Wednesday April 25, 2023 – Ed Sheeran arrived at Manhattan federal court Tuesday, April 25, for his trial over a lawsuit accusing him of lifting parts of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” for his own use.
The four-time Grammy award winner stayed mum as he made his way through a crowd of reporters and photographers outside the lower Manhattan courthouse.
The case, which began Monday with jury selection, will decide whether Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” ripped off parts of Gaye’s iconic 1973 soul classic.
The “Shape of You” singer is being sued by the heirs of late Ed Townsend – who co-wrote the song with Gaye – claiming that Sheeran should share the wealth from his profits from his 2014 track.
Townsend’s camp claim the British singer-songwriter’s megahit used a too similar melody as “Let’s Get it On,” in addition to other musical elements that created the “heart” of Gaye’s hit song, the lawsuit states.
The trial has been delayed for several years.
The suit was filed in 2017.
On Monday, April 24, several potential jurors were dismissed from serving because of their knowledge of Sheeran and their previous ties to the music industry, including one potential panelist telling the judge that Sheeran’s “Perfect” was her wedding song in 2018.
The jury must decide whether Sheeran should be held liable for copyright infringement.
Townsend’s daughter Kathryn Townsend Griffin said Tuesday she was seeking “justice” for her dad by pursuing the suit.
“I am here for justice protecting my father’s intellectual properties,” she said as she made her way into the courthouse. “All I’m expecting is his name to be honored and his work and his legacy, and the fact that I want all artists’ intellectual properties protected by the individual who oversee our royalties.”