Ed Sheeran Shares What He Thinks Swayed Jury

After his copyright trial, singer cites '101 songs' that use the same 4 chords
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2023 12:05 PM CDT
Ed Sheeran: This Was the Key to Winning Copyright Case
Recording artist Ed Sheeran departs after speaking to the media outside a New York court on Thursday.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

In the view of Ed Sheeran, the key to persuading a jury that he didn't steal from Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" wasn't the performance of his hit song "Thinking Out Loud" in court, or really anything that the pop star did himself. Rather, it was "101 songs with the same chord sequence, and that was just, like, scratching the surface," the singer told Good Morning America on Tuesday, seemingly producing a random number to illustrate the number of pop songs that use the same four chords, per Variety. Sheeran and his legal team highlighted various songs with the same chords during the copyright infringement trial, including through a video medley performed by the comedy band Axis of Awesome.

"It was very quick to see that and be like, 'Oh, yeah, it's not original,'" Sheeran told GMA in an interview. Of his decision to play his guitar in court, he added, "I'd been wanting to do it for ages," but "I just waited and knew that I would have my day to explain it and didn't rush anything." After the New York jury ruled in his favor last week, Sheeran told reporters outside the courtroom, "These chords are common building blocks which were used to create music long before 'Let's Get It On' was written, and will be used to make music long after we are all gone," per Variety. "No one owns them or the way they are played, in the same way that nobody owns the color blue." He also said he was "unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all," per NME. (More Ed Sheeran stories.)

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