Ed Sheeran says he’d never heard Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ until he watched ‘Austin Powers’ amid accusations he copied the track on ‘Thinking Out Loud’
Posted April 26, 2023 by: Admin
Ed Sheeran took to the stand for the first time in his copyright trial for his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” The heirs of Ed Townsend, who cowrote Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” are suing Sheeran, alleging that his 2014 song has “striking similarities” to Gaye’s classic.
Appearing in a Manhattan federal courtroom, Sheeran testified that he did not copy from Gaye’s song and claimed that most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for hundreds of years. He also pointed out that other popular songs share the same progressions.
Sheeran claimed that he had never heard “Let’s Get It On” until he watched “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” in 1999. He insisted that “Thinking Out Loud” was not based on Gaye’s song, but instead on a conversation that he and cowriter Amy Wadge had about his grandparents. The song is about finding love at an old age.
Earlier in the day, Sheeran was questioned about a live mashup of “Thinking Out Loud” and “Let’s Get It On” he performed during a 2014 show in Zurich, which was caught on camera. The Townsend family’s lawyer argued that the concert video amounted to a “smoking gun” confession. However, Sheeran responded by saying that he often mixes songs with similar chords at his performances.
The trial is expected to last for around two weeks, and Sheeran is expected to testify once more. While the case highlights the contentious issue of music copyright, it also serves as a reminder of the complexity of music creation. Pop songs often share chord progressions and melodies with older songs, and it is not always clear when inspiration becomes infringement. Ultimately, it will be up to the court to decide whether Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud” constitutes copyright infringement or not.