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Ed Sheeran takes the stand in ongoing “Shape of You” copyright case

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Ed Sheeran defended himself in London’s High Court on Tuesday in an attempt to prove he didn’t plagiarize his 2017 smash hit “Shape of You.” He is being sued by singer Sami Chokri, who claims Ed sampled his 2015 song “Oh Why” in his “Oh I, oh I” hook.

The BBC reports the Grammy winner attempted to show how common the two-note melody is by singing “No Diggity” by Blackstreet and “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone during his cross-examination. “If you put them all in the same key, they’ll sound the same,” he explained. When pressed if his song was similar to Chokri’s, Ed remarked, “Fundamentally, yes, they are based around the pentatonic scale [and] they both have vowels in them.”

Andrew Sutcliffe QC, who is representing Chokri and his co-writer, Ross O’Donoghue, grilled Ed on the similarities of “Oh Why” and the “Oh, I” hook. The lawyer asked, “It sounds as though you were singing, ‘Oh Why,’ doesn’t it?”

“The lyric is, ‘Oh, I’m in love with your body,'” Ed countered, “‘Oh why I’m in love with your body’ doesn’t make sense.”

He also fended off being called an “obsessive music squirrel” by Sutcliffe and replied, “I’m a music fan, I like music, I listen to music.”

The outlet reports Ed became visibly agitated when the lawyer played an unreleased song to the court and the singer demanded, “That’s a song I wrote last January. How did you get that? I want to know how you got that.” It was later explained the song was on “Shape of You” co-writer Steve Mac‘s personal laptop and the lawyer accessed the wrong file to play the music.

The case is ongoing.

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