Ed Sheeran To Quit Music If Found Guilt Of Copying Another Song
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has threatened to quit music if he is found guilty of copying Marvin Gaye’s classic ‘Let’s Get It On,’ saying the allegations are ‘insulting.’
The 32-year-old vehemently denied accusations he infringed upon Gaye and his co-writer Ed Townsend’s 1973 hit when he composed ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and took the stand in Manhattan federal court on Monday.
Ed Sheeran even pledged that if the jury does find him guilty, he will be ‘done’ with music.
‘If that happens, 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 said when asked by his attorney Ilene Farkas about the trial’s impact on him.
Sheeran is being sued by Townsend’s heirs, who claim that there are ‘striking similarities’ between the two tracks. They are seeking a massive $100 million in compensation.
During last week’s hearing at the Manhattan federal court, lawyers for Townsend’s heirs presented a video of Sheeran smoothly transitioning between ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Let’s Get it On’ during a live performance, claiming that it amounted to a confession that he had plagiarized the song.
However, Sheeran claimed in court on Monday that he and other musicians frequently perform ‘mash-ups.’ He argued that he had previously combined ‘Thinking Out Loud’ with Van Morrison’s ‘Crazy in Love’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You.’
‘I mash up songs at lots of gigs. Many songs have similar chords. You can go from “Let It Be” to “No Woman No Cry” and switch back,’ he said.
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Sheeran also highlighted that his hit song was inspired by Irish musician Van Morrison.
To prove his point, he strummed the four-chord sequence he is accused of taking from ‘Let’s Get It On,’ as part of his rendition of Morrison tracks, including ‘Tupelo Honey’ and ‘Crazy Love.’
Sheeran also attacked the plaintiff’s expert witness, musicologist Alexander Stewart, who testified last week that the first 24 seconds of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ were similar to the start of ‘Let’s Get it On.’
Stewart argued in court that they ‘have the same harmonic rhythm’ while pointing out melodic similarities in the verse, chorus, and interlude.