British pop star, Ed Sheeran, is taking the infringement lawsuit filed against him by one of the writers of Marvin Gaye’s hit, “Let’s Get It On,” as an insult.
The singer took the stand and threatened to quit music if the court ruled against him in the case which alleges that his hit “Thinking Out Loud” contains elements of Gaye’s hit. “If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,” he told his lawyer Ilene Farkas while under oath, according to The Daily Mail.
‘I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it,’ the ‘Shape of You’ singer added.
Sheeran is being sued for $100 million by the heirs of Ed Townsend who co-wrote the 1973 hit with Gaye.
The case has been quite a spectacle, with, at one point, Sheeran taking to the guitar to play an acoustic version of the song for the jury. In Manhattan federal court last week, lawyers for Townsend’s heirs played a video of Sheeran transitioning seamlessly between ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Let’s Get it On’ during a live performance.
They likened the mash-up to a confession that he had ripped off the song.
But in court on Monday, Sheeran said he and many other artists frequently perform ‘mash ups,’ and that he had on other occasions 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.
‘And quite frankly, if I’d done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that,’ he added.
Musicologist Alexander Stewart is an expert witness in the case and he argued last week that the first 24 seconds of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ were similar to the beginning of ‘Let’s Get it On.’ Stewart said in court that they ‘have the same harmonic rhythm’ while pointing out melodic similarities in the verse, chorus and interlude.
The British rocker has been combative on the stand pushing back as he explained the process of writing the song in 2014 as a collaboration with a songwriting partner named Amy Wadge. He maintained, “I draw inspiration a lot from things in my life and family.”
The Townsend family is being represented by famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
If Sheeran is found to have ripped off elements of the song, a second trial will likely be held to determine damages.
It’s worth noting that when Sheeran’s hit, “Shape Of You” was released in January 2017, Sheeran, Johnny McDaid and Steve Mac were as the song’s only songwriters. It was not until fans pointed out the similarities between the song and the TLC hit, “No Scrubs,” that producer Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs, Xscape stars and songwriters, Kandi Burruss and Tameka Cottle-Harris were added to the credits.
Ed Sheeran Says He’ll Quit Music If He Loses ‘Insulting’ Infringement Suit was originally published on hiphopwired.com
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