Ed Sheeran said he will quit making music if he is found guilty of copying the song Let’s Get It On composed by classic singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye.
According to multiple reports that covered his copyright trial in front of a Manhattan jury, Sheeran was frustrated at the accusations that he plagiarized Gaye's piece with his own 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud.
In the courtroom, he made a rather bold statement regarding his music career should he be found liable for copyright infringement: "If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping."
"I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it," he added.
The ones accusing Sheeran for plagiarism are none other than the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the 1973 hit with Gaye. They are Townsend’s daughter Kathryn Townsend Griffin, his sister Helen McDonald, and the estate of his former wife Cherrigale Townsend.
"I am here for justice, protecting my father's intellectual properties," Griffin earlier told journalists outside the courthouse.
The plaintiffs' musicologist, Alexander Stewart, argued that the first 24 seconds of Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud was "virtually identical" to Let's Get It On. However, the singer defended that his chords are a "common progression" and that such notes are also present in other songs.
To demonstrate this, he sang renditions of songs by Van Morrison such as Tupelo Honey and Crazy Love while playing the chords from Thinking Out Loud.
Meanwhile, Amy Wadge, who co-wrote the song with Sheeran, placed emphasis on how she never once thought of Gaye when she was composing the piece and that the tune was actually more similar to Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately.
Should Sheeran lose the copyright case, a second trial will commence that will determine the amount of damages owed to the Townsend family.
It is not the first time that the 32-year-old singer has been put on trial because of his work. He previously testified a case centered around his song Shape Of You, to which he emerged successful.
Amid being embroiled in a lawsuit, Sheeran is preparing to release his upcoming album titled Subtract on May 5, which will explore his "deepest darkest thoughts" as he tackled his mental health struggles while creating it.