Robin Thicke's raunchy performance gets more people to hear his music

Robin Thicke says the attention from his raunchy performance with Miley Cyrus (both above) gives him a chance to let people hear his music.

Canadian-American R&B pop singer Robin Thicke says that he is happy with all the attention that he has been getting from the raunchy performance with fellow pop singer Miley Cyrus at the recent MTV Video Music Awards.

The 36-year-old behind No. 1 hit song Blurred Lines, which he performed with a bikini-clad Cyrus, would rather sell more records than have credibility, which he says is subjective.

He was speaking to the press before a performance at the MTV World Stage Live In Malaysia concert in Selangor yesterday. "Miley and I knew exactly what we were doing at the awards, and it's the MTV Awards, you know, it's the place of shock and awe, a place to provoke," he said with a grin.

The singer-songwriter was the headline act last night in a line-up that also featured K-Pop band EXO, American hip-hop/electronic music quartet Far East Movement and Malaysian rapper Joe Flizzow.

Last week, Blurred Lines was named as the top song of the summer by both music magazine Billboard and music streaming service Spotify. The title track from his sixth album, it is his biggest hit song to date and has charted at No. 1 in 14 countries around the world.

"For me, I'm just happy to be getting all this attention because it gives me a chance for people to hear my music. And when I die, the only thing that will matter to me is the music that I left behind, not some performance on MTV that everyone will forget," he added.

Commenting on the Blurred Lines video, which has been accused of being sexist, Thicke said that the idea to have the topless women came from female director Diane Martel.

The song's detractors claim that lyrics such as "I hate these blurred lines/I know you want it" promote rape.

The video, which features female models dancing semi-nude while Thicke, song co-writer and producer Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. are fully clothed, has also been blasted for being misogynistic.

"She's a visionary and she's very provocative. She wants people to remember what she makes," the singer said of Martel.

He added that he would rather focus on people who like his music than those who do not. "I'm an entertainer," he added. "For me, I can't please everybody, I just can't do it."

He does not worry about not being taken seriously by music critics either.

"Credibility is all about perception. I think the most important thing is selling your records, that people are hearing your music and sharing your music."

His wife and high-school sweetheart, actress Paula Patton, supports his music.

"She is my inspiration and she always told me what women don't want to see and hear and how a woman wants to be treated."

Calling himself a "family-oriented" guy, he said that their three-year-old son, Julian, would often drop by his music studio inside their house to listen to him working on his music.

His famous parents, actor-songwriter Alan Thicke and singer-actress Gloria Loring, also stand by his music and often give him advice about show business.

Blurred Lines has also come under fire for sounding too much like late soul singer Marvin Gaye's 1976 tune Got To Give It Up as well as funk pioneer Funkadelic's 1974 song, Sexy Ways.

Thicke and co-writers Williams and Clifford Harris Jr made the news recently when they filed a suit against both Gaye's family and Bridgeport Music, a company which owns some of Funkadelic's music, to protect themselves from legal action from the two accusers.

Thicke declined to comment when Life! asked him about going to court over the songs.

"All I can say is that I have the utmost respect for Marvin Gaye as a family and it's always tough when it comes to creation and what lines are blurred," he said with a chuckle, in a cheeky reference to the song title.

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.