Ed Sheeran didn’t show much emotion when he arrived at a Manhattan court on Tuesday.
The hitmaker, who rocked up wearing a smart navy suit, is facing a fresh legal battle in a long-running dispute over one of his biggest songs.
At the centre of Sheeran’s legal case is his iconic 2015 track Thinking Out Loud and Marvin Gaye’s hit Let’s Get It On.
R&B and soul singer Gaye, who died in 1984, collaborated with songwriter Ed Townsend, who also died in 2003, to write his number one song, released in 1973.
Sheeran’s song Thinking Out Loud dominated charts when it was released in 2015, but just two years later, Townsend’s heirs filed a lawsuit against Sheeran for copyright infringement, claiming that Thinking Out Loud copied the ‘heart’ of Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, including the harmony, melody and rhythm.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit also notes that Sheeran has performed the two songs in a medley in the past and that the two songs transitioned from one to the other ‘seamlessly’.
Townsend’s heirs claimed that they received 22% of the writer’s share of Gaye’s song from the late songwriter.
However, Sheeran argued that any similarities heard in the songs are likely basic music ‘building blocks’ that are ineligible for copyright protection.
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