Ed Sheeran Warns He’ll ‘Quit Music’ If Found Guilty In Copyright Trial



Ed Sheeran could be on the hook for millions of dollars after the Marvin Gaye estate accused him of plagiarising the R&B legend’s baby-making classic ‘Let’s Get It On’ for his own hit track ‘Thinking Out Loud’.

With the trial underway in New York this week, Sheeran took the stand to announce he’ll quit music altogether if found guilty of plagiarism:

“If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping.

I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it.”

There’s no denying the songs sound similar, but then there’s only so many notes and chords you can use in pop music, and in a world where 60,000 new songs are released on Spotify every day (or 22m a year), you’re bound to have some coincidental similarities.

That’s the argument Ed Sheeran is using in court, anyway. But it’s not looking too good for him after the prosecution dug up this clip of Ed literally performing a Thinking Out Loud/Let’s Get It On medley at one of his concerts. Whoops:


Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily mean Ed Sheeran plagiarised Marvin Gaye’s song, but it was nonetheless presented as a piece of evidence by attorney Keisha Rice.

Regarding the clip, Sheeran argued that he sometimes made medleys out of songs with similar chords at his gigs, but when cut off by Rice, he said:

“I feel like you don’t want me to answer because you know that what I’m going to say is actually going to make quite a lot of sense.”

Sheeran made another decent point in his own defence:

“I mash up songs at lots of gigs. Many songs have similar chords. You can go from ‘Let It Be’ to ‘No Woman No Cry’ and switch back.

And quite frankly, if I’d done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.”

Well that’s true. He would be an idiot to get up on stage and perform a song he was guilty of plagiarising (mashing it up with his own song, no less). If he’s found guilty, the judge would basically be ruling that he deliberately copied the song or sampled it without permission, whereas Sheeran claims there’s simply too much music out there to claim plagiarism in cases like this.

Ed Sheeran says he'll quit the music industry if he's found guilty. Credit: Edna Leshowitz/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

The estate of Marvin Gaye are feeling optimistic however, probably buoyed by a 2015 court battle in which a judge ruled Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had plagiarised Gaye’s 1977 song ‘Got To Give It Up’ for their 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. In the end, Thicke and Pharrell had to cough up $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s estate. Question is – would Ed Sheeran really quit the music game if found guilty at the end of this trial? We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

For the Ed Sheeran doppelganger who claims that looking like Ed Sheeran has ruined his life, click HERE.



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