- Ed Sheeran took the stand for the first time at his “Thinking Out Loud” copyright test on Tuesday.
- The singer is being sued by the estate of the co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”
- Sheeran told the court that he had not heard Gaye’s song until he saw the 1999 film, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”
Ed Sheeran claimed that he had not heard Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” until he saw “Austin Powers” when he first took the stand at his “Thinking Out Loud” copyright test.
The estate of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On,” is suing Sheeran, claiming that his 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” bears “striking similarities” to Gaye’s 1973 soul classic.
Townsend’s estate claims they are owed money by Warner Music Group and Sony Music Publishing for stealing song elements.
Appearing in Manhattan federal court Tuesday, Sheeran testified that he did not copy Gaye’s song.
“I think most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for hundreds of years,” the 32-year-old singer told the court. according to people, before noting that several other popular songs, including Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved”, share the same progressions.
Sheeran later said, according to People, that he first heard “Let’s Get It On” in the 1999 film “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”
However, he insisted that “Thinking Out Loud” was not based on Gaye’s song, but rather on a conversation he and co-writer Amy Wadge had about their grandparents.
The song is about finding love in old age, he told the court, according to NBC News.
Listen to “Thinking Out Loud” here:
And “Let’s do it” here:
Earlier on Tuesday, Sheeran was questioned about a live mix of “Thinking Out Loud” and “Let’s Get It On” that he performed during a 2014 show in Zurich that was caught on camera.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Townsend family, told the court that the concert video amounted to a “smoking gun” confession. according to the BBC.
Sheeran responded by saying that he often mixes songs with similar chords in his performances.
“You could go from ‘Let it Be’ to ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and back again,” Sheeran said, referring to classic songs by The Beatles and Bob Marley.
“If I had done what they accuse me of doing, it would be quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that,” he added. according to People.
Sheeran is expected to testify once more as the trial progresses, which will last around two weeks.