Ed Sheeran, the popular British singer-songwriter, has won a four-year legal battle over his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” The song was accused of copying the melody of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” but the judge ruled in Sheeran’s favor in May 2023.
The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by the heirs of Ed Townsend, co-writer of “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye. They claimed that Sheeran copied the “heart” of their song, seeking $100 million in damages. However, the judge ruled that the similarities were limited to a common chord progression, which is a common musical element used in countless other songs.
Sheeran testified that he had never heard “Let’s Get It On” before and that any similarities were coincidental. His victory affirms the principle that music copyright infringement claims must demonstrate a high degree of similarity to be valid.
In a statement, Sheeran expressed his relief and thanked his supporters. Ed Sheeran informed the media that he was unable to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Ireland due to the ongoing court case in New York.
Sheeran’s commitment to the trial, which he believed was necessary to “defend his integrity,” prevented him from being there in person to say goodbye to Anne ‘Nancy’ Sheeran, who inspired his song “Nancy Mulligan.” Despite his absence, it is believed that Sheeran was able to tune in online to pay his final respects.
To celebrate, Ed released a new album titled ‘Subtract’.