The Story Behind Robin Thicke’s Spectacular Flame-Out

A year ago, we couldn’t go anywhere without hear Robin Thicke’s rapey “Blurred Lines.”  It was the top download for weeks and ever dude in the world wanted to be Thicke in that video with the awesomely naked awesome babes.  The guy was on top of the world.


Today? Not so much.  His follow-up album, Paula, is one of the biggest sales disasters of the last couple of decades.  What happened?

E! Online says this:

“It was a perfect storm of issues and none of this is any sort of revelation,” Billboard‘s Keith Caulfield tells E! News. “You are coming off of this huge hit in ‘Blurred Lines’ that was controversial—it really ruffled a lot of feathers, including feminists and women. The video, which was incredibly controversial, combined with the Miley Cyrus performance on the VMAs didn’t win him a lot of fans in many ways.”

And Forbes offers this:

A few months later, Thicke and his wife, actress Paula Patton, announced that after nine years of marriage they had decided to split. While Patton has stuck to the decision, the singer has gone on a very public campaign to win her over again, even going so far as to name this latest CD after her and release a single called “Get Her Back”.

Today, Robin Thicke is almost unilaterally disliked. A Twitter Q&A he did a month ago backfired immensely, with participants bombarding him with jokes and inappropriate comments. His Paula campaign—from his latest music video to lyrics to the general feel of his current work—is considered creepy, and the numbers show how put off people are by the mixture of misogyny and—as some critics have put it—simply bad music.

Hmm. Could Bieber be next?  (Thanks to Tom for the links.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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