Ongoing legal proceedings on the issue of whether ED SHEERAN’S number one hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ was based on Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic ‘Let’s Get It On’ became more protracted last week when a US judge rejected Sheeran’s call for the case accusing him of a copying infringement to be dropped. In his decision, District Judge Louis Stanton said a jury should decide. He added that he’d found “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements”.

The action was brought against Sheeran by a group that includes the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote’ Let’s Get It On’ with Gaye. Their lawyer said that Mr Townsend’s family were looking forward to the case being heard in court. They say that Sheeran “copied the heart of ‘Let’s’ and repeated it continuously throughout ‘Thinking’.” Judge Stanton also said that jurors “may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning between the songs.”

In 2017 Sheeran settled a $20m copyright infringement claim against him in the US, over his hit song ‘Photograph’. Also in 2017, the team behind TLC’s 1999 single ‘No Scrubs’ were given writing credits on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’. The previous year songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington had sued Sheeran, claiming one of his ballads had a similar structure to their song ‘Amazing’.