Ed Sheeran, the Grammy-winning British singer, has performed on the witness stand in court to prove he did not copy Marvin Gaye’s song.
The music star is being sued by the heirs of Ed Townsend, co-writer of ‘Let’s Get It On’, a 1973 song by the late Gaye.
The lawsuit, which was initially filed in 2017, alleged “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” between Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and the 1973 soul classic.
According to The Guardian, Sheeran tried to prove his innocence by playing the chord progression of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Sheeran sang the song’s opening words: “When your legs don’t work like they used to.”
The music star, who testified as a witness in his own defense, said the song was written at his home in England, with Amy Wadge, the co-writer.
He said the process began with him saying the phrase “I’m singing out now”, which was ultimately changed to become the title of the song.
Sheeran also said the song was inspired by his grandparents’ love for each other, his grandfather’s recent death, and a romantic relationship he started in 2014.
The 32-year-old musician said he writes up to nine songs a day, adding that he is “not the world’s most talented guitar player.”
“I draw inspiration from a lot of things in my life and family. When I write vocal melodies, it’s like phonetics,” Sheeran told the court.
Sheeran had previously said he would have to be an “idiot” to rip off Gaye’s song and then perform it for thousands of fans.
“If I had done what you are accusing me of doing, I would be quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that,” he had said.
The trial is expected to resume next Monday.
But if the seven-member jury finds the singer guilty of the allegation, the trial will enter a second phase to determine how much he owes.
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