Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' royalties suspended over new plagiarism row

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Singer Ed Sheeran poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Yesterday' in London, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Ed Sheeran has been embroiled in a new row over his alleged use of other people’s music in his hit records, in this case his 2017 number one single Shape Of You.

The latest claims, lodged against the 28-year-old star by singer Sam Chokri, allege that Sheeran appropriated the chorus of Chokri’s 2015 song Oh Why for his own track.

Royalties for the track have been suspended for the duration of the legal proceedings.

Chokri, who uses the stage name Sami Switch, claims in High Court documents, that he sent his track to members of Sheeran’s “circle” in the hope that he would get the chance to work with him.

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The new documents, according to Metro, claim that Sheeran is “consciously or subconsciously in the habit of appropriating the compositional skill and labour of other songwriters”.

Sheeran denies the allegations against him, which are the latest in a string of similar claims made in recent years.

He has also launched a counter-claim against Chokri after the Oh Why singer scored a copyright infringement victory from the Performing Rights Society.

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Chokri’s documents suggest that Sheeran was forced to add the members of girl group TLC to the writing credits of Shape of You after similarities to their 1999 single No Scrubs were noticed online.

He also claims Sheeran was made to include Shaggy in the list of songwriters on Liam Payne hit Strip That Down due to its similarities with the reggae star’s classic It Wasn’t Me.

Shape of You is the most streamed song in the history of Spotify and was the first track to cross two billion views on the service.

Ed Sheeran performs during the first day of the 2019 Sziget Festival in Budapest. (Photo by Luigi Rizzo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Billboard ranked it as the ninth most successful song of all time.

Read more: Sheeran embroiled in long-running planning row

The Lego House singer is further locked in litigation suggesting he ripped off Marvin Gaye’s classic Let’s Get It On for his own track Thinking Out Loud.

A jury is set to decide the case, brought by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the track with Gaye.

Sheeran is one of the most successful recording artists in the world and is set to become a billionaire before the age of 30, also cameoing as himself in summer movie Yesterday.

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