Ed Sheeran is being sued over his 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud due to the similarities to Marvin Gaye’s 1973 Let’s Get It On.
Structured Asset Sales (SAS), which owns part of the copyright to Let’s Get It On, is the company that has sued Sheeran. The singer is facing a $100m (£76.4m) lawsuit because Thinking Out Loud copies the “melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping” of Gaye’s song, according to legal documents. The lawsuit has been filed in New York.
Gaye wrote the song with Edward Townsend in 1973. Townsend’s heirs legally claimed in 2016 that Thinking Out Loud is very similar to Let’s Get It On. At the time, Sheeran denied all allegations of plagiarism and claimed his 2014 hit was completely his original work. The claim was voluntarily withdrawn later on in February 2017 with the court later saying that even if the claim had been taken further, there was no evidence of plagiarism.
Since Townsend’s death, SAS bought one-third of the copyright and is now suing Sheeran over the same claim.
Sheeran is not the only one to be sued by SAS. Other defendants in the lawsuit include Sony Music Publishing, the Atlantic record label and Sheeran’s co-writer, Amy Padge. The song was written for Sheeran’s second studio album, x, which released in 2014. It was the album’s third single. Before Shape of You, Thinking Out Loud was his highest-charting single in North America. It peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In June 2015, Thinking Out Loud became the first single to spend a whole year in the UK Top 40.
Thinking Out Loud received nominations for Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It won the Grammy for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Watch the music video for Thinking Out Loud below: