British singer and songwriter, Ed Sheeran will face trial in the US over claims he copied his 2014 hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic ‘Let’s Get It On’.
U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan denied Sheeran’s bid to dismiss the copyright infringement suit, saying a jury should decide on whether the two songs are substantially similar.
The move comes after Sheeran, 31, and his co-songwriters were awarded more than £900,000 in legal costs in June after winning their UK High Court copyright trial over the hit Shape of Year in March.
After that ruling six months ago, Sheeran lashed out at the ‘baseless claims’ being brought against singer-songwriters.
On Thursday, Judge Stanton said that Sheeran must now face trial in the US amid claims Thinking Out Loud is copied from Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.
The copyright infringement suit was originally lodged in 2018 – not by Gaye’s family, but by Structured Asset Sales LLC, which owns a portion of ‘Let’s Get It On’ co-writer Ed Townsend’s estate.
Structured Asset Sales (SAS) is seeking $100million in damages while alleging Sheeran and his co-writer Amy Wadge ‘copied and exploited, without authorization or credit’ the Gaye song, ‘including but not limited to the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping’.
Gaye co-wrote Let’s Get It On with Edward Townsend, an American singer and songwriter who died in 2003.
They released the song in June 1973 and it hit No.1 in September that year. More than 10 years later, Gaye was shot and killed by his father, Marvin Gay Senior – whose surname is spelt differently – at their house in Hancock Park, Los Angeles, after an argument on 1 April, 1984, on the eve of his 45th birthday.
On Thursday September 29, Judge Stanton said a jury must decide whether the two songs are substantially similar because music experts on both sides of the dispute disagree whether Sheeran’s song mimics ‘Let’s Get It On.’
‘Although the two musical compositions are not identical, a jury could find that the overlap between the songs’ combination of chord progression and harmonic rhythm is very close,’ Stanton said.
An attorney for Structured Asset Sales, Hillel Parness, told Reuters the company is ‘pleased’ with the ruling.
Anambra police release corpse of slain singer
The Anambra State Police Command has finally released the corpse of the slain singer and actor, Slami Ifeanyi.
This is following a protest by a Twitter user and friend of the deceased who alleged that the police demanded N350,000 for the release of the corpse in its custody for burial.
Ifeanyi was shot dead on Saturday in Umubele, Awka, Anambra State capital by some yet-to-be-identified assailants.
It was gathered that the 31-year-old songwriter was driving in his newly acquired vehicle when he was attacked and killed.
The Twitter user, with the handle @princenenchecfr, had raised the alarm in a tweet as he requested the help of the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, and his Lagos State counterpart, Benjamin Hundeyin.
The Anambra State police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, in his reply said, “We are aware of the shooting that took place that day which led to the death of the young man. Preliminary information reveals that it is cult related. I will follow up. Meanwhile, we have three suspects in custody.”
But speaking to our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday, the tweep said, “The matter has been resolved, all thanks to the state police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga.
“It was the police officers at the police station in Awka who were demanding for the sum of N350,000, but the command had intervened and asked the family to go and pick the corpse at the mortuary.
“The Divisional Police Officer of the command was summoned and he claimed ignorance that his men were demanding money from the family of the deceased and thereafter, ordered for the release of the corpse to the family.”
Confirming the incident, Ikenga said the corpse had been released to the family and that the protesting Twitter user had reached the command to thank it for its intervention and cooperation.
“The corpse has been released to the family,” Ikenga said.
Toke Makinwa laments robbery in London
By Francesca Iwambe
Nigerian media personality, Toke Makinwa, has cried out after losing her valuables to robbers in London.
Makinwa who made this known via her Snapchat wrote, “Just got robbed in London. I am speechless. All my valuables are gone. Gosh, how could this happen to me.”
This is coming days after the Federal Government warned Nigerians about increased spate of robberies in the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries.
Finally, DJ Cuppy returns to social media after engagement
*Says, she has been happy and enjoying her life
By Francesca Iwambe
DJ Cuppy, the popular Nigerian billionaire’s daughter, recently opened up about her happiness a few weeks after getting engaged to her boyfriend.
Shortly after Cuppy got engaged to her boxer boyfriend, Ryan Taylor, in Abu Dhabi, she seemed to disappear from social media and did not engage with her fans as much.
In a new development, the billionaire’s daughter has now come back on social media for the first time after her engagement and she explained her absence to fans.
According to Cuppy, she has been away because she has been very happy and also enjoying her real life.
She wrote: “My dear cupcakes. Sorry I haven’t been active on social media recently… I’ve just been really happy and enjoying my real life, to be honest.”
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