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Ed Sheeran is changing course with his latest album, "subtract"

Pop star Ed Sheeran has been on a different kind of stage this past week, defending himself in court against plagiarism claims “I’m definitely very happy with the outcome of the case,” he said Thursday in New York City, “and it looks like I won’t have to retire from my day job.”

The lawsuit alleges that he copied parts of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On” with his Grammy-winning song “Thinking Out Loud.”

When “Sunday Morning” spoke with Sheeran before the trial near his home in England, his representatives declined to discuss the case.

Doane asked Sheeran, “What’s it like as an artist, as a creator?”

“I think it comes with the territory,” he replied, then referred to a publicist off-camera. “Glenn is getting nervous now! But four chords used in pop songs… Glenn, honestly, it’s fine!”


Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

CBS News

“There are four chords that are used in pop songs,” Sheeran said. “And if you think about it mathematically, what’s the probability that this song has the same chords as this song? There are multiple, multiple songs. All the same four chords – some of them are like A, B, C…” Sheeran then turns his words around. gave The camera returns to focus off. “Dude, I’m a musician. I can talk about this.

“You’re going to get that with every single pop song from now on,” Sheeran said, “unless it’s taken off, which I don’t think, because it’s a big money business to take to court. But like, only if you’ve done something wrong. You can get caught. And I’m not. I didn’t do anything wrong. I used four chords that are very common chords to use.”

Doane asked, are you calm?

“Yeah. Yeah. That’s right, it pisses me off, man.”

The ruling wasn’t the only good news for Sheeran last week. His new album ‘Byog’ released on Friday is being praised by critics.

You can stream a YouTube playlist of Ed Sheeran’s album “Subtraction” by clicking the embed below.

Ed Sheeran ‘-‘ (minus) – Lyric video by Ed Sheeran on YouTube

Interestingly, the 32-year-old wasn’t planning to release the record. “I had to get my head around ten years of work to replace it with a month’s worth of work,” he said.

Doane asked, “Explain: You write all these songs, you plan for a completely different album, and then life happens and you change gears?”

“Pretty much, yeah.”

He describes the process for a new docu-series on Disney+ called “Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All.”

Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All | Official trailer Disney+ by Disney Plus on YouTube

Sheeran said, “My wife went for a checkup and they found a tumor in her, and she was six months pregnant. And I wrote a bunch of songs about that. …”

Right now in the waiting room, emotions are running high
Worried ’bout my girlfriend and I’m worried ’bout a child
My part was always in denial
It will take some time
In our story, loving, lover
We are glorious

“Sycamore” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran – Sycamore by Ed Sheeran on YouTube (Official Video)

“Then, about a week later, my best friend died. And so, I wrote a bunch of songs about that…”

I picture this month a little differently, no one is ever ready
And when it unfolds, you get in a hole, oh, how heavy can it be?
Everything changes, nothing stays the same, except the truth now you’re gone
And life just goes on

“Eyes Closed” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran – Ed Sheeran Eyes Closed (Official Video) on YouTube

At the same time, he was in the middle of an earlier copyright case, Which he also won. “And then I got into, like, really, really, really public high-profile court cases where you’re being yelled at every day and called a liar and a thief and stuff. So, I’d write about, you know, fear, or Depression, or anxiety, or all these things that were captured at the time, that’s what the songs ended up being about.”

The result is a return to Sheeran’s singer-songwriter roots. It’s a departure from the string of polished pop hits that have made him one of the world’s best-selling music artists

About an hour before taking the stage at the Kings Theatre, in Brooklyn, N.Y., for the sold-out debut of his new album, Sheeran seemed relaxed. “I’m pretty comfortable in my skin,” she said. “I know who I am and what I do.”


Ed Sheeran with reporter Seth Dwan before a concert at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn.

CBS News

“Some of the lyrics to these songs seem to paint another picture of not being so comfortable in your skin?” asked Doan.

