British pop star Ed Sheeran is renowned as one of the nicest guys in the music business. Since winning the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough act in 2012, Sheeran’s career went into overdrive, and he grew to become one of the world’s most popular artists. Online streaming platform Spotify has identified Sheeran as the most-streamed artist of all time on their platform, with over three billion streams to his name by December 2015. Despite his huge popularity, Sheeran has never lost sight of the important things in life.
The Telegraph highlighted Sheeran’s good deeds last year when it detailed Ed’s support for charitable causes. Sheeran has shown his willingness to go the extra mile to help both friends and fans pull off big marriage proposals, and Ed has even adopted a stray kitten.
Sheeran is currently on hiatus while he travels the world and takes a break from years of relentless touring and recording, but Ed has a habit of popping up where he is least expected. Just a couple of weeks back, Billboard reported that Sheeran made a surprise guest appearance at the UK’s Latitude festival. Ed joined singer-songwriter Foy Vance on stage for a jam session. Vance is one of the acts on Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man record label. No one will be accusing Sheeran of failing to support his acts.
Let’s face it: Everyone loves Ed Sheeran — well, almost everyone! It seems that the heirs of Ed Townsend’s estate are not huge Sheeran fans. According to Time, Townsend co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit song “Let’s Get It On,” and his estate is claiming that Sheeran ripped off the song in his unofficial wedding anthem “Thinking Out Loud.”
According to BBC News, Townsend’s heirs are taking legal action against Sheeran, claiming that Ed’s hit song copies “the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions” of “Let’s Get It On.” According to the litigants, Sheeran copied “the heart” of the Marvin Gaye hit, and as a result, they want a court to decide if they are owed damages for breach of copyright.
Sheeran’s song has been a worldwide smash. The Guardian reports that Ed’s tune has been streamed over one billion times on YouTube, won him a Grammy, and topped the charts all over the world. “Thinking Out Loud” also scored Sheeran his first UK No. 1 and stayed in the top 40 for over 12- months, the first song ever to achieve that feat.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Sheeran has been accused of plagiarism. Ed is currently being sued for $20 million by two musicians who claim that Ed’s song “Photograph” copies a song of theirs called “Amazing.” The lawyers who are pursuing that case also represent Marvin Gaye’s estate, so it may be that there is more bad news on the horizon for Sheeran.
Ed Sheeran's accused of ripping off Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"https://t.co/cNnIlhGaqz
— Mashable (@mashable) August 10, 2016
Attorney Richard Busch represented Gaye’s estate last year when they sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement over their single “Blurred Lines.”
To date, Ed Sheeran has made no comment about this case, but Sheeran is hardly the first famous artist to face plagiarism claims. Consequence Of Sound reports that Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Led Zeppelin are just a few of the huge names who have faced breach of copyright claims in recent times.
Sheeran would no doubt argue that there are only so many notes, scales, chords, and riffs that can be strung together to make a song. Doubtless, if you dig deep enough, just about every pop song ever written will bear a similarity to another. As a result, we could perhaps see the emergence of a new breed of “ambulance chasing” lawyers who hunt out similarities between songs for the express purpose of taking lawsuits against successful artists.
Do you think there are strong similarities between the Marvin Gaye and Ed Sheeran songs? Check out both of the above videos and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision/AP Images]