In addition to racking up the accolades and revenue, Ed Sheeran’s hits have a tendency to bring other songwriters out of the woodwork to point out similarities between his tracks and theirs. The redheaded moppet’s previously contended with copyright infringement lawsuits over 2014’s “Photograph” and “Thinking Out Loud.” Now, rather than make his lawyer continue to work for their retainer, Sheeran’s just gone ahead and given a songwriting credit on “Shape Of You” to the writers of “No Scrubs.”
The similarities between the tracks are clear from the opening of “Shape Of You,” which will sound awfully familiar to fans of TLC’s FanMail, which spawned the “No Scrubs” single. But their sonic resemblance was presumably lost on Sheeran’s team during the recording process, though now that the song is No. 1 on the Billboard chart, they’ve gone ahead and listed former Xscape members Kandi Burruss and Tameka Cottle, as well as producer Kevin Briggs, on the track. Burruss, Cottle, and Briggs wrote “No Scrubs” in the late ’90s, which was released as a single in 1999. In addition to splitting up the royalties, the decision to give Burruss & Co. credit should also fend off most accusations of scrub- or buster-like behavior against Sheeran.