Ed Sheeran sings and plays guitar in court as part of defence in Marvin Gaye plagiarism case
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Ed Sheeran is currently standing trial in Manhattan federal court after being accused of plagiarising one of Marvin Gaye's tracks, and has realised that his best defence could be to sing a song.
Like a knockout round of X Factor or a climactic moment in a stage musical, the singer-songwriter whipped out his guitar on the stand and pleaded his case with music.
Ed's song went straight to number one in the UK when it was released back in 2014, before earning the same title in over a dozen other countries.
Two years later it won a Grammy for song of the year.
The singer, who conveniently had his guitar right behind him on the stand, started playing the instrument when his lawyer asked him to explain how he came up with his song 'Thinking Out Loud'.
Demonstrating how he came up with the lyrics and the chord progression, Sheeran, 32, explained that songwriting came 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.
Ed then showed the jury 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 explained from the witness stand.
Ed 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 explained.
Apologising for his musical abilities, he modestly told the jury: "I'm not the world's most talented guitar player."
At one point, Ed even knocked over the microphone on the witness stand - not his most fine-tuned performance.
Elsewhere in his testimony, Sheeran had to explain himself when prosecutors showed a video of Ed transitioning from 'Thinking Out Loud' to 'Let's Get It On' in a live performance.
Defending himself, the hit-maker had argued: "Most pop songs can fit over most pop songs... if I had done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be a quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that."
Sheeran is being sued by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who was Marvin Gaye's co-writer on the 1973 song 'Let's Get It On'.
They're looking for a share of the profits from Ed's 'Thinking Out Loud'.
One relative of the late Ed Townsend, his daughter Kathryn Griffin Townsend had previously appeared as a witness and told the court that she was fighting to 'protect her father's legacy', but later admitted that this lawsuit had been one she was reluctant about since she believed Sheeran was 'a great artist with a great future'.
Townsend died in 2003 while Gaye died in 1984.