“Blurred Lines” is easily the most successful song in Robin Thicke’s back catalogue, yet he now sees it was also responsible for the upheaval in his personal life that followed that success.
In a new interview with People, the “Masked Singer” judge opens up about how the meteoric rise to fame he experienced from the 2013 hit messed with his head and ultimately wrecked his marriage.
As “Blurred Lines” broke a record to become the year’s longest-running No. 1 single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 straight weeks, Thicke’s personal life was quickly unravelling.
“My marriage to Paula was crumbling,” he says of ex-wife Paula Patton, whom he divorced in 2014. “I started using painkillers. It was a melting pot of trouble brewing, and I was so arrogant that I thought I could handle it all… Everything seemed to burn down there for a few years.”
That was also true professionally when what was intended to be a high-profile musical mashup with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 MTV VMAs was instead hit with backlash over Cyrus’ twerk-heavy performance.
Then came the lawsuit, when he and “Blurred Lines” co-writer Pharrell Williams were sued by the estate of Marvin Gaye over claims that they ripped off the soul icon’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up”; they ultimately lost the case, and were ordered to pay the estate $5.3 million.
“That year was a whirlwind of fame, and overindulgence all coming to a head,” Thicke said, admitting that “painkillers became part of the release” during that period.
“You don’t realize you’re not in control,” he explained. “Fame and a lot of those things — they got to me. I was in a bad place. I’m happy to have closed that chapter.”
The unexpected 2016 death of his father, “Growing Pains” star Alan Thicke, proved to be a wakeup call.
“I wasn’t in a good place when he passed, and I wasn’t in a better place right after,” he saids. “However, a few months later I decided to dedicate my time to raising my son. I put everything aside. That was a big turn for me.”
These days, Thicke finds himself surrounded by love and family. “Every night we do a little prayer,” he said, “and we thank God for all the people in our lives. I’m just so grateful.”