Culture

Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get it On” Co-Writer Suing Ed Sheeran for Copyright Infringement

The Ed Sheeran track “Thinking Out Loud” allegedly features elements of the iconic Marvin Gaye hit “Let’s Get it On.”

The family of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the iconic Marvin Gaye song “Let’s Get it On,” is reportedly suing British singer Ed Sheeran. The family originally filed the suit back in 2016, but the Southern district of New York has set a trial date for November 9.

Townsend died back in August 2003 at the age of 74, but his family is alleging Sheeran’s single “Thinking Out Loud” lifts “melody, harmony, and rhythmic components of “Let’s Get it On.” On Tuesday attorney Keisha Rice, who currently represents Townsend’s daughter Kathryn, spoke in front of Sony Records in Culver City, California along with George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic.

“These offenses aren’t just taking place in the streets against Black individuals in this country,” she said. “They’re taking place in the boardrooms. They’re taking place in meetings where there’s no representation.”

Back in 2018, the company Structured Asset Sales filed a suit against Sheeran for the same songs. The company owns part of the Marvin Gaye song’s copyright. Structured Asset Sales demanded $100 million from Sheeran. Townsend’s estate is seeking songwriting credits and a portion of the song’s revenue.

“Theft and bullying has been the only priority of the record labels’ agenda,” said Kathryn. “It stops today, Sony, Atlantic and all the rest of them. We’re coming for our 40 acres and a mule plus interest. And know that we’re not going to be silent. It don’t stop till my casket drop.”

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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