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Ed Sheeran has maintained he would have "quit" making music if he lost a recent copyright infringement lawsuit.
Back in 2018, the heirs of Ed Townsend - who co-wrote Let's Get It On with Marvin Gaye - sued the Shape of You star for allegedly breaching copyright law, claiming he copied elements of the 1973 song while writing his 2014 ballad Thinking Out Loud. But following a trial at the Manhattan Federal Court last week, a jury decided Sheeran didn't copy Let's Get It On when composing his track.
Reflecting on the verdict during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday, the British singer-songwriter insisted that he would have given up music for good if he didn't manage to convince the jury of his argument.
"I really think I would've (quit music if I would've lost) because it just takes the joy out of it," he stated. "If you can't sit down and say you can't use a G chord to a C chord because someone did it in the '60s... it just sucks the fun out of it."
As part of his defence, Sheeran played a medley of songs with the same chord progressions written by other artists for the jury. He performed a similar set of tracks for Stern, including Rod Stewart's Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Shania Twain's You're Still the One, and The Temptations' My Girl.
"There were 101 songs (in the medley), and that was like scratching the surface," the 32-year-old explained. "Yes, it's a chord sequence that you hear on successful songs, but if you say that a song in 1973 owns this, then what about all the songs that came before? We found songs from like the 1700s that had similar melodic stuff. And then, there were huge songs in the '50s and huge songs in the '60s. No one's saying that songs shouldn't be copyrighted, but you just can't copyright a chord sequence - you just can't."
Elsewhere, Sheeran revealed Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, and Taylor Swift had offered him support during the course of the trial.
And he also explained why he was never tempted to settle the lawsuit.
"(Making music) is the thing I worked my entire life to do, and to have someone... diminish it and just say that you've stolen it, I really felt like I had to take a stand," Sheeran added. "Either way you lose because you spend, God knows what, to win the case, and then you don't get that back. And then there's the stain on your reputation for the whole of your life... that doesn't go away."