Ever since Ed Sheeran's single "Shape of You" dropped in January, the song has been clouded in controversy. Music fans couldn't help noticing that the track bears an uncomfortably strong likeness to a popular song from the past: TLC's 1999 hit "No Scrubs." Did Ed copy from the iconic pop group? Many listeners seemed to think so.
In a surprising behind-the-scenes move this week, Ed seemed not just to acknowledge the accusations, but validate them.
Before we get to that, though, it might help to review the tracks. The biggest similarity seems to occur shortly before the first chorus of Ed's song. He sings, "Boy, let's not talk too much / Grab on my waist and put that body on me."
Listeners on social media noted that the passage bears an uncanny melodic resemblance to the chorus of "No Scrubs," when TLC sings, "No, I don't want no scrubs / A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me."
Beyond that snippet, the chords in the two songs are nearly identical, too.
In other news...the chords to the melody of Shape of You & No Scrubs are exactly the same. Ed got some splaining to do- #blacklivesmatter (@rxissa) March 23, 2017
oh yeahhh `ed Sheeran - Shape of You does sound Like No Scrubs - TLC- Dot dot dot (@Boo_YouWhore_) March 20, 2017
just realized "Shape of You" has the same melody as "No Scrubs". Mind = Blown.- Hxmza (@HamzaAtherr) March 15, 2017
Does anyone else end up singing TLC's No Scrubs after hearing Ed Sheeran's Shape of You?- Karen Maloney (@kemaloney1217) March 15, 2017
I can't help singing No Scrubs during the hook of Shape of You- christopher truong (@chrisktruong) March 15, 2017
Just realised "girl you know I want your love" in Shape of You is a direct musical reference to "I don't want your love" in No Scrubs- gwen. (@gweena) March 16, 2017
Well, Ed apparently agrees. In the official music-rights database maintained by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, he edited the "Shape of You" songwriting credits this week to include the "No Scrubs" writing team: Kandi Burruss, Tameka Colette (better known as Tiny) and Kevin Briggs. Ed's acknowledgement isn't just a symbolic gesture, either; the "No Scrubs" trio now will earn royalties from sales and streams of his single.
Kandi and Tiny took to Instagram to express thanks to Ed for acknowledging their contribution.
All's well that ends well, I guess.
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