Did Ed Sheeran rip off Marvin Gaye's huge hit Let's get It On?

New York, New York - Pop star Ed Sheeran has put up his dukes in a new court case and denied more allegations of plagiarism.

Ed Sheeran leaving the Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday after testifying in defense of his songwriting on the 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud.
Ed Sheeran leaving the Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday after testifying in defense of his songwriting on the 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud.  © MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The 32-year-old has once again defended his music and songwriting skills against claims he lifted his songs from other artists.

But this time around, they're over similarities in what could be the biggest song he's come up against yet: Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye.

The new lawsuit has been brought by the heirs of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer on the famous tune from 1973.

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Sheeran appeared in a New York court on Tuesday to defend himself: "Most pop songs can fit over most pop songs … You could go from Let it Be to No Woman, No Cry and switch back."

The discrepancy is over Sheeran's 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud and Let's Get It On's specific four-chord sequence and rhythm. Sheeran's team has argued no one can own "these common musical elements... No one owns basic musical building blocks."

"The two songs share versions of a similar and unprotectable chord progression that was freely available to all songwriters," they added.

The hearing will continue and is expected to last one week.

Did Ed Sheeran steal from Let's Get It On with Thinking Out Loud?

The daughter of songwriter Ed Townsend Kathryn Townsend Griffin (l) and attorney Ben Crump leave the court in Manhattan on Tuesday.
The daughter of songwriter Ed Townsend Kathryn Townsend Griffin (l) and attorney Ben Crump leave the court in Manhattan on Tuesday.  © KENA BETANCUR / AFP

Townsend, who died in 2003, and his heirs are being represented in part by famed attorney Ben Crump, who also represents the families of George Floyd and Tyre Nichols and regularly takes on high-profile civil rights cases.

Crump and team have pointed to a 2014 mashup Sheeran performed of Thinking Out Loud and Let's Get It On as evidence and "a confession" of stealing.

"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 countered.

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According to reports, Sheeran faces three different lawsuits from Townsend's estate, with the latter two currently on hold.

In April of last year, the singer won another court battle over his hit Shape Of You brought on by songwriters in the UK. He was later awarded over $1 million to cover his legal costs.

Cover photo: MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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