Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' named the UK's most downloaded song of all-time

It was the song of last summer for various reasons and now it's beaten Adele

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The Independent Culture

It was the song of last summer for not altogether good reasons and now, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has been named the UK’s most downloaded track of all-time.

The controversial chart-topper has sold a record-breaking 1.54 million copies since its release in May 2013, according to the Official Charts Company’s new countdown.

“I’m so honoured, the success of “Blurred Lines” is a dream come true,” said Thicke in response to the news.

But while the US singer’s hit has, quite clearly, proved popular, it sparked outrage from women’s rights groups for its derogatory lyrics and was banned in universities up and down the country.

With its unfortunately catchy refrain of “I know you want it” and lines including “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your a** in two”, cries of “Sexism!” echoed loud and clear from the moment it dropped on YouTube.


"Certain lyrics are explicitly sexually violent and appear to reinforce victim-blaming rape myths," said Katie Russell, a spokeswoman for Rape Crisis.

But I’m a "happily married" man, pleaded Thicke to deaf ears, after telling men’s magazine GQ that it was a “pleasure to degrade a woman” as he had “never gotten to do that before”. Thicke and his wife of nine years, Paula Patton, later separated in February.

The video for "Blurred Lines", featuring topless girls and a fully-clothed Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I, did little to help the song’s moral case, inspiring an online petition calling for age ratings on all music videos.

Then of course there was that performance with a twerking Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards.

A screengrab from Robin Thicke's controversial "Blurred Lines" video

Despite all this negative publicity, “Blurred Lines” went straight in at number one and spent five non-consecutive weeks there. The song inspired a National Theatre play and, since the start of 2014 alone, has sold 70,000 copies.

“Blurred Lines” has now beaten Adele’s previous download record for “Someone Like You”, which has shifted 1.53 million copies to date. Tracks by Maroon 5, Gotye and the Black Eyed Peas complete the top five (see here for the top 100).

The Official Chart’s Company’s announcement marks almost a decade of downloading history, during which more than 2.7 billion track downloads have been bought – around 108 per UK household.