Ed Sheeran Takes the Witness Stand In Copyright Infringement Trial

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Ed Sheeran took the witness stand in a New York courtroom Tuesday to deny allegations that his hit song “Thinking Out Loud” ripped off Marvin Gaye’s soul classic “Let’s Get It On.”

Sheeran, 32, was called to testify in the civil trial by the heirs of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer on the 1973 soul classic.

The family has accused the English star of violating their copyright, claiming his 2014 hit bore “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” to the famed Gaye track.

In response to video played in the courtroom, which showed the musician segueing on stage between the two songs, Sheeran noted it was very common for musicians to weave other artists’ songs into their live shows.

Earlier in the day, a lawyer for Townsend’s heirs, Ben Crump, had told jurors that the merging of the two songs was tantamount to “a confession.”

Crump said the case was about “giving credit where credit is due.”

“Let’s Get It On” has been heard in countless films and commercials and garnered hundreds of millions of streams, spins and radio plays since it came out in 1973. “Thinking Out Loud” won a Grammy for song of the year in 2016.

The lawsuit was filed in 2017. The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.