Saturday, April 13, 2024

Ed Sheeran’s Huge Hit “Shape of You” Ripped off “No Scrubs”– Quiet Deal Made to Add Songwriters


Ed Sheeran has a massive hit with “The Shape of You.” It’s number 1 everywhere and top of the charts. But doesn’t it sound familiar?

Indeed, “Shape” rips off TLC’s “No Scrubs,” an original hit from the 90s. Very quietly, I’ve learned, a deal has been made to add the songwriters from “Scrubs” to “Shape”‘s credits. That’s good news for Kandi Burruss, Kevin Briggs, and Tameka Cottle, and for their publisher, HitCo, owned by Epic Records’ LA Reid.

For Sheeran this isn’t the first time in this kind of trouble. He’s being sued by Marvin Gaye’s estate over his last big hit. “Thinking Out Loud.” The Gayes think– and so do I — that it sounds a lot like “Let’s Get it On.”

Maybe everyone should listen to Sheeran’s album to make sure there are no other infringements.

Poor Ed.  He says he worked for a year on his new album “Divide.” But he must listen to a lot of existing music when he’s writing. Or, he’s not asking friends “Have you heard this before”?

It happens. Michael McDonald once did that when he wrote “I Keep Forgetting.” He kept forgetting that the whole song existed two decades earlier as a hit for Chuck Jackson. George Harrison had a similar problem with “My Sweet Lord.”

More recently, Sam Smith nicked Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Now Petty’s name is on the credits.

For years Mariah Carey got herself into this kind of trouble. Her hits “Emotions”and “Fantasy” were derived from songs by The Emotions and the Tom Tom Club.

 No Scrubs

Shape of You

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News