Singer, rapper and producer Pharrell Williams appeared in federal court Wednesday in L.A. to defend himself against accusations that he stole material from legendary Motown recording artist Marvin Gaye.
USA Today reports that Pharrell, who is a judge on NBC’s singing competition “The Voice,” described Gaye as one of his idols.
“He’s one of the ones we look up to,” the 41-year-old Williams said in court, adding: “This is the last place I want to be.”
The Grammy winner is accused of copying parts of the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” from Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” which was a hit in 1977. Williams recorded “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and rapper T.I.
Williams “testified that he can see how people draw similarities between ‘Blurred Lines’ and Gaye’s music, but that wasn’t his intention during the creative process,” the story reports. “Williams said the last thing he would ever do is ‘take something of someone else’s when you love him.'”
Williams indicated that Gaye’s music was part of the soundtrack of his life growing up, and that Gaye’s musical phrases inspired parts of “Blurred Lines,” the story notes.
“Williams spent more than an hour describing to a packed courtroom his musical process and he how he crafted ‘Blurred Lines’ in between working on tracks with Miley Cyrus and rapper Earl Sweatshirt,” USA Today reports.
The report notes that “Blurred Lines” has earned more than $16 million in profits.
“Richard S. Busch, who represents the Gaye family, asked Williams whether he felt ‘Blurred Lines’ captured the feel of the era in which Gaye recorded,” USA Today reports.
Williams responded by saying: “Feel. Not infringed.”
The court case is scheduled to continue today with testimony from T.I.
Here’s the “Blurred Lines” video, which has received more than 369 million hits: