em and say, ‘Oh, you’re right. You’re me!”

But Hart caused irritation when he said, “Black women assume they know your life. That’s the funniest thing about Black women.”

You can just imagine the feedback on that!

Rapper Coolio (real name: Artis Ivey) was hot in the mid-’90s with “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which added a rap to Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” from “Songs in the Key of Life.”

But since then, not much has been from or about Coolio. However, he has taken an interest in being a chef and author and has, in fact, already written a book titled “Cookin’ With Coolio.”

Now he is auctioning off his entire song catalog and will use that money to fund his culinary endeavors.

Well, that’s different.

It’s fine that Forest Whitaker, the great Academy Award-winning actor, has lost all that weight — at least 80 pounds — after becoming a vegetarian, but he sure doesn’t need to lose any additional pounds. In some pictures he looks slightly haggard and some suits appear to be hanging on him, and it’s even more noticeable since he is 6’2”.

Just in case you were wondering where big stars stay when they are appearing in Detroit, very often the answer is MGM Grand Detroit. Of the three casino hotels, the MGM has the edge. As the O’Jays put it in one of their songs, “Got to give the people what they want.”

Since they have been friends for five decades, it is somewhat surprising that Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson have never recorded a song together.

Could Toni Braxton’s “wardrobe malfunction” have been staged? Some suspect that was the case, and she just happened to be wearing a flesh colored body stocking.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that Maya Angelou’s birth name is Marguerite Ann Johnson.

MEMORIES: “Dancing Machine” (the Jackson 5), “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” (the Gap Band), “Mama Said” (the Shirelles), “Reaching For The Sky” (Peabo Bryson), “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Baby” (Barry White), “It Only Takes a Minute” (Tavares), “I Want to Take You Higher” (Sly & the Family Stone), “You Put a Move on My Heart” (Quincy Jones featuring Tamia), “It Takes Two” (Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston), “Kiss and Say Goodbye” (the Manhattans).

BLESSINGS to John Arnold, Robert Kerse, Ivan Cotman, Shirley Beeks, Mary Grace Wilbert, Carl Walton, Liza Walton, Ray Henderson, Sandra Milhouse, Fred Ellis, Andre Smith, Sheila Cockrel, Marva Stafford and J. “Skeek” Munger.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Alan Cohen: “No one can ‘complete you’ because you are already complete.”

Let the music play!

Steve Holsey can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.

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