Ed Sheeran says he'll quit music for good if found guilty of plagiarizing song

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By Kim Novak

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Ed Sheeran has warned he may quit making music for good if he loses his copyright infringement trial.

The singer-songwriter, 32, is accused of copying parts of Marvin Gaye's hit song 'Let's Get It On' in his 2015 track 'Thinking Out Loud', which he has denied.

Sheeran is being sued by Kathyrn Griffin Townsend, the daughter of songwriter Ed Townsend who co-wrote Gaye's 1973 soul hit, and she is seeking $100 million in restitution.

She is the writer's only living direct heir and is the plaintiff leading the civil trial, and first brought a case against Sheeran in 2017.

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Ed Sheeran is defending the song in court. Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy

Townsend had claimed that 'Thinking Out Loud' copied the "heart" of Gaye's song, including the melody, rhythm, and harmony.

However, earlier in the trial, Sheeran had contended that many pop songs share similar chord progressions, telling the court: "It is my belief that most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for hundreds of years."

The father-of-two has now claimed that if he loses the case, he may stop making music entirely, with MailOnline reporting him as saying in court in Manhattan: "If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping.

"I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it."

Sheeran also argued that any similarities between his 2015 hit song and the 1973 classic are due to the basic "building blocks" of music and are therefore ineligible for copyright protection.

The musician even performed a brief rendition of 'Thinking Out Loud' for the court after being asked to explain the writing process he uses to create his chart-topping hits.

He told the court that he has no formal musical education but developed his own version of phonetics which he uses to create his songs.

Sheeran revealed he can write up to nine songs a day when inspiration strikes him.

He admitted to the court that he "can't read music" and is "not classically trained in anything", adding: "When inspiration hits, you get excited, and it just comes out."

Sheeran is also famed for mashing up songs in similar keys during his concerts and the court was shown him mixing up the two tracks on stage, to which he said it was "quite simple to weave in and out of songs" if they are in the same key.

The plaintiff's attorneys had argued that was a "smoking gun" to show the similarities between the two tracks, to which Sheeran responded, via People: "If I'd done what you're accusing me of doing, I'd be an idiot to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people and do that."

He also used other examples of songs he has mashed up including Van Morrison's 1970 'Crazy Love' and Lewis Capaldi's 2019 'Someone You Loved' which have similar chord progressions within them, as well as The Beatles' 'Let It Be' and 'No Woman No Cry' by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

The trial continues.

Featured image credit: NurPhoto SRL / Alamy

Ed Sheeran says he'll quit music for good if found guilty of plagiarizing song

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Ed Sheeran has warned he may quit making music for good if he loses his copyright infringement trial.

The singer-songwriter, 32, is accused of copying parts of Marvin Gaye's hit song 'Let's Get It On' in his 2015 track 'Thinking Out Loud', which he has denied.

Sheeran is being sued by Kathyrn Griffin Townsend, the daughter of songwriter Ed Townsend who co-wrote Gaye's 1973 soul hit, and she is seeking $100 million in restitution.

She is the writer's only living direct heir and is the plaintiff leading the civil trial, and first brought a case against Sheeran in 2017.

wp-image-1263209489 size-full
Ed Sheeran is defending the song in court. Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy

Townsend had claimed that 'Thinking Out Loud' copied the "heart" of Gaye's song, including the melody, rhythm, and harmony.

However, earlier in the trial, Sheeran had contended that many pop songs share similar chord progressions, telling the court: "It is my belief that most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for hundreds of years."

The father-of-two has now claimed that if he loses the case, he may stop making music entirely, with MailOnline reporting him as saying in court in Manhattan: "If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping.

"I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it."

Sheeran also argued that any similarities between his 2015 hit song and the 1973 classic are due to the basic "building blocks" of music and are therefore ineligible for copyright protection.

The musician even performed a brief rendition of 'Thinking Out Loud' for the court after being asked to explain the writing process he uses to create his chart-topping hits.

He told the court that he has no formal musical education but developed his own version of phonetics which he uses to create his songs.

Sheeran revealed he can write up to nine songs a day when inspiration strikes him.

He admitted to the court that he "can't read music" and is "not classically trained in anything", adding: "When inspiration hits, you get excited, and it just comes out."

Sheeran is also famed for mashing up songs in similar keys during his concerts and the court was shown him mixing up the two tracks on stage, to which he said it was "quite simple to weave in and out of songs" if they are in the same key.

The plaintiff's attorneys had argued that was a "smoking gun" to show the similarities between the two tracks, to which Sheeran responded, via People: "If I'd done what you're accusing me of doing, I'd be an idiot to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people and do that."

He also used other examples of songs he has mashed up including Van Morrison's 1970 'Crazy Love' and Lewis Capaldi's 2019 'Someone You Loved' which have similar chord progressions within them, as well as The Beatles' 'Let It Be' and 'No Woman No Cry' by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

The trial continues.

Featured image credit: NurPhoto SRL / Alamy