Ed Sheeran recently appeared on The Howard Stern Show to address the ongoing controversy surrounding his hit "Thinking Out Loud." The song has been the focus of a lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye's estate, which alleges Sheeran's use of a chord progression similar to Gaye's "Let's Get It On" constitutes copyright infringement.
During the interview, Sheeran gave Stern guitar lessons and demonstrated how he played the chords in question, claiming the sequence was too common to justify copyright protection.
"You can't copyright a chord progression, it's impossible," Sheeran said. "It's been used in music for hundreds of years, and the way I played it was different than the way I played it on 'Let's Get It On."
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Sheeran also stated that he never intentionally copied Gaye's songs and that the similarities between the two songs were purely coincidental. "I'm a big Marvin Gaye fan, but I didn't try to fool him," Sheeran said. "I just wrote a song that I thought was good, and I think the fact that so many people are involved with it shows it's something else."
The lawsuit, which has been ongoing since 2016, has sparked widespread debate about the limits of copyright in music. Many artists and industry insiders have argued that allowing copyright claims based on chord progressions can stifle creativity and limit musical expressive possibilities.
Meanwhile, Sheeran has said he is confident in his position and is prepared to defend his song in court if necessary. "I stand by 'Thinking Out Loud' and my right to make music inspired by the greats in front of me," he said. "I'm not trying to steal anyone's work. I'm just trying to make music that people love."