8. Marvin Gaye And ‘Blurred Lines’
After Marvin Gaye’s death, the California Probate Code granted songwriting rights to be equally distributed among his children. The estate of Marvin Gaye took Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke to task when it was claimed that their song “Blurred Lines” sounded like Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”
The estate won the lawsuit of $7.4 million for copyright infringement and 50 percent of all royalties from the song. This set in motion a new awareness for artists who use other works for inspiration and the importance of granting credit when it’s due.
This is not the only lawsuit against another artist that Gaye’s legacy has brought on. In 2018, Structured Asset Sales, a company which owns one-third of the copyright to Gaye’s hit, “Let’s Get It On,” filed suit against Ed Sheeran for $100 million for allegedly using the same music in his song “Thinking out Loud.”
7. Jimi Hendrix And Marijuana
Jimi Hendrix is a name often associated with the 1960s, and he is arguably the greatest guitarist known to man. Fitting with the times, Hendrix participated in his share of drug and alcohol consumption. Since the guitarist’s death without a will, his siblings have been feuding.
Most recently, his brother, Leon, has established companies to sell Jimi Hendrix–branded marijuana. While Hendrix did partake in related activities, he was also a musical part of a cultural movement that stood against commercialism. His sister, Janie, who was named executor of the estate, has barred this attempt and several more by Leon to allegedly exploit Jimi’s name by branding liquor, speakers, and paraphernalia.