Ed Sheeran Says He'll Quit Music If Found Guilty Of Plagiarism

3 May 2023 | 9:43 am | Mary Varvaris

“I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it.”

(Pic by Annie Leibovitz)

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The copyright trial of Ed Sheeran has taken another turn, with the Shape Of You singer admitting that he’ll quit music if found guilty of plagiarism.

Ed Sheeran was initially sued by the estate of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of the Marvin Gaye classic, Let’s Get It On, for similarities between that song and Sheeran’s hit, Thinking Out Loud, back in 2016.

“Most pop songs can fit over most pop songs. I mash up songs at lots of gigs. Many songs have similar chords. You can go from Let It Be to No Woman No Cry and switch back,” Sheeran testified in a New York court last week.

He said that after Ed Townsend’s daughter, Kathryn Townsend Griffin’s lawyer, Ben Crump, claimed that Sheeran playing a medley of Thinking Out Loud and Let’s Get It On was a “confession” of guilt.

Sheeran’s lawyer, Ilene S Farkas, argued that Townsend and Gaye can’t own “these common musical elements … No one owns basic musical building blocks,” with Sheeran earlier telling the court, “Quite frankly, 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.”

Yesterday, Sheeran added that Thinking Out Loud was inspired by a different artist altogether: he and his team called the track “the Van Morrison tune,” per The Daily Beast. He also commented, “My voice can sound like this.”

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According to Mail Online, Sheeran later told the court that if he’s found guilty of plagiarism, “If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping.”

He added, “I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it.”

This weekend, fans can score exclusive merch at three Australian pop-up stores to celebrate Ed Sheeran’s most personal album to date, - (Subtract), out this Friday.

“I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be. Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art,” Sheeran revealed in a statement.

You can pre-order the album here.