Watch CBS News

Ed Sheeran on copyright lawsuits: "You are going to get this with every single pop song from now on"

Ed Sheeran, one of the biggest musical artists on the planet, has spent the past two weeks defending his integrity in a New York City courtroom, fighting a lawsuit in which the family of the co-writer of Marvin Gaye's classic "Let's Get It On" claims Sheeran stole the chord progression for his song "Thinking Out Loud." Sheeran opens up about the trial, his new album, body image, and more in an interview with correspondent Seth Doane for "CBS Sunday Morning" to be broadcast May 7 on CBS and streamed on Paramount+. 

Sheeran, who won the New York case Thursday, said that lawsuits are a fact of life for artists today.  

Watch a preview clip below: 

Ed Sheeran on lawsuits over songwriting 01:02

"I just think it comes with the territory," Sheeran told Doane in an interview conducted before the verdict was announced.  "When they say, 'There's a hit, there's a writ,' it's true. Every single hit.

"There's four chords that get used in pop songs and there's however many notes, eight notes or whatever, and there's 60,000 songs released every single day," Sheeran said. "And if you just think mathematically the likelihood of this song having the same chords as this song … You are going to get this with every single pop song from now on, like, unless it just stops, which I don't think it does because it's a big money business to take things to court."

Sheeran told Doane it's a topic that riles him up, and will have an impact throughout the business.  

"You can only get caught out if you've done something wrong," Sheeran said. "And I'm not – I have not done something wrong. I'm not lying here. I used four chords that are very common chords to use, and they sound like lots of songs."

In a wide-ranging interview, Sheeran talks about making music, his insecurities, ego, and his new album "Subtract." It's a collection of pared-down songs dealing with personal topics, such as anxiety and depression.  

"I'm quite, like, comfortable in my skin. I'm like, I know who I am and what I do," Sheeran said. 

"The lyrics in some of these songs seem to paint another picture, of not being so comfortable in your skin," Doane said.

"Yeah. But that's the human; you're talking to the artist right now," Sheeran replied. "The artist who can stand on stage in front of 110,000 people in Melbourne is not the same person that has anxiety and insecurity and depression." 

The Emmy Award-winning "Sunday Morning" is broadcast Sundays on CBS beginning at 9 a.m. ET. "Sunday Morning" also streams on the CBS News app [beginning at 12 p.m. ET] and on Paramount+, and is available on and

Be sure to follow us at, and on TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and TikTok.

For more info:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.