How Pathe-Thicke

How Pathe-Thicke
Robin Thicke performing at the 2014 BET Awards in Los Angeles on June 29.

What happened?

Last year Robin Thicke was the hottest act - thanks to his massively successful song and album Blurred Lines.

He had last year's top-selling song in the US and UK as well as multiple Grammy nominations.

But Thicke, 37, did not have long to bask in success and appears to have had a hard fall from grace.

It is not just a drop in public opinion. In February, he split with his US actress-wife of nine years, Paula Patton, 38.

Not only has he lost his other half, it seems that his career has hit a low.

His follow-up to the fun of Blurred Lines is the break-up album Paula, released last week. It is Thicke's attempt at winning back his estranged wife.

But Paula is expected to sell a mere 20,000 to 25,000 in its first week - Blurred Lines sold at least seven times more. Is the only way down for Thicke? We chart his rise to fame and subsequent fall from grace.

PRE-2013

Before Blurred Lines, Thicke was better known as a songwriter and producer for artists like Brandy, Christina Aguilera and Mya.

As a solo artist, he released five albums between 2003 and 2011, and was known in the industry for the R&B ballad Lost Without U in 2006.

MARCH 2013

With Blurred Lines - featuring singer-producer Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. - Thicke hit the big time.

The catchy hit topped many charts and became his first US Billboard Hot 100 No. 1.

Despite the commercial success, it faced a strong backlash as some feel it promotes rape.

Lines like, "But you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature/Just let me liberate you" and "I know you want it" caused outrage.

Likewise, its music video brought success and flak.

The provocative clip featured three topless models prancing around a fully clothed Thicke. While slammed for its sexist imagery, the clip had more than one million views within days.

It has chalked up more than 325 million views to date.

JULY 2013

The Blurred Lines album shifted 177,000 copies in its first week.

This, and the hit single with the same title, received many nominations for various awards.

AUG 2013

At the MTV Video Music Awards, serial twerker Miley Cyrus appeared to grind her backside against Thicke's crotch. And the flak flew.

Thicke tried to justify his role to Oprah Winfrey, saying: "I'm walking out towards Miley, I'm not thinking sex, I'm thinking fun. I'm singing and I'm looking at the sky and I'm not really paying attention to all that. That's on her."

Patton defended her husband. She told Bravo TV that she didn't know what the big deal was, and that "they rehearsed for three days beforehand", adding that "all my friends do it like that!"

But then a photo circulated of Thicke - caught in a mirror's reflection - with his hand on the behind of 21-year-old blonde socialite Lana Scolaro at the VMAs after-party. Patton was less than a few metres away.

FEB 2014

One month after Thicke was seen enjoying himself with beautiful women on a Paris dance floor, he and Patton decided to call it quits in a "mutual" split after nine years of marriage.

The couple told People: "We will always love each other and be best friends."

The split sparked off fresh rumours of cheating.

MAY 2014

Thicke thanks Patton when accepting his Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Song for Blurred Lines.

He thanks her for "her love and support, and for putting up with me all these years".

JUNE 23, 2014

Following news that his next album will be called Paula, Thicke released the video for Get Her Back. The clip - which features an uncanny Patton lookalike - shows a bloody-nosed and repentant Thicke as what seems like private text messages flash on the screen. It has divided opinion over whether the video is sweet, pitiful or creepy.

JUNE 29, 2014

At the BET Awards, Thicke introduced a new track, Forever Love, but not before an emotional opening speech.

"I'd like to dedicate this song to my wife, and say, 'I miss you, and I'm sorry,'" he declared.

JULY 1, 2014

The day he released Paula, Thicke took to Twitter for a live #AskThicke Q&A session. It has been seen as a social media disaster as many took the opportunity to attack Thicke.

"Do u gel ur hair with the grease from ur own personality?" asked one.

"Once you've cracked 'hug me', any thoughts on what rhymes with 'misogynistic douchebag'?" asked another.

Many tweets demanded Thicke stay away from Patton.

But Thicke stayed calm, choosing to answer milder questions.

"She's always been my muse only this time from a distance" was his reply when asked why he failed to write an album dedicated to Patton before they split.

His unfortunate day continued in an interview with New York's HOT 97 as he came clean about the split.

"I'm a man and I messed up and I had to lie for a while and then I stopped lying. That was actually good for me. This whole album is me revealing everything," he said.

"We're apart because we just couldn't be together any more, for a while. There's a hundred different reasons. There isn't just one. I changed and I got a little too selfish, too greedy, too full of myself," he admitted, revealing that he had not seen Patton in four months.

JULY 2, 2014

Thicke replaced naked models with adorable children in his latest music video for Still Madly Crazy. Dressed in tuxedos and white dresses, they stage a pretend wedding while singing along to the lyrics of the song.

He told Good Morning America: "I was looking through our old wedding photos... I saw the pictures of the kids... I thought it might be nice to recreate a wedding through the eyes of the (children)."

ashikinr@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 09, 2014.
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