When Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” first came out, it was instantly familiar to any fans of Marvin Gaye, and especially fans of the late singer’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up.” It was so similar that we assumed it was because Pharrell Williams, the producer on “Blurred Lines,” had simply sampled Gaye.

But apparently that’s not the case, at least according to Thicke, who filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Gaye estate (You can read the full Thicke complaint via The Hollywood Reporter). Thicke’s team isn’t seeking money, though.  All they want is for the Gaye estate to admit, legally, that “Blurred Lines” isn’t a rip of “Got to Give it Up,” which sounds crazy. In fact, it’s not even the first time Thicke has lifted a Gaye song, but that’s beside the point.

Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, and in pop music, sometimes that “flattery” is more akin to “plagiarism” (semantics!). Click through the gallery above and travel through 40-some years of music rips, some of which have ended amicably, some that haven’t and one that's too soon to tell.

Your favourite, er, tribute not in the gallery? Let us know in the comments.

Follow Jesse Kinos-Goodin on Twitter: @JesseKG.

posted by Jesse Kinos-Goodin on Aug 21, 2013