"I'm a huge fan of Marvin Gaye. He is a genius. He is the patriarch," Pharrell said Thursday night.
The hit-making singer and producer collaborated with Thicke on the No. 1 smash, which some have said sounds very similar to Gaye's "Got to Give it Up." Last month, Pharrell, Thicke and the song's other collaborator, T.I., filed a lawsuit asking a judge to determine that it does not copy Gaye's song and a song by George Clinton. It was a pre-emptive strike against future claims from Gaye's heirs that the song takes from Gaye's composition without credit.
Pharrell told The Associated Press on Thursday night the two songs aren't similar at all.
"If you read music, all you have to do is read the sheet music. It's completely different," he said on the red carpet during an event for the Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week.
Gaye "is the king of all kings, so let's be clear about that. And we take our hats off to him," he said. "But anybody that plays music and reads music, just simply go to the piano and play the two. One's minor and one's major. And not even in the same key."
The Grammy winner has had a huge year; he was also a collaborator on the other big song of the summer, Daft Punk's "Get Lucky."
"I'm thankful. It's awesome," he said. "You know, the people are doing it. You know what I mean? They don't have to, but the fact that they have, it's a really awesome experience and moment, you know?"