“Yes. But that person; you’re talking to the artist right now. The artist who can stand on stage in front of 110,000 people in Melbourne is not the same person who has anxiety, insecurities and depression. And yes, it’s not the same person. You wear a cape, I Guess, and go, I can entertain you, and that’s good. But if I were off the stage, all the time? It’s terrible. You’re just this arrogant lunatic walking around!”

The British musician is selling out stadiums on his “Mathematics” tour, which just kicked off in the U.S. That made artist Ed Sheeran so successful that he’s willing to reveal that human side.

Doane asked, “Draw a picture of you as a child?”

“Really small,” he said. “I had red hair. I had these big pink glasses. I had a stutter. This was before I played music, so I didn’t have anything to offer, and I was weird.”

“Are you thinking about that kid?”

“All the time. Yes. I find it unsettling.”

Sheeran spoke about his weight problems: “I keep my weight under control now because I exercise a lot, but I’ve always been fat,” he said.

“You’re not fat!”

“Well, I know, because I keep it under control. I worked out like an hour and a half this morning. And I’ll be on stage for another two hours today. Like, what I watch is what I eat and I exercise a lot and I try not to chat as much. Give.”

He is open about that struggle, to a point. “I don’t want it to be the poster boy, you know?” she said. “I think what’s important in talking about it is letting people know that it’s not an issue that’s just for one gender.”

By “it” he is talking about bulimia. Showing such vulnerability can require a level of confidence that is evident when Sheeran takes the stage.

Doane said, “The pride that a performer needs to have – where does that come from in your case?”

“Weirdly, nobody cares,” Sheeran replied. “I guess I’ve been building it since I was 15, playing in rooms where I was pretty much ignored. I don’t know, if you go to a bar and there’s a kid who’s like, hey guys, this song is good, listen to it, you’re right. will be.”

His songs are good, if 15 million album sales are any yardstick. A single from his new album about the death of his friend topped the charts, placing Sheeran third for the most #1 hits in the UK, just behind Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

“It’s a really personal song for you,” Doane said.

“Yeah, all my albums are super-personal,” Sheeran says “They’re all a reflection of where I’m at at the time, and it’s more uncomfortable, I think.”

Sheeran refers lyrically to this “uneasy” time, as “the end of youth”.

We spend our youth with arms and hearts open
And then darkness sets in and it’s the end of youth
I’ve been lost since I was a teenager but pretended everything was fine
All my ups led to downs that tried to end my life
Just a boy in the beginning, they lent like a man
You were meant to be my friend and don’t take all you can.

“End of Youth” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran – The End of Youth by Ed Sheeran on YouTube (Official Video)

“Is it autobiographical?” asked Doane.

“Totally, yes. Totally,” he said. “But, again, it’s uncomfortable to talk about these things in an interview because you don’t necessarily want the whole world to know what’s going on in your mind the whole time. But then, if you’re writing songs, and you’re releasing songs then, you’re giving them context. should.”

Music helps him process, and at home on the English coast, he finds perspective.


Ed Sheeran and correspondent Seth Doane.

CBS News

Doane asks, “How much do you care about what’s written and said about your work, about an album?”

“I mean, I cared a lot,” Sheeran replied, “because I’ve spent my whole life trying to be successful. But you’re not always going to be everything to everybody. Like, I’ve never really been a critical darling. But I know. No. I think it’s more challenging to write pop music than any other kind of music.”

Critics may change their minds, but Sheeran is adamant about the value of a good pop song. “Songwriting doesn’t always have to be really, like, introspective and emotional,” he said. “Sometimes something, like, can be fun. Like, ‘Shape of You’ is just a fun song. Nobody listens to ‘Shape of You’ and thinks deep and hard about their life. They’re just, ‘Oh, I’m pretty good. Like, I love that song. I love dancing to it.'”

For more information:

The story was produced by Mikaela Bufano. Editor: Steven Tyler.

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