Ed Sheeran tells court he’ll quit music if he’s found guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it On’

Ed Sheeran tells court he’ll quit music if he’s found guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it On’

Ed Sheeran has said he would quit music if he is found guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s soul classic ‘Let’s Get it On,’ saying the claims are ‘insulting.’


The 32-year-old British singer-songwriter vehemently denied the claims he infringed upon Gaye and his co-writer Ed Townsend’s 1973 hit when he wrote and composed ‘Thinking Out Loud’ as he took the stand in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

‘If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,’ Sheeran said when asked by his attorney Ilene Farkas about the toll the trial is taking on him.

‘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 by Townsend’s heirs, who claim there are ‘striking similarities’ between the tracks. They are seeking a whopping $100million in restitution.

At the Manhattan federal court last week, lawyers for Townsend’s heirs displayed a video of Sheeran transitioning seamlessly between ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Let’s Get it On’ during a live performance.

Doing so, they said, amounted to a confession that he had ripped off the song.

But in court on Monday, Sheeran said he and other performers 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.

He also noted that his hit song was actually inspired by Irish musician Van Morrison.

To prove his point, the singer strummed the four-chord sequence he is accused of lifting from ‘Let’s Get it On,’ as part of his rendition of Morrison tracks, including ‘Tupelo Honey’ and ‘Crazy Love.’

The singer also hit out at the plaintiff’s expert witness, musicologist Alexander Stewart, who 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.

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