Ed Sheeran says he reached out to Coldplay to ask if song sounded too similar
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Ed Sheeran has revealed that he once approached Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, to ask if a song he had written sounded too similar to one of theirs.
A decision was finally reached earlier today (Thursday 4 May), with the court ruling Sheeran did not copy the song.
While on the stand to fight his case, Sheeran played guitar, demonstrating how he went about writing the song, and how plenty of pop songs with the same basic chord progression can blend into one another.
The 32-year-old, who had to miss his grandmother's funeral to appear in court this week, was sued by Kathryn Townsend Griffin, whose late father Ed Townsend, co-wrote 'Let's Get It On' with Marvin Gaye.
Had the court ruled in Townsend's favour, the case could have had a major impact on the music industry and set a new precedent for what qualifies as plagiarism from songwriters.
In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music released this week, Sheeran noted: "The thing with these cases, it's not usually songwriters that are suing songwriters. I mean sometimes it is, but it's not.
"I feel like in the songwriting community, everyone sort of knows that there's four chords primarily that are used and there's eight notes."
The 'Shape Of You' singer claimed that, whenever he has thought a song he wrote had sounded too similar to one that already exists, he would reach out to the artist to make sure everything was above board.
"I had a song that I wrote for Keith Urban and it sort of sounded like a Coldplay song."
The song he's referring to is Keith Urban's 'Parallel Line', the verse of which sounds vaguely similar to Coldplay's 'Everglow'.
"So I emailed Chris Martin and I said, ‘This sounds like your tune. Can we clear it?’ And he went, ‘Don't be ridiculous.'
"He was just like, nah, I know how songs are written. And I know you didn't go into the studio and go, I want to write this."
Elsewhere in the interview, Sheeran said that, as a songwriter, he would 'never' think about taking legal action against a fellow musician.
"I would just never do it. I'd just never do it. I feel like if people felt that they had, would come to me... And I've cleared songs for people that have come."
The singer had even warned that he would quit music altogether if he lost the trial.
"If that happens, I'm done, I'm stopping," he told his lawyer, Ilene Farkas.
"I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it."