Grapevine: Jury awards $7.4 million to Gaye's children

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Jury finds Thicke, Pharrell copied 'Blurred Lines'

A jury awarded MarvinGaye's children nearly $7.4 million Tuesday after determining singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied their father's music to create "Blurred Lines," the biggest hit song of 2013. Marvin Gaye's daughter, Nona Gaye, wept as the verdict was being read and was hugged by her attorney, Richard Busch. "Right now, I feel free," Nona Gaye said after the verdict. "Free from … Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told." An attorney for Thicke and Williams has said a decision in favor of Gaye's heirs could have a chilling effect on musicians who try to emulate an era or another artist's sound. Thicke told jurors he didn't write "Blurred Lines," which Williams testified he crafted in about an hour in mid-2012. Williams told jurors that Gaye's music was part of the soundtrack of his youth. But the seven-time Grammy winner said he didn't use any of it to create "Blurred Lines."

Montel Williams out as payday loan pitchman

An online company is losing Montel Williams as its celebrity pitchman in New York while agreeing to stop generating leads in the state for payday loans with interest rates sometimes topping 1,000 percent, regulators said Tuesday. An investigation found Las Vegas-based Selling Source LLC, doing business as MoneyMutual, marketed illegal loans online to New York residents, and the company will pay $2.1 million in penalties, the Department of Financial Services said. A payday loan is a short-term advance against a borrower's paycheck and usually carries a high interest rate.

Williams, a former Marine who hosted "The Montel Williams Show" for more than a decade, signed a consent order saying he'll stop endorsing MoneyMutual loans in New York, it said. "Using Mr. Williams's reputation as a trusted celebrity endorser, MoneyMutual marketed loans to struggling consumers with sky-high interest rates — sometimes in excess of 1,300 percent — that trapped New Yorkers in destructive cycles of debt," department Superintendent Ben Lawsky said in a statement. "The company made special efforts to target the more than 55 percent of their customers who were 'repeat clients' — including so-called 'Gold' customers who took out a new loan to pay off a previous loan."

Azalea concert rescheduled

Not so "Fancy." Iggy Azalea's May 2 concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills has been bumped back to Oct. 3, Billboard reported Tuesday. The Australian rapper's entire tour has been reshuffled to the fall "due to tour production delays," according to a Def Jam statement. The new date surfaces amid reports the tour had been canceled outright due to a rift between Azalea and her management team. Def Jam says the dates were rescheduled "to accommodate for creative team availability and tour productions," and the extra time will help Azalea produce the show she "envisaged to share with her fans." The tour delay comes as the embattled rapper has removed herself from social media following spats with rapper Azealia Banks and pizza maker Papa John's. Tickets for the May 2 concert will be honored at the makeup date. Opening acts Nick Jonas and Tinashé will no longer be a part of the tour; new support acts are expected to be announced soon.

Also ...

Windell Middlebrooks, an actor who gained TV commercial stardom as a burly, no-nonsense beer delivery man who confiscated the brew from undeserving snobs, has died, his family said Tuesday. He was 36. Middlebrooks died Monday in the Los Angeles area, said his manager and friend, Steve Ivey. The cause of death and further details were not immediately released. Besides his eye-catching TV spots for Miller High Life beer, Middlebrooks' credits included the TV series "Body of Proof," "Cougar Town" and "Scrubs." He is in the new Adam Carolla film "Road Hard."

■A sequel to "Zoolander" is due out in Feb. 2016. Stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson made the announcement Tuesday by walking the Valentino runway at Paris Fashion Week.

Today's birthdays

Lisa Loeb , 47

Terrence Howard , 46

Johnny Knoxville , 44