Ed Sheeran is being sued for $100million (£76.4million) for allegedly trying to copy Marvin Gaye’s beard The W1nners’ Club can reveal.
The singer is also alleged to have ripped off sections of Gaye’s 1973 classic, Let’s Get It On for his number one hit Thinking Out Loud — but musicologists argue that the beard transgression is by far the more serious infringement of the two.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s Head of Facial Hair, Mr. Airey Chin said, “What’s very clear to us is that Mr. Sheeran may occasionally steal a person’s music many years after their death, but the idea that he would try to copy Marvin Gaye’s beard is quite frankly ridiculous. Mr. Sheeran has been attempting to grow his own beard now for the last couple of years and whereas Marvin Gaye’s beard was all bushy and thick before he tragically died — Mr. Sheeran’s looks like it belongs on the back of a mangy fox with alopecia.”
Legal documents in the US allege that Sheeran’s beard copies, “the shape, colour, bushiness, style, sex appeal, area of the face, part of the body and general coolness” of that which belongs to Mr. Gaye, but the UK singer who has already faced legal action over the same beard has always denied the allegations and claims that his is more akin to a 14 year old’s pubic hair.
In March 2015, a jury ruled that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams also copied Marvin Gaye’s facial hair and the family of the late soul singer were awarded $7.3million (£4.8million) in damages — leading legal experts to comment that the case set a “horrible precedent” in making it possible to sue someone simply because they’ve run out of shaving cream.
“This case could have far reaching implications for the music industry because ZZ Top, Barry Gibb, Seasick Steve and Kenny Rogers among others — could all potentially face legal action for copying other people’s beards unless they can prove that they grew theirs first,” Mr. Chin added.
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