Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' & 4 Other Songs That Added Writers After Release
The Chainsmokers, Miguel, Sam Smith and Mark Ronson have all added attributions on their tracks.
Since the Sheeran's song's release, the pre-chorus ("Boy, let's not talk too much/ Grab on my waist and put that body on me") has been scrutinized over comparisons to the 1999 hit for its similar lyrical rhythm ("No, I don't want no scrubs/ A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me"). In turn, Sheeran validated the similarity by adding "No Scrubs" co-writers Kandi Burruss and Tameka "Tiny" Colette, of the girl group Xscape, along with Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs to the "Shape of You" credits.
Sheeran is not unique in this move. Since 2013 when when the family of Marvin Gaye sued Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. over the authorship of their hit "Blurred Lines" (and later won in 2015), Sheeran is only one of several high-profile artists to have added songwriters to a track after its release, avoiding any potential legal issues down the line.
Here are four more of the biggest songwriting adds in the past few years.
The Chainsmokers add two members of The Fray to "Closer" credits
Last year, The Chainsmokers added two members of rock band The Fray to the credits of "Closer" following comparisons between the DJ and production duo's hit track and the The Fray's "Over My Head (Cable Car)" from 2005. Fray lead singer Isaac Slade and guitarist Joe King are now credited on "Closer," along with The Chainsmokers' Andrew Taggart, Shaun Frank, Frederic Kennett and Halsey, who sings on the track.
Miguel adds Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan to "leaves" credits
Like probably everyone else on this list, Miguel hadn't intended to imitate the Smashing Pumpkins' megahit "1979" on his Wildheart track "leaves" but realized later he had subconsciously done just that. So, he reached out to frontman Billy Corgan and made things right by adding him to the credits. In 2015, Miguel told The Associated Press, "Kind of after we finished the song, it was like, 'You know what, this is reminiscent of this song,' so we made sure that they heard it and made sure that it was all good."
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars add members of The Gap Band to "Uptown Funk" credits
Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" had only four songwriters when it was written, but soon that number grew to six and then 11. Before the Bruno Mars-featuring hit was even released, Nicholas Williams (aka Trinidad James) and producer Devon Gallaspy were approached without prompting to offer a share of the song for a sampling interpolation for James' "All Gold Everything." Later, while "Uptown Funk" was spending 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, publisher Minder Music submitted a claim to YouTube's content management system on behalf of The Gap Band and its song "Oops Upside Your Head." Ronson and Co. wound up adding the Gap Band's Charlie Wilson, Robert Wilson, Ronnie Wilson, keyboardist Rudolph Taylor and producer Lonnie Simmons as co-writers.
Still, Ronson later insisted to Billboard that he didn't take anything from The Gap Band, intentionally or otherwise. "It was too risky," he said, noting the then-recent "Blurred Lines" verdict. "We made the song from such a place of joy and that's what it brought to people, so to mar it in some kind of messy lawsuit, to poison the karma of the good feeling of that song, would have been a Pyrhhic victory. We did what we felt was right [and settled]."
Sam Smith adds Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to "Stay With Me" credits
Sam Smith's Grammy-winning single "Stay With Me" wound up with two big names added to its credits after Tom Petty's team heard the song. The track bears similarities to Petty's iconic "I Won't Back Down" and, following a conversation with Smith's representatives, Petty and his collaborator Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra received proper acknowledgments. In a statement to Billboard, Petty called the situation a "musical accident" and praised Smith for quickly addressing the issue. He also said the word "lawsuit" was never uttered in the conversations. As for Smith's side of the story, his rep said that Smith and the song's other writers had not been familiar with Petty's 1989 hit and called the likeness a "complete coincidence" that came to "an immediate and amicable agreement."