Life hasn’t been easy on Robin Thicke lately. While his massive hit “Blurred Lines” is one of the most downloaded songs of all time, the song’s controversial lyrics have been called “misogynistic” and worse. The Grammy-nominated song failed to win the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at this year’s ceremony, but the End Violence Against Women Coalition gave Thicke an award of their own in December 2013: “Sexist of the Year.”
In March, Boston University students protested the singer’s concert at Agganis Arena, and Thicke announced his split from his wife of nearly 10 years in February. Additionally, the singer-songwriter is facing a legal battle with Marvin Gaye’s estate due to the alleged similarities between “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”
However, Thicke was all smiles during his Saturday evening performance at Jazz Fest 2014. Looking fly in black from head to toe and sporting a wireless gold microphone, the R&B singer told the crowd, “we’re gonna forget all our problems for an hour, y’all.”
He wasn’t kidding, either. Thicke cut his performance short by nearly 30 minutes, predictably closing with his controversial hit. The heat and direct sunlight on Congo Square Stage made Thicke noticeably uncomfortable, and his black dress shirt was soaked through after only a few songs, which may have led to his set’s premature end.
While the performance was short lived, it did come with some tender moments and songs that got the crowd moving. Thicke hopped onto his grand piano to close both the set and his second song, “Magic,” and he later sat down at his favorite instrument to perform a heartfelt rendition of “Lost Without You,” which he dedicated to all the couples in the audience.
Thicke kept the theme of love that’s so prominent in his music going throughout the show, covering Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” as well as a soulful rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” During his well-received “Blurred Lines” finale, the singer walked amongst the crowd, shaking hands, waving and flashing his charming smile to the mostly female audience. Then, with a final “God bless y’all,” Thicke left the stage at around 6:30 p.m., and his backing band finished up the set.
Read more on the all-AXS Jazz Fest Guide