Can we get a witness? Ed Sheeran facing copyright suit over Marvin Gaye classic

 
Billy Bambrough
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The 58th GRAMMY Awards - GRAMMY Pre-Telecast
Ed Sheeran picked up a Grammy for Thinking Out Loud in February (Source: Getty)

Ed Sheeran has been hit with a copyright suit in the US over claims his smash hit Thinking Out Loud rips off the Marvin Gaye classic Let's Get It On.

The suit has been brought by descendants of the late Ed Townsend, who wrote the 1973 hit with Gaye and held the copyright.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday US federal court in New York, read:

The melodic, harmonic and rhythmic compositions of Thinking Out Loud are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition from Let's Get It On.

Thinking Out Loud was a multi-platinum hit when it was released and earnt Sheeran best pop solo performance at this year's Grammy awards.

It also reached number one on the Official Singles Chart and was the first ever song to hit 500m streams on Spotify.

This isn't the first time Gaye's songs have been the subject of copyright suits.

Heirs of Marvin Gaye, who passed away in 1984 aged 44, won a court battle last year that forced Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay out $7.3m to Marvin Gaye's family.

It was claimed the controversial chart-topper Blurred Lines copied the Motown musician's 1977 track Got To Give It Up.

This isn't a first for Sheeran either.

In June, he was sued for $20m by X Factor winner Matt Cardle's songwriters who claimed that Sheeran's Photograph was "a note-for-note copy" of their song Amazing.

However, there could be signs that public opinion is beginning to turn to the side of defendents.

Earlier this week a Los Angeles jury cleared British rockers Led Zeppelin of allegations that they stole the intro to Stairway to Heaven from the band Spirit.

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