Ed Sheeran sued for $100 million for allegedly copying Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on'

Grammy award-winning singer, Ed Sheeran, is now on the receiving end of a $100 million lawsuit over the claim of copying Gaye's classic song 'Let's Get it On'.


                            Ed Sheeran sued for $100 million for allegedly copying Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on'

Grammy award winning musician Ed Sheeran is being sued for $100 million over plagiarism, with the lawsuit by Structured Asset Sales alleging that the singer's 'Thinking Out Loud' song borrowed too heavily from Marvin Gaye's 1973 classic 'Let's Get it On.'

The song won Sheeran two Grammys in 2016 -- Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. 

SAS owns one-third of the Gaye song’s copyright, and according to TMZ, they claim Sheeran’s song mirrors the drums, central rhythms, harmonic progression, melodies, bassline, and other aspects of Gaye’s song, which he co-wrote with Edward Townsend

According to Hollywood Reporter, this is not the first time that the pop singer has been sued over copyright issues. The report states that Sheeran had to give up part of his ownership of the song 'Photograph' in 2017, in order to settle a $20 million copyright infringement, after songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington sued the singer claiming that the song had a similar structure to their song 'Amazing', which was released in 2012.

Reportedly, he is also facing pending litigation over a song which he had penned for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

However, in regarding 'Thinking Out Loud', the singer claims that the two songs only sound common because of the commonplace pattern of the chord progression, TMZ reported. 

The pop singer has been sued several times over copyright infringement. (Getty Images)
The pop singer has been sued several times over copyright infringement. (Getty Images)

Structured Asset Sales was founded by the investment banker David Pullman who in the 1990s secured future royalties to musical intellectual property and later sold those asset-backed securities to other investors. Among the many musicians who had sold off their future income in exchange for money upfront included David Bowie, James Brown and The Isley Brothers.

The company allegedly owns a part of 'Let's Get it On' after it struck a deal with one of Townshed's children, Clef Michael Townshed.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the US District Court Judge, Richard Sullivan rejected the motion for intervention on June 11, as he said the case was "clearly untimely". He further pointed out that the case was being widely publicized with a massive attention from the press. The company, reportedly, is now appealing up to the 2nd Circuit, although it has filed another lawsuit on Thursday repeating the similar claim. 

Business Insider reported that Sheeran was also sued in 2016 by the same company over the same song. According to the report the family of Townshed has claimed that the singer lifted up the exact melody, harmony, and other components from Gaye's classic song.

Sheeran's song 'Thinking Out Loud', reportedly, hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2014 and has been certified "diamond" by the RIAA for streaming-equivalent sales of over 10 million copies. On the other hand, Gaye's song  'Let's Get it On' topped the Billboard singles chart in 1973 and is certified platinum by the RIAA. 

Listen to the two songs below: