It’s been a long legal road for English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran ever since he dropped his 2014 banger “Thinking Out Loud.” While fans may have loved the sweet ballad, the family of Ed Townsend argued that the track was a bit too similar to the Townsend co-created “Let’s Get It On,” a 1973 classic famously performed by the legendary Marvin Gaye.
Townsend’s estate filed a copyright infringement lawsuit that lasted for years but was finally resolved today (May 4). A New York City jury found Sheeran not guilty. The court case has taken a toll on the 32-year-old in more ways than one. On Monday (May 1), he called the allegations “really insulting” and vowed to be “done” with music if he was found guilty. Yesterday (May 3), he missed his 98-year-old grandmother’s funeral due to ongoing litigation.
Anne “Nancy” Sheeran’s funeral was held at St. Patrick’s Church in a small Irish town called Monaseed. During the service, the singer’s father said he was “so upset that [his son] cannot be present [as] he has to be thousands of miles away in a court in America defending his integrity,” Teen Vogue said today. Although the crooner woefully admitted, “I will never get that time back,” he seemed to be ready to move forward. After the verdict, he was spotted speaking with and embracing Kathryn Griffin Townsend, the daughter of the “Let’s Get It On” creative.
“I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of the case, and it looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job after all… We spent the past eight years talking about two songs with dramatically different lyrics, melodies, and four chords which are also different and used by songwriters every day all over the world. 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. They are in a songwriter’s alphabet, our toolkit, and should be there for all of us to use. No one owns them or the way they are played, in the same way nobody owns the color blue,” the “Shape of You” star said before the press outside the courthouse after the trial ended.