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Ed Sheeran sings and plays guitar at copyright trial

Ed Sheeran sings and plays guitar at copyright trial

For roughly an hour, Ed Sheeran described his entire musical career and performed parts of the song in question, Thinking Out Loud, to a New York jury in a civil trial that will determine whether he copied Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On.

It is claimed that Sheeran stole elements of the chart-topping song from Gaye’s co-writer. In court, however, Sheeran cradled a guitar while explaining his creative process.

Denying that he had been influenced by Gaye’s legendary 1973 R&B hit, Sheeran said, “I draw inspiration a lot from things in my life and family.”

According to him, he and his friend Amy Wadge wrote the song at their London home in 2014. He described how it began with the phrase “I’m singing out now”, which became the song’s title. “When I write vocal melodies, it’s like phonetics,” Sheeran said.

Before singing the opening words of the song, he played the chord progression for the song on an acoustic guitar behind the witness stand. Besides his grandparents’ love for each other, the musician said a new romantic relationship he had just begun and his grandfather’s recent death inspired the song.

The plaintiffs called a musicologist on Wednesday to testify that the two songs are similar. Sheeran gave his testimony after the musicologist testified that the two songs have similar themes.

He also reportedly told the packed courtroom, “I’m not the world’s most talented guitar player.”

Sheeran also said that he writes music quickly, up to nine songs in a day.

US District Judge Louis Stanton announced at the start of the trial earlier this week: “We do not allow dancing in court.” Despite music being played, he urged the jury not to dance.

A video showing Sheeran at a Zurich concert transitioning from playing Thinking Out Loud to playing Gaye’s soul classic was played by plaintiff’s lawyers in their opening statement earlier this week, claiming it represents a “smoking gun.”

In a lawsuit filed against Sheeran, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Publishing, the heirs of Gaye’s co-writer, Ed Townsend, claim that the song was stolen by the trio.

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Once the jury finds the pop star liable for copyright infringement, the trial will move on to determining how much he owes.

It is expected that Sheeran will resume his testimony on Monday.

The trial comes one year after Sheeran was cleared in a London trial of allegedly copying his hit song Shape Of You.

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