Like many big and famous recording artists, Ed Sheeran has faced his share of copyright lawsuits — settling one for his song “Photograph” last year — but in a new suit, the singer is facing claims, for the second time, that his biggest hit too closely resembles a Marvin Gaye classic.
Sheeran is being sued for $100 million over claims that his Grammy-winning song “Thinking Out Loud” stole from Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” David Pullman and his company Structured Asset Sales, which reportedly owns a third of the copyright to the legendary Gaye song, are behind the suit.
According to Page Six, the company claims Sheeran and others involved with the song purposely copied “Let’s Get It On” on a number of fronts, including, “melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping.”
The “Perfect” singer was previously sued over song similarities by the family of Ed Thompson, who co-wrote the 1973 classic with Gaye, but the suit was rejected. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Pullman and Structured Asset Sales acquired its partial ownership over the song through a deal with one of Thompson’s children.
But while the hit Gaye song is attached to the case, it appears the family of the late singer hasn’t filed a copyright cases against Sheeran.
In 2013, the Gaye family successfully sued Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke over claims that the pair violated the copyright of Gaye song “Got To Get It Up” in their song “Blurred Lines.” The verdict, which resulted in the Gaye family being awarded over $5 million, was later unsuccessfully appealed by Williams and Thicke.
The “Thinking Out Loud” suit isn’t the only lawsuit Sheeran is currently facing right now. The singer is also being sued over the song “The Rest Of Our Life,” which he co-wrote for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
With copyright lawsuits potentially looming, many artists have started a practice of directly acknowledging when their song sounds like another with preemptive writing credits. Tom Petty is listed as a songwriter on Sam Smith breakout song “Stay With Me” as it bears resemblance to his own “Won’t Back Down.” Similarly, Sheeran named the writers of TLC’s “No Scrubs” due to its similarity to his 2017 single “Shape of You.”