Robin Thicke Biography

Songwriter, Singer(1977–)
Robin Thicke is a singer/songwriter and reality-television star known for major soul hits like "Lost Without U," "Magic" and "Sex Therapy."

Synopsis

Born on March 10, 1977, in Los Angeles, California, Robin Thicke followed in the tradition of his entertainment parents (Gloria Loring and Alan Thicke) and pursued a singing career. He had a major hit with "Lost Without U" from his 2006 platinum album The Evolution of Robin Thicke. Other albums have included Something Else, Sex Therapy and Love After War. Thicke married actress Paula Patton in 2005, with the two divorcing in 2015.

Background

Robin Thicke was born on March 10, 1977, in Los Angeles, California, the son of singer/songwriter Gloria Loring and songwriter/television actor Alan Thicke. The younger Thicke took to music as well during his youth, and by his early teens began crafting tunes.

Thicke was signed to a production company by soul/adult contemporary artist Brian McKnight and, via that connection, would work with Interscope Records, going on to craft hits for a number of top recording artists. By his 20s, Thicke had decided that he wanted to enter the world of performance as well, and was subsequently mentored by Andre Harrell.

Samples Discoed Beethoven

Backed by executive Jimmy Iovine, Thicke eventually released 2003's Beautiful World. The album featured "When I Get You Alone," which sampled the Walter Murphy disco hit "A Fifth of Beethoven" from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. (The video featured a long-haired Thicke riding through New York City as a bike messenger.)

'Evolution' and 'Lost Without U'

World's sales didn't fare well, but Thicke persevered, continuing to write songs for others and eventually joining with R&B/hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams, whose label, Star Trak, had a distribution deal with Interscope. Under the imprint, Thicke released the 2006 album The Evolution of Robin Thicke, which featured the tender "Lost Without U." The hit was penned by Thicke himself and held the No. 1 spot on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop charts for weeks. Evolution, which went to No. 5 on Billboard's main albums chart and earned platinum status, also featured collaborations with songstress Faith Evans and rapper Lil Wayne.

Thicke came back in 2008 with the album Something Else, with the lead single "Magic" reaching the Top 10 on the R&B/hip-hop charts. The following year, Thicke released his fourth album, Sex Therapy, earning another No. 1 R&B spot with the smoldering title track. In December 2011, he put forth Love After War.

Major Soul Influences

Robin Thicke's music and vocal styles are heavily influenced by 1970s soul, with the singer naming Marvin Gaye and Al Green among his influences. (He's also relied upon their work in prominent samples.) Thicke's sound has woven in other genres that include hip-hop, disco, electronic pop and symphonic compositions, with his lyrics ranging from romantic crooning to bedroom seduction to social commentary.

Working in TV as well, Thicke starred in 2012 as one of the mentors on the ABC music competition Duets. The following year, he starred on the BET reality show Real Husbands of Hollywood. Soon after, he was cast in the indie drama Abby in the Summer (2013).

In the spring of 2013, Thicke released an unrated version of the video for his single "Blurred Lines," featuring Pharrell Williams (who produced the track) and T.I., with a sample of Gaye's beloved dance romp "Got to Give It Up." Thicke's clip was banned from YouTube due to partial nudity, receiving plenty of online buzz and scrutiny. He also found himself in legal trouble over the song as well. The family of Marvin Gaye sued Thicke and Williams, claiming the song copies major musical elements from "Got to Give It Up."

During the case, Thicke testified that, despite claiming co-authorship, he'd had little to do with the writing of "Blurred Lines" as he was drunken and high on Vicodin during the creation of the track. "The biggest hit of my career was written by somebody else, and I was jealous and wanted credit,” the singer stated. In 2015, the jury ruled in favor of Gaye's family, who were awarded $7.3 million in damages and profit shares. The jury also ruled that neither Thicke or Williams had purposely committed infringement. The two artists plan to appeal the court's overall decision.

Personal Life and Related Album

The singer has had a long-term relationship with actress Paula Patton, star of films like Hitch, Precious and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. The two met and began dating as teens. They wed in 2005 and have a son. Thicke later admitted having "messed up" and lied during a radio interview. With the couple's marriage in peril, he released the 2014 confessional album Paula with the aim of trying to woo his spouse back. Patton nonetheless decided to file for divorce in October 2014, with the marriage ending the following year.  

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