Tuesday 18 June 2019

Ed Sheeran being sued for £76m for allegedly ripping off Marvin Gaye song

A legal claim lodged in New York alleges Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud copies Let’s Get It On.

Ed Sheeran is being sued over claims he copied parts of a Martin Gaye song (Ben Birchall/PA)
Ed Sheeran is being sued over claims he copied parts of a Martin Gaye song (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Ed Sheeran is being sued for 100 million dollars (£76.4 million) for allegedly ripping off parts of Marvin Gaye’s classic Let’s Get It On for his hit Thinking Out Loud.

According to legal documents lodged in New York, the British star’s 2014 track copies the “melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping” of Gaye’s 1973 song.

The claim has been brought by a company called Structured Asset Sales (SAS), which owns part of the copyright of Gaye’s song.

Ed Sheeran’s X album sold more than 15 million copies (Victoria Jones/PA)

Gaye co-wrote the track alongside Edward Townsend in 1973. Townsend died in 2003 but SAS bought one-third of the copyright.

Sheeran, 27, has already faced legal action over the track after the heirs of Townsend also said Thinking Out Loud copied Let’s Get It On. He has denied those allegations.

The album X, which features Sheeran’s song, sold more than 15 million copies.

Marvin Gaye died in 1984 aged 44

It was also nominated for a Grammy for Song Of The Year in 2015.

Other defendants listed in the claim include Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the Atlantic record label and Amy Padge, Sheeran’s co-writer on the song.

SAS is owned by David Pullman, the creator of the so-called Bowie Bonds, which saw David Bowie sell off bonds for 55 million dollars (£42 million) backed by royalties from his catalogue.

Gaye was shot dead by his father in 1984 at age 44.

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