Ed Sheeran being sued for “Thinking Out Loud”


2/2/2023 Update

Well, it’s been over 6 years since I originally posted that Ed Sheeran was being sued my Marvin Gaye’s fam. You can read about some recent developments here.  Forget about “Thinking Out Loud” and listen to some even closer similarities to “Photograph” and “Shape of You” or this one that is a note-for-note rip.Byeeeee!

1/7/2019 Update

A New York District Judge has decided that a $100 million copyright infringement lawsuit filed against singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, along with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records, will proceed to a jury trial. – read more at forbes.com


Original Post:

It seems that Ed Sheeran is getting sued again. This time the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the lyrics to “Let’s Get It On” in 1973 and created its musical composition are suing Ed Sheeran for the similarity of Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” (2014). Have a listen!

Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud" (2014)

Marvin Gaye - "Let's Get it On" (1973)

Heirs of the composer for Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” are suing British musician Ed Sheeran, claiming his hit song “Thinking Out Loud” copies core elements of the late soul singer’s 1973 track.

The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed on Tuesday by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the lyrics to “Let’s Get It On” in 1973 and created its musical composition, according to the complaint filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York.

Representatives for defendants Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Atlantic Records did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit, which asks for damages to be assessed at a jury trial, argues that the harmonic progressions, melodic and rhythmic elements central to “Let’s Get It On” formed the structure of Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”

“The Defendants copied the ‘heart’ of ‘Let’s’ and repeated it continuously throughout ‘Thinking,'” the lawsuit said.

“The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of ‘Thinking’ are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of ‘Let’s.'”

Grammy Award-winning Sheeran has become one of Britain’s top-selling artists in the past two years, and has written and co-written tracks for artists such as One Direction, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

The lawsuit came two months after California-based musicians sued Sheeran for $US20 million over his hit song “Photograph” in an unrelated case.

Gaye’s family last year successfully sued R&B recording artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement in another unrelated case over their hit single “Blurred Lines,” winning a $US7.4 million judgment.


Have a listen!

Marvin Gaye – “Let’s Get It On” (1973)

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud” (2014)

See Also:

Ed Sheeran Being Sued $20M for Photograph

Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran vs. Elvis Presley

Ed Sheeran vs. Yacht vs. The Rolling Stones

Marvin Gaye family awarded $7.4 million in ‘Blurred Lines’ trial

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8 Replies to “Ed Sheeran being sued for “Thinking Out Loud””

  1. TheHappySpaceman

    Ha! I knew this one was going to come up. Kudos–and why is Marvin Gaye becoming so popular recently? I mean, there was this, there was Blurred Lines, and then there was also that song by Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth.

  2. Travis

    Demi Lovato has been sued

    Sleigh bells filed suit saying Demi’s “stars” ripped off(and oh yeah did it ever) their track “infinity guitars”

  3. Travis

    i honestly dont hear it…….

    didnt hear the blurred lines and dont hear this one…

    well.. just like the last time.. i gotta assume the actual recording of “let’s get it on” isn’t permissible evidence..

  4. Bronzewolf

    Well, seems as though The Gaye estate is back at suing songs that sound somewhat, vaguely similar to small parts of their songs.

  5. bonnie bianco

    the guitar fill in the bridge of the romantics “you got me where you want me” sounds like bryan ferry’s “price of love” riff.

  6. Kenny orr

    Realistically if you are an eclectic person of an age from around 1979 like me and your parents were very eclectic also then you will find similarities in most musicians songs , even cords etc but this is simply those artists taking real inspiration from a good few songs , and to be honest that’s what those older artist are their to do inspire .. don’t take life so literally just enjoy the journey , some people talk like each other bit we don’t absolutely slaughter them for that , if it sounds like it’s something that you recognise it means in most cases that it’s a song that holds a memory for you so just go with it but the artist isn’t responsible for how individual peoples memories of a certain song is to you guys it’s just how they felt at the time .. go with it instead of dissecting it . Bit long my we speech I know .. but it’s just the way it is


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