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Ed Sheeran knew he'd play his guitar in court 'for ages' after being accused of plagiarism

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Ed Sheeran came out on top of his bitter plagiarism lawsuit last week.

The British musician was accused of having copied the chord progression of Marvin Gaye's 1973 song 'Let's Get It On'.

The heirs of Ed Townsend, who was Marvin Gaye's co-writer on the hit, claimed that Sheeran's 2017 track 'Thinking Out Loud' clearly mimicked the song.

Kathryn Townsend Griffin's representatives argued there were 'striking similarities' between the two tracks, as well as 'overt common elements' that violate their copyright.

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However, in the end, Sheeran won his battle and was found not to have breached any copyright laws.

One of the key aspects of his defence was when he pulled out his guitar while giving evidence, demonstrating to the court how he comes up with songs.

Ed Sheeran was accused of plagiarism. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy
Ed Sheeran was accused of plagiarism. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy

He started playing the instrument when his lawyer asked him to explain how he devised 'Thinking Out Loud'.

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Explaining how he came up with the lyrics and the chord progression, the 32-year-old explained that songwriting comes quite naturally to him, and he could easily write up to nine in one day.

He claimed that his friend and song collaborator Amy Wadge was the one who first started playing with the chords for 'Thinking Out Loud' and they had worked together on the lyrics.

Sheeran then showed the court how quickly he was able to put words to a melody, playing the chords of the song and singing the phrase 'I'm singing out now,' which later became 'I'm thinking out loud.'

"When I write melodies, it's like phonetics," he said from the witness stand.

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He then added that he 'can't read music - I'm not classically trained in anything'.

"When inspiration hits, you get excited, and it just comes out," he added.

The singer got his guitar out and played in court. Credit: ABC
The singer got his guitar out and played in court. Credit: ABC

Apologising for his musical abilities, he modestly told the jury: "I'm not the world's most talented guitar player."

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At one point, the popstar even knocked over the microphone on the witness stand - not his most fine-tuned performance.

It was an iconic moment in the court proceedings, for sure. But whose idea was it?

Well, speaking to Good Morning America, Sheeran says it was all his, and that he had been waiting for his moment.

He told the programme: "I'd been wanting to do it for ages, since it's came out, but you have to do due diligence in court so I just waited and knew that I would have my day to explain it and didn't rush anything."

Topics: Ed Sheeran, UK News, US News, Music

Dominic Smithers
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