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.
Shape of You