Ed Sheeran missed his grandmother’s funeral due to copyright trial: ‘He’s so upset’

‘Our son Edward... has to be thousands of miles away in a court in America defending his integrity,’ father said during eulogy

Tom Murray
Thursday 04 May 2023 10:22 BST
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Listen to Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud' side-by-side to Marvin Gaye track

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Ed Sheeran missed the funeral of his 98-year-old grandmother as a result of his ongoing copyright trial in New York this week.

The British singer-songwriter has been sued by the heirs of Ed Townsend, the songwriter who composed the 1973 slow jam classic “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye.

They claim that Sheeran plagiarised elements of Gaye’s song in his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud,” which he denies.

The funeral for Sheeran’s grandmother Nancy took place on Wednesday (3 May) in the small Irish village where she lived, the Daily Mail reported.

“I am very sad that our son Edward is unable to be here today. He’s so upset that he cannot be present – he has to be thousands of miles away in a court in America defending his integrity,” Sheeran’s father John said during his eulogy.

“I know he is comforted by the fact that he was able to spend some precious time alone with his grandma just a month ago.”

The Independent has contacted Sheeran’s representatives for comment.

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sheeran has vowed, during the trial, to quit music if the jury returns a guilty verdict.

“If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,” he said.

“I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it,” he added.

Should the “Perfect” singer be found liable for copyright infringement, the trial will enter a second phase to determine how much he’ll owe in damages.

In April last year, Sheeran won another copyright lawsuit after he was accused of plagiarising his song “Shape of You” from Sami Chokri’s 2015 track “Oh Why”.

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“There was a lot of talk throughout this case about cost. But there is more than just a financial cost,” Sheeran said in a joint statement with his two co-writers, following the ruling.

“There is a cost on creativity. When we are tangled up in law suits, we are not making music or playing shows.”

The statement continued: “There is a cost on our mental health. The stress this causes on all sides is immense. It affects so many aspects of our everyday lives and the lives of our families and friends. We are not corporations. We are not entities. We are human beings. We are songwriters. We do not want to diminish the hurt and pain anyone has suffered through this, and at the same time, we feel it is important to acknowledge that we too have had our own hurts and life struggles throughout the course of this process.”

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