The 36-year-old singer explained how bosses at Star Trak Entertainment even refused to find funds for the accompanying racy video to the huge worldwide hit.
He told the Associated Press: “The record company didn’t get it. They didn’t even pay for the video. They didn’t want to support it at all.”
In the end, the video was paid for by its director, Diane Martel, who also encouraged it to be risque with its shots of topless models – which Robin admitted definitely helped raise his profile.
He said: “I had just enough fans to get some people into it at the beginning, and then the naked video was just so good, it was kind of the thing people immediately say, ‘Have you seen this?’ – which is kind of what Diane wanted to do.
“She’s been loving my music for 10 years, she’s like, ‘I can’t believe you’re not a bigger star.’
“She said, ‘I think if … we do a funny, silly video with topless girls, everybody’s going to have to know who Robin Thicke is.’ “