Ed Sheeran Van Morrison

Ed Sheeran has spent another day in court in an ongoing plagiarism trial related to his 2015 single ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and played Van Morrison in the court room to further contest accusations that the song ripped off Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Let’s Get It On’.

Back in 2016, the pop star was sued by Ed Townsend, one of the song’s co-writers, who alleged that Sheeran and co-writer Amy Wadge copied the rhythm of the 1973 song, as well as an ascending four-chord sequence. It also references “striking similarities” between the two tracks that violate the copyright. Sheeran denies claims he copied Gaye’s song.

Sheeran once again got out his guitar and ran through mashups between ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and several other songs by Van Morrison, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and Blackstreet to contest musicologist Alexander Stewart’s claims about his melodies and intentions. He did this to show how easily one song can bleed into another based on common and incidental resemblances in chord progressions.

According to the Daily Beast, Sheeran said that while writing ‘Thinking Out Loud’ the song’s producers referred to it as “the Van Morrison tune.” He added: “My voice can sound like his.”

He re-iterated that he didn’t copy a single element of ‘Let’s Get It On’, nor was it present in his mind when he was writing it.

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran performs live in 2022. CREDIT: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Sheeran told the court that he would be “done” with the music industry if found guilty (via MailOnline). “I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it,” he said.

Last week, it emerged that a lawyer claimed Sheeran ‘confessed’ to copying Gaye by mashing up the two songs at one of his concerts (via The Associated Press).

“If I’d done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be an idiot to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people [and do that],” Sheeran said last week (April 25), responding to the allegations (via Rolling Stone). “It is my belief that most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for 100s of years.”

Meanwhile, laughter reportedly broke out during the trial after the court was played an AI version of Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’. As per Insider, the computer-generated voice sang the lyrics in a way that sounded like “HAL the computer committing lethal karaoke in a sci-fi horror flick”.

The post Ed Sheeran plays Van Morrison to prove he didn’t steal from Marvin Gaye in copyright trial appeared first on NME.


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