Marvin Gaye classic Let’s Get It On Ed Sheeran has been accused of copying elements of Marvin Gaye’s song Let’s get it on for his hit single Thinking Out Loud.
The track, which became the first to spend a full year in the UK top 40 and has been streamed more than 1 billion times on YouTube, became Sheeran’s first number one single and went on to top charts in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovakia and South Africa.
It also won song of the year at the 2016 Grammy awards.
An infringement lawsuit has now been filed by Ed Townsend, who composed and co-wrote the lyrics to Let’s Get It On in 1973, according to the complaint filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York.
Townsend has requested the suit be assessed at a jury trial and alleges the harmonic progressions, melodic and rhythmic elements central to Gaye’s track formed the structure of Sheeran’s hit.
“The defendants copied the ‘heart’ of ‘Let’s’ and repeated it continuously throughout Thinking,” the lawsuit said, according to Reuters. “The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of Thinking are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of ‘Let’s.’”
A spokesperson for Sheeran has yet to respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit came two months after California-based musicians sued Sheeran for $20-million over his hit song “Photograph” in an unrelated case.
The pop songwriters claim Sheeran’s Photograph “note-for-note” copies their 2009 song Amazing, which was released as the third single by Matt Cardle, winner of the 2010 season of The X Factor. Sheeran has also not publicly responded to that claim.
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.
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 $7.4 million judgment. – TMZ