NEW YORK: Ed Sheeran has been hit with a copyright suit over his mega-hit “Thinking Out Loud,” with a songwriter’s heirs saying he stole from Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On.”
The lawsuit comes amid a flurry of infringement suits in the music world, including a landmark verdict last year in favor of Gaye’s heirs who sued over separate songs.
The latest case was filed not by Gaye’s family but by the descendants of the late Ed Townsend, who wrote the steamy 1973 hit with the soul singer and held the copyright.
“The melodic, harmonic and rhythmic compositions of ‘Thinking’ are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition from ‘Let’s,’” said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in a US federal court in New York.
The plaintiffs said that the British songwriter has ignored their warnings and explicitly referenced “Let’s Get It On” in concert.
Townsend’s heirs sought a jury trial in which they hope to stop Sheeran from further performances of “Thinking Out Loud” as well as damages and profits from the song, with the amount to be determined in court.
The 25-year-old Sheeran has quickly become an international superstar through “Thinking Out Loud,” a ballad that has turned into a wedding favorite.
The song was the first to reach 500 million streams on Spotify and Sheeran’s album X is one of the top-selling British albums so far this century.