While Ed Sheeran has made many headlines for his musical talent, but this time the headline isn't looking so promising – it seems he's being sued over his song Thinking Out Loud that allegedly rips off Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.
This isn't the first time that accusations have been made. Back in 2016, the beneficiaries of Let’s Get It On co-writer, Ed Townsend, called in his lawyers. They claimed that Sheeran had borrowed – without permission – the “melody, harmony and rhythm compositions” of Let’s Get It On for Thinking Out Loud. Musicologists got to work on analysing the two tracks and their similarities.
A company called Structured Asset Sales, which owns part of the copyright of Gaye’s song, says it's not as simple as it sounds. The company was started by investment banker, David Pullman, who, in the late 1990s invited musicians to sell off their future income in exchange for money upfront. One of his clients was Gaye's late co-writer, Ed Townsend Jr, who's daughter now owns part of the song. Although the judge rejected the allegations back in 2016, the company's lawyers decided to file a new lawsuit based on the same allegations. Although this is arguably one of his most famous single, this is not the only song to be accused of being copied.
Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed a lawsuit accusing Sheeran of stealing the melody from their song When I Found You, sung by Australian artist Jasmin Rae, and using it for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's song, The Rest of Our Life, which Sheeran wrote for the duo. Sheeran responded with court documents denying any similarity between the two songs.
Sheeran's song, Photograph, was attacked by Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, alleging that it had the same musical composition as their song Amazing, performed and released by the X Factor winner, Matt Cardle, in 2012. Since then, the lawsuit has been settled but the outcome has not been publicised.
Sheeran has denied all allegations saying that the accusations of copying Gaye's song are "baseless" and that the chord progressions in both songs are “extremely commonplace.”