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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Ed Sheeran Threatens to Quit Music If He Loses Copyright Lawsuit


Wed 03 May 2023 | 01:28 PM
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran
Yara Sameh

English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran will quit music if he loses the ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit, he will quit music for good.

 “If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,” he noted.

The singer-songwriter was addressing the toll that the court proceedings had taken on him, noting: “I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it.”

The trial began last week in Manhattan federal court. Heirs of songwriter Ed Townsend are suing Sheeran, his label Warner Music Group and music publisher Sony Music Publishing for allegedly ripping off Gaye's classic, which Townsend co-wrote.

Marvin Gaye collaborated with Townsend on "Let's Get It On", which topped the Billboard charts in 1973. Sheeran's “Thinking Out Loud” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2015.

Townsend's heirs sued Sheeran for copyright infringement in 2017, claiming "Thinking Out Loud" copied the "heart" of Gaye's song including its melody, harmony, and rhythm.

The trial is the first of three Sheeran could face from lawsuits over similarities between the hits. The lawsuit said Sheeran has performed the two songs live as a medley and transitioned "seamlessly" between them.

The singer-songwriter is facing two related lawsuits from investment banker and "Bowie Bonds" creator David Pullman's Structured Asset Sales LLC, which owns a third of Townsend's rights in the song.

Sheeran has argued that any similarities between the songs involve basic musical "building blocks" that are ineligible for copyright protection. 

Last week, Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the woman currently suing Sheeran, had to be carried out of court after suddenly collapsing. Griffin is the daughter of songwriter Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”